Full Text for May Women be Ordained as Pastors (Text)

the connection of the church and state in certain countries of Europe.' The history of the ancient Catholic Church does not know of women holding the pastoral ~ffice.~ The Rlontanists knew of women preachers, but the witness of a sect judged to be heretical hardly can set in itself an example to be em~lated.~ The ordination of women in Lutheran churches occurred in those countries where the church is at least in some way supported and hence regulated by the government. The roots of this problem go back to Constantine. Since then, with only a few interruptions, church and state, throne and altar, have existed in alliance. Unfortunately the Lutheran Reformation did not abrogate but endorsed this arrangement on an emergency basis. The emergency situation of the state controlling Lutheran church affairs to some extent has lasted nearly one half of a millenium. At first kings in certain Lutheran countries appointcd bishops and pastors and provided for the church's financial support. Since the time of the Enlightenment, the power of kings has steadily declined and the real po\ver has been placed in the hands of the parliaments representing the people on a democratic basis. The authority of the monarch to support and regulate the church has been gradually transferred to the parliaments and prime ministers. To a certain extent the church has become a political implement in the hands of the government, reflecting in its organization the desires of the government in power. Thus it is not surprising that the first decisions to ordain women in Lutheran churches were political, not ecclesiastical. Norway permitted the first women pastors in the year 193 8, but the decision was made by parliament not by a church convention representing the congregations. Until 1956 a woman appointed pastor of a congregation by the govern~nent could be rejected by a congregation. At that time even this right was taken away from the congregation. It was not until 1961 or twenty-three years after the law was passed that a woman was ordained in Norway. Denmark and Sweden XT-ould follon suit. East Germany and Czecho- slovakia took similar action. In each of these cases the action was taken by governments with socialist or communist leanings.' A summary of the situation in Europe was gathered by Dr. Fred Meuser, now presi- dent of Capital Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio oE the American Lutheran Church in The Ordination of IVomen (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1970), pp. 34f. The qucstion of the canollicitv of the pseudipigraphal Acts of Paul and TJlecln was decided negatively by Tertuliian because the Asiatic clergyman who confessed to being the author "made Paul guilty of allowing a woman to preach ;pd baptize." Bruce M Metzgcr "1.iterary Forgeries and Canonical pseudepigrapha Journal of Biblical ~iternture: Vol. 91 (March 1972), p. 14. Thus the early chur:h understood the apostolic testimony as against women preachers. The Montanists had many things in common with today's Pentecostals, including special manifestations of the Holy Spirit. There is very good reason to believe that the situation of the Montanists might have been parallel with that of the Corinthian congregation mhcre so-called Spirit manifestations and the participation of women as leaders in the church senice are treated by Paul as abuses. That 1 Corinthians 11 handles both problems ,is hardly coin~idental. It could v,ery,well be that the Spifit movement is basically incompatible wlth the proper lnstltuhon and correct exerclqe of the public office of the ministry. Pentecostals tend to treasure ,more highly their selective worship among themselves and to neglect the regular servlces of the con,me- gation. Thosc possessed with the Spirit in Corinth, so they thought,, had the, rlght to speak at usill, regardless of qualificat~ons. Some had t~lcd to set them authority up against Paul's (v. 34). It is hardly coincidental that thc movement to ordain women as pastors is contemporary to Neo-Pentecostalism, at least in The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. The precedent for this is the Corinthian congregation and the Montanists. All of the cases taken from Fred Meuser, op. cit., pp. 33.39. May Wolnen Bc Ordained As Pastors? A word should be said about the case in Sweden as it indicates the tension between the church and state. The ordination of women as pastors was rejected by the church convention; however, it was made law by the parliament, which in Sweden has been socialist controlled for many years. Faced with this dilemma, the church convention subsequently approved it. A number of bishops opposed it. Bishop Bo Giertz and others have fought it tooth and nail on the bases of Holy Scripture and the Lutheran C~nfessions.~ Women pas- tors are now the rule in European Lutheran territorial churches with the exception of Bavaria. There Bishop Dietzfelbinger has made a valiant stand against his own church convention.' Statistically it might be said, as Ordination of Women claims, that "Over half of the Lutherans in the world are in churches which now have women clergy on their r~lls."~ Now that two large Lutheran bodies in Amer- ica have taken the step, nearly 60 or 70% of world Lutheranism endorses the practice of women in the pastoral role."o~owever, arguments for the ordination of women as pastors based on the practices of Lutheran churches throughout the world are tenuous at best, as the action was initiated by the state and not the church and was politically motivated with theological considerations second- ary or non-existent. In some cases the state forced women pastors on the churches against their expressed will. The situation in the United States can be surveyed briefly. Of course, in our country, the government does not control the church. After what some confessionally minded Lutherans have endured for the sake of conscience in Europe at the hands of the state,1° I believe that we have something for which to be thankful. The first step to the ordination of women came when the seminaries of the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America admitted women into their regular 'B.D.' programs of their serni- naries." The next step could have been predicted. The question 6. Dean Gustav Danell, acting as bishop during the illness of the regular bishop, went so far as to lock the church doors when women came for ordination. The Spring- fielder, Val. 34 1 (June 1970), p. 68. 7. In the summe; oi 1970 members of the Bavarian Church had expected that church to implement the ordination of women pastors against the desires of their bishop, who had becn in ill health. Surprisingly this church has not carried through with these plans. Op. cit., p. 35. Church statistics can be deceptive, especially in giving the membership of Lutheran churches throughout the world. In Scandinavia and many parts of Germany, the Lutheran population is basically coterminous with the resident population. They are Lutherans hy law even without baptism. In the United States they are Lutherans by cboice. The Lutheran churches in Europe face the prospect of de-establishment. In compiling membership figures for world Lutheranism we are adding numbers which do not in any way represent the same things. In some European Lutheran churches the attendance of the people at church does not even represent 1% of the member- ship. American churches have their problems, but if we dare to compare, the results will be quite obvious. Forty-one per cent attend on a weekly average in America. The union between Lutheran and Reformed, as the ordination of women pastors, was Instigated and enforced by the state. Most infamous is the Prussian Unior! of 1817 and 1830. The majority of the remaining Lutheran and Reformed churches In Europe have now w~lhngly expressed their desire for fellowship on the basis af the Leuenberg Concord of 1971. Cf. The Springfielder, Val. 35, 4, (March 1972), pp. 241-249. The Ordination of Women, pp. 36f. More recent reports assert that 22 womer! are enrolled In Luther Semmary, St. Paul (ALC) with the Gettvsburg Lutheran Sermnary (LCA) having an equal amount. Until now the several ordained women in the ALC and LCA have been isolated incidences. In ten years this will hardly be the case. then had to be asked of what to do with women 'B.D.' students. In 1967, the ALC's Church Council found nothing biblically or theo- logically opposing the ordination of women. They did indicate that there might be practical and ecumenical difficulties.'? Here the door nras opened. The only opposition was one of expediency in which some might be offended. The LCA followed suit in 1965 when its Commission on the Comprehensive Study of the Doctrine of the Ministry approved the practice. The ALC and the LCA do not have their own theological commissions as does the Rlissouri Synod. They rely instead on the Division of Theological Studies of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. Sometime in late spring or early summer 1970, the division of theological studies published the booklet The Ordinatiotz of Wo~ne~l which came to the conclusion that there nras nothing commanding and nothing forbidding the ordination of women as pastors of congregations. It was declared to be what our Confessions called an adiaphoron, neither commanded nor forbidden and not a matter of revelation and doctrine.13 The results contained in this booklet mere received as the theological opinion of both the LCA and ALC at their plenary conventions in the summer of 1970 when both groups endorsed the ordination of women pastors. The press reported that there was little or no thcological discussion on the issue. The vote in the LCA mas nearly overwhelming, while in the ALC the vote n-as closer than antici- pated. To date, at least one woman in each of these synods has received ordination. At its conr~entions in 1969 and 1971, the hlissouri Synod continued to oppose the practicc as doctrinally contrary to Scripture." PART I1 IS THE ORDINATION OF \VORlEN AS PASTORS PERhlISSIBLE ACCORDING TO THE NE\\' TESTAIZIEA'T? A. \\'HAT DO \\'E R~EAN BY ORDINATION? In answering any question about the ordination of nomen as pastors, the meaning of ordination must be defined. Ordination as a ceremony for entering the office of the ministry is an adiaphoron, as it is not commanded or forbidden by the Scriptures. The term can mean exactly what the church wants it to. This is true of other theological terms, the most outstanding of which may be "sacra- ment."': The public office of the ministry is not an adiaphoron but 12. This is the same attitude held now by some in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Cf. "The Orders of Creation," Concordin Theological Monthly, Vol. 43, 4, (March 1972), p. 177: 13. The same position was asserted by the president of the ALC. (Cf. Lutheran Witness Reporter V11, (November 14, 19711, p. 3. As the matter is not specjfically hand!ed in the Lutheran Confessions, it cannot be made a matter of fellowship. Thls 1s s!mllaf to the debate behveen the lLlissouri and the Iowa synods in the 19th century. Mlssourl held that whatever was revealed by God was binding and Iowa held only that whlch the Lutheran Confessions specifically discuss is binding. Cf. Fred W. Meuser, The Formation of the American Lutheran Church (Columbus: Wartburg Press, 19581, pp. 56-62. 14. "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles" issued by Dr.. J, A.. 0. Preus, president of the Missouri Synod, in March 1972 seems to support thls posrtion. Lt. p. L. 15. Cf. Augsburg Confession SIV and especially Apology XlII. May Women BE Ordaised As Pastors? 9 3 is coinn~andecl by God. Generally in the Rlissouri Synod the term ordination by colninon consent is used to designate the service in which an individual is recognized as being capable of performing all the functions of the pastoral ministry, whether or not he actually performs all of them. Thus ordination may be the first installation service or it is closely connected with the first installation ser~ice.'~ Ho~verer ordination may be given a broader definition, de- pending on the needs of the church." It may designate as "ordina- tion" any service in n~hich an individual is publicly recognized as having been assigned or called to any office in the church. Here can be included parochial school teachers, church officers who are gen- erally inducted into service sometime after the first of the year, Sunday School teachers, and Vacation Bible School teachers. The list can be as long as there are services officially connected with the church. Evangelism and stewardship callers can also be ordained into their offices. Persons who undergo these types of ordination services are not pastors as they are not ordained or recognized as pastors. They are ordained only into the function which the congre- gation assigns to them and for the length of time which the congre- gation assigns them. A parochial school teacher may be given his task for several years or a lifetime. Perhaps a VBS teacher works two ~veeks, and an evangelism caller is assigned for several hours on a given Sunday afternoon. Let it be said clearl!- that such people publicly recognized by the congregation for specific functions possess a public office but not the office of the pastor. Strictly speaking, there can be no opposition of the ordination of women so long as that ordination is not to the office of pastor. They are by no means excluded from every office or function in the church." The issue before us is the ordination of women as pastors of churches-not the question of whether they can be given certain public offices in the church in a public \vay.lg The life of sanctification rvhereby every Christian nritnesses to Christ continually falls not under the category of ordination, but under baptism as no specific functions are designated. 16. Until the 1960's many seminary graduates ~vho had scrred as missionaries or in- structors at synodical schools were not ordained because they were not called as pastors directly by individual congregations. They were commissioned. This provided an awkward situation when they accepted calls as pastors. The common procedure was to install or commission them but not ordain them. Thus there are somc pastors in the Missouri Synod who have not been ordained, in the sense of having undergone a rite specifically called 'ordination.' 17. Here we arc reminded that form follows function in the organization of the church. Unlike Roman Catholics Anglicans Presbyterians Congregationalists Baptists and othcrs, Lutherans have ;ever insistgd on anv one'form of church gdvernment and have rcFrained from rcearding the organizathn of the New Testament churchcs as legally binding. If such were the case, we would be faced with embarrassingly different forms of church government, e.g., 1 Corinthians with its apostles, teachers, prophets, tongue speakers, etc. and 1 Timothy with its pastors and deacons. Cf. Herman Sasse, "Walther and 1-oehe: On the Church," The Springfielder, rTol. 35, 3, (December 1971), 176-182. 18. "Thc Orders of Creation," op. eit., seems to suggest this possibility with which 1 ~vould agree. A clear definition of "professional ministerial roles" would be hene- ficial. 19. This position is also held by Dr. Berthold von Schenk. "Therc is no Scriptural reason why she should not be ordained, but she can't celebrate or preach in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, for she symbolizes the Bride of Christ." The Springfielder, Vol. 36, 1, (June 1972), p. 11. The real question is whether women can serve on a permanent basis as pastors of congregations. This is the action endorsed by the majority of the European Lutheran churches and the LCA and the ALC in America. It also has widespread and growing support in the Rlissouri Synod. Therefore we must pose the question to the New Testament, "Does the New Testament permit women pastor^?"?^ and not the question "Does the New Testament know of the ordina- tion of women pastors!" I. 1 Corinthians 14 : 3 3b-3 S a. Context Of the several passages in the New Testament that might possibly speak to thc issues, I Corinthians 14 : 3 3b-3 8 must be singled out first. Let us first attempt to reconstruct the context. Paul's great concern from chapters 11 through 16:4 is liturgical. In other words, he is interested in setting the worship life of the Corinthian congregation in order procedurally and doctrinally. In Chapter 11 he deals with the problem of women having uncovered heads and drunkenness and gluttony in the church in connection with the Lord's Supper. Chapter 12 discusses how various gifts in the congregation are to be used. Some of these gifts are connected with the worship service, for example, the utterance of knowledge and wisdom and the gift of tongues. The famous chapter on love, 13, is really a parenthetical element, follo~ving Chapter 12. Love or consideration is to be used in manifesting various gifts in the worship service of the church. This admonition applies quite specifically to the tongue speakers. Chapter 14 : 1-33b discusses the necessity of clarity of preaching in the church. Chapter 14: 37-40 sums up Paul's authority as an apostle to interfere in the worship affairs of the congregation. Chapter 15, the great section in the New Testament on the resurrection of Jesus, deals with the content of the Christian preaching in the Corinthian congregation. Chapter 16 : 1-4 deals with the problem of taking up monetary collections in the congrega- tion with the suggestion that it be done every Sunday. The remaining verses of the chapter and book are Paul's'farewell greetings. \Ve may also assume that these greetings were read right in the middle of the regular worship service. This might be the beginning of special intercessions for individuals read from the diptych in connection with the celebration of the sacrament. b. Exegesis of I Corinthians 14 : 3 3b-3 S The section dealing with the silence of women appears among other sections that deal specifically with the worship services. What- ever is meant by silence or not being permitted to speak has to do 20. Thc question thus worded "Does the New Testament know of rvomcn pastors" is fraught with 'difficulties. It is an historical question and akin to the Aland-Jcrernias dcbate on infant baptism. The theological principle is at issue here, not the political administration of the church at Corinth. Regardless of the type of church admlnis- tration adopted, the basic principle involvcd is whcthcr womcn may lead the worship services. Alay Wotnctz Be Ordnined As Pastors? 95 with the regular worship ser~ices. It does not mean that mhene~er Christians get together, that nTonlen are not allo~ved to speak. Let us divide our discussion of this section into three parts: I. \\'hat does Paul mean by requiring the silence of women in the church? 11. By what authority does Paul enforce this regulation on the church? 111. Can Paul's prohibition be interpreted sociologically as being the custoln of the day and hence not applicable in another time or culture? I. \Vhat docs Paul mean by requiring the silence of women in the church? The prohibition applies specifically to the regular \vorship services. It has already been shown that chapters 11 through 16 have to do nith the regulations of the worship service. This pericope does not demand that nomcn must be silent at all times. It does not forbid women from witnessing to Jesus Christ. Lydia, as we know, was instrumental in gathering Christians for the congregation in Philippi. Neither does it mean that women cannot give instruction outside of the regular worship services. Priscilla and her husband Aquilla (Acts 18 : 26) expounded Christianity to Xpollos. This was a private instruction and had nothing to do with the public proclamation of the \\'ord in the regular worship services. The Greek word didasko deals with the public proclamation and it is not used to describe Priscilla's private instruction." The passage also sa)s nothing of women as teachers in our schools, as these are not involved with the leading of public worship of the congregation. Therefore those arguments that suggest that if we take this passage "literally"" (xvhateler that might or might not mean) n7e could not have women parochial or Sunday School teachers, have not taken into considera- tion the situation to which the Apostle is speaking. As we have defined the location to which the prohibition refers, namely the church services, we must define what it means "not to speak". Twice in this pericopc Paul forbids n70men from speaking. A third time, he mentions that they should keep silent. Thus, within four verses there are three prohibitions. \Ye can hardly say that this prohibition mas merelj a slip of the apostolic pen. The term speak used here is lalao and not lego. Lego means any kind of speaking or use of the rocal chords in some type of intelligible words. Lalao, unless otherxvise modified bp adverbs, when used in connection 21. The LCUSA's The Ordinatiotz of lVomerr very wiselv docs not usc the case of Priscilla as a major part of its argument. Still it is a little more than slightly confusing in stating that she, Lydia, and Thelica had "leadership rolcs." The phrase "leadership rolcs" has all the marks of thc 20th century culture and in any case secms totally inadequate in describing the functions of these women. The phrase "leadership roles" may mean positions of responsibility. To assert that certain individuals, male or female. are permitted to take various responsibilities in the church hardly per sc means that thcy are capable of assuming the pastoral office in the church, no morc than a Sunday School or parochial school teacher, male or female, can be a pastor. Op. cit., p. 24. 22. This view is sct forth in The Ordirtation of lVonzen, op. cit., p. 14. "By pointing out that if it is taken literallv women may not teach in church school or parochial school, dircct choirs, or ev& pray or sing aloud." If the question of the ordination of women becoming pastors were not so serious, one would like to suggest that the writer of this phrase has slipped from the sublime into the rldlculous. Literally Paul is forbidding not the use of female vocal chords, but the women's participation in the sermon. The prohibition to 'teach' refers to public instruction of the congregation. Cf. Bo Giertz, "Twenty-Three Theses on The Holy Scriptures, The Women, and the Office of the Ministry" The Springfielder, Vol. 33, 4, (March 1970), p. 14f. with worship services, refers to religious speaking or speaking re- ligiously in the public Thus Paul does not mean that women may not participate in the public singing of the congregations and the spoken prayers, i.e., the Lord's Prayer. The command to keep silent is a command not to take charge of the public worship service. The NEB catches it best when it translates the section in question in this way: "ll7omen should not address the meeting. They have no license to speak . . . It is a shocking thing that a woman should address the ~ongregation."~' I Timothy 2: 12 has the same intent. The situation in the Corinthian congregation can be partially re- constructed. lITonlen in Corinth were accustomed from the associa- tion 114th the Temple of Aphrodite in that city to lead worship services. As there had been priestesses in the adulterous and idola- trous worship of the sex godesses it mas quite natural for them to assume the leadership roles in the Christian congregation." Paul specifically forbids this. 11. IVe illust now speak to the second question : "By what authority does Paul enforce this regulation upon the ehureh?" Paul is not slack in offering more than a fen authorities in refusing women permission to exercise thhe leadership role in the congregation. (1) First it is not permitted by what he calls the ''Lam-." The reference here is not necessarily to the Ten Command- ments, though this is not excluded. He is referring to the Torah, the written revelation of God, the Script~res.~Regardless of who wrote I Timothy 2 (and I for one still accept the Pauline authorship), I Timothy 2: 14 is a further application of what Paul calls the Law. Here in I Timothy he points to the account contained in the written revelation of the creation of Adam and Eve and the subsequent fall into sin. I Corinthians 11 also refers back to Genesis 2. (2) He refers to his own apostolic office. "IIThat! Did the word of God originate with you, . . .?" Obviously this is not a question asked for information, but a rhetorical question. Both Paul and the Corin- thians knew where the authoritative word of God originated-God has spoken through His apostle Paul. In 1 1 : 23 and 15 : 3, he speaks 23. Ibid. 21. Whether the Corinthian congregation had a scrmon in the sense that TTC do is opcn to qucstion. The Living Bible paraphrases that idea with "They are not to participate in the discussion." At Corinth there might have been something of a dialog sermon with various persons or officers of the congregation commenting on the sermon. Paul's prohibition is against their participation in this kind of activity. The question of whether ths congregation knew of 'ordained pastors' cannot be discussed here, as it cannot be determined whether the ceremony of ordination was exercised here. But if Paul is forbidding women from the minor role of theological discussion in the church scrvice as seems the case from these words "If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home," it can hardly be argued or permitted to state that they should assume the task of discussion leaders. 25. The Ordination of Women, op. cit., pp. 14f. suggests that the subordination of thc women "is typical of the code morality which shows up in several New Testament references. It is a catechetical form perhaps takcn over from the culture of the day." If anything, Paul is going agaist the prevailing culture in not letting women partici- pate 117 the church services as leaders. Also it will not do to state that he is /mpos/ng his "Jewish" culture. upon the Gentiles. He fought tooth and nail against lmposing the Jewish circumcision regulations on the Galatians and holiday regulations on thc Colossians. In the matter of hats, he suggests that men go bare headed and thc women wear head coverings which is also against the known common Jewish usage. 26. Bo Giertz, op. cit., p. 15. May Women Be Ordained As Pastors? 97 about passing things along to the Corinthians that he had learned at the hand of God. (3) He appeals to the Holy Spirit. "If anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing is a command of the 1,ord." Paul appeals to those people in the congregation who have been claiming for themselves some type of unique inspiration of the Spirit. If they really do have the Spirit, and this is questionable, then with their gifts of the Spirit they should also recognize that Paul is "inspired" by the Holy Spirit so that he knows the mind of God. The background for this is 2: 11-16 where those who truly have the Spirit dl recognize the Spirit speaking through Paul. (4) Fourthly, Paul calls upon Jesus as an authority. Forbidding women to lead the public worship is "a command of the L~rd.~' The Greek n7ord entole has the force of a divine decree that threatens punishment to all those who break it. In the Sermon on the Rilount Jesus uses the word entole in the plural to describe the entire Old Testament revelation as unbreak- able. "Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. . . . \Vhoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5 : 17, 19). He places the prohibition against women pastors on the same level as the Lord's Supper and Resurrection. All three have Jesus' own authority behind them. 111. The third question is : "Can Paul's prohibition be interpreted sociologicall~ as being the custom of the day?"2s Those who do not see anything in our passage dealing with women pastors generally take two approaches in interpretation. One, Paul is just reflecting current mores which did not let women speak. Two, Paul is reflecting his own "hang-ups" about women. John Reumann suggests the first in the LCUSA booklet, while Peggy Ann Way in her article in Women's Liberation and the Chtlrch'" finds the latter to be the case. Let's tackle the first question. I Corin- thians is written to a thoroughly Gentile congregation. It was the Jews and not the Gentiles that forbad women to participate in the worship services. The pagan cults in Canaan from the time of the 27. Some harc tried to mitigate the force of the word "Lord" by stating that "Lord" in the New Testament simply can refer to an honorific title for important men. The case cited was Malthew. 25:37 and 44 where at the judgment Jesus is addressed as "Lord." Obviously this perlcope of the final judgment uses the term in a divlne sense and not merely honorific. Secondly, and here we can use the opinions of even the most radical and liberal New Testament scholars, that if the New Testament is merely a book written by the church to glorify Jesus, then "Lord" is an example of calling Jesus +e-S_on of God. Thc lack oE an articlc mould only suggest that there is only one LUHU. 28. The Ordinatiorr of 1Vomel1, op. cit., p. 13. "Should this instruction (concerning silence of women in the churches) be brushed asidc as no more binding than Paul's tastes in clothes and hairstyles? He might just have been irked with wives who had inter- rupted." This is hardly a serious exegetical option and is no credit to St. Paul or the writer's interpretation of this apostle. 29. Peggy Ann Way, "An Authority of Possibility For Women in the Church," bVomenJs Liberation and the Church, op. cit., p. 81. "Shall we women spend our bme develop- ing nice little papers on what Paul really meant or how he would speak in a different cultural setting, or, on another level discovering that he was once in love with a temple prostitutc who rejected him and from which came his feelings about women?" Jewish invasion had female gods and priestesses. Aphrodite, a Hellenistic form of the Phoenician sex deity Astarte, was found in Corinth. Paul could hardly just be expressing custom in not letting women participate as pastors, since custom not only allowed Gentile nromen to participate, but encouraged them to lead in the worship. It is safe to assume that the desire of women to be pastors in the Corinthian congregation is directly traceable to the pagan influence of the priestesses at the temple of Aprodite. This is not mere specu- lation, as Paul in the same epistle speaks of the Christians' relation- ship to idols." Apparently some Christians were attending the Lord's Supper and pagan ~vorship.~' If the Corinthians could not totally detach themselves from their idols, no wonder that they could not detach themselves from their priestesses. The second objection in regard to our passage is that Paul is reflecting his own "hang-ups" about women. It seems unlikely that Paul was anti-feminist. He depended upon Lydia in the establishment of the congregation in Philippi and he calls Priscilla and Phoebe3? fellow workers. In addition there are a number of things in our pericope that speak eloquently that the prohibition of women into the pastoral office is a universal prohibition, not limited in time and in space and in culture. (1) First he says, "As in all the churches of the saints." The prohibition is not limited to the Corinthian congregation, but Paul is putting down a principle that is applicable to every congre- gation. In the word "all" there is no room for exceptions." (2) Secondly, he labels women's leading of the public services as "shame- ful''. In Euhesians 5: 12 he uses the same word to designate not the secret thiigs done by the children of darkness, but ;he mere de- scription of them. (3) Thirdly, Paul threatens excommunication to those who favor giving women the leadership role in the congre- gation. "If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized." There are two interpretations here ~ossible. Paul is cutting him off u from the congregation or God is no longer recognizing such an individual as a Christian. The end result in both cases is the same, exclusion from the church."' 1 Corinthians 8. I Corinthians 10, especially x. 21, "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons." Romans 16: 1-4. Some havc contendcd that these aerc regulations just for the Corinthian congregation. This does not seem to be the case, but was regulation for all the churches. The prohibition against women pastors has the same type of force that the commands to baptize and celebrate Holy Communion have. They only lose their force when the final eschaton breaks through. The distinctions between male and female and hence the restriction of men to the pastoral office, pass away in the new age (Matt. 22:30). The pastoral office itself passes away at Christ's coming. Forbidding women in thc pastoral office in no way speaks to the faith or glorification levcl of sexes. There are lcvels of glory in heaven, but no continuation of church offices. The Ordination of Women, op. cit., p. 13 suggests that perhaps Paul is not responsible for (vv. 34 and 35) these words or that perhaps Paul was not really being Pauline. "It could he that these verses were added later. Some manuscripts have verses 35 and 35 following 40; the verses do seem out of context as they are here; and it 1s odd to hear Paul saying 'as even the law says."' The one responsible for this section must, as a New $estament scholar, be aware that Paul uses the term "law" in different senses. Here the erm has nothina to do with the Law-Gospel antithesis as used in classical Lutheran theology. hlay Women Be Ordained As Pastors? 9 9 c. Other Considerations in Connection with I Corinthians 14:33b-38 I. Some claim that Paul's concern was with order in the church and verse 33a is quoted in this regard. "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." This is hardly an adequate explana- tion. First, according to the published Greek texts this passage belongs to the previous section. Secondly, from the context it belongs to the previous section where Paul deals with the problem of several people speaking at the same time. Thirdly, if Paul is concerned with mere orderliness or everyone speaking in turn, why does he only forbid the women from speaking? This \vould cure only half the problem. Does this mean that Paul allonrs disorderly men, but not disorderly women? If Paul was concerned with orderliness, then he should have suggested that the women wait their turn to speak. He doesn't. He simply tells them to be silent. 11. Some claim that I Corinthians 14: 33b-38, the section on women speaking, is no more binding today than I Corinthians 11 : 2-16, the section on head coverings for women. The argument goes that just as we allow women to go without hats in church, so we should also allow them to be pastors. True, our churches do not demand that women attend church with covered heads, though some continue the custom as a legitimate expression of piety, but this should hardly permit us to dismiss the theological principles contained in this pericope. The theological principles of the relationship of the man to the woman are more carefully spelled out here than in I Corinthians 14. I Corinthains 11 very much resembles I Timothy 2, as nil1 be shown below. First, Paul identifies the eternal principle or truth with the n7ord "traditions," pnradoseis, the same root word which is used in connection with the Lord's Supper and the Resurrection in the same book." This is something established by God and before God as true and binding. No deviation is permitted. The theological principle is this: "But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Christ is God." The imagery here cannot be dismissed.36 Paul sees in the relationship between a man and woman a reflection of the relationship between Christ and man and the relationship between God and Christ. The first one deals with the concept of the image of God, the second with the relationship between God and His Christ. Paul says in rerse 7 that man is made in God's image and woman in man's image. In I Timothy 2: 13 Paul says the same thing b!. stating that Adam was created first and then Ere. God has established in the creation a certain order or relationship. To man and woman 1 Corinthians 11:23, 15:3. Cf. also. 2 Corinthians 2:15 "So then brethren stand firm and hold to the traditions whlch you were taught' by us, either by dord of mouth or by letter." This concept was both adequately and beautifully portrayed by C. S. Lewis, "Priest- esses in the Church" in God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 234- 239, especially p. 238. "We have no authority to take the liying and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shlft them about as if they were mere geomehical figures." Ephesians 5:21-33 applies the Chnst-Church imagery to the husband-wife relationship within the family. This principle is also applicable to the congregation's worship. individual functions are assigned and it is not proper, in fact, it is unlawful to step outside of this ~rder.~' The functions are not inter- changeable. Even Christ has a position in regard to God that must be ltept. God assigns the Rlessianic tasks to Christ. The reverse is not true." The question which now must be asked is: "Are women per- mitted to go without hats to churches?" We have already established that we are dealing nith divinely established principles by which the man is the head of the woman and that the woman bears the image of the man. The practice of covering or uncovering the head belongs not to doctrine or the practice of doctrine, but to custom reflecting doctrine or principle. Paul closes the section with the words, "But if anyone wants argue about it, all I have to say is that neither we nor the churches of God have any other habit in worship." (NEB 1 1 : 16). The Greek word, synetheia means something which is expected of people, but which is not legally established. Pilate says that the Jews have a cz~sto~lz of releasing a prisoner at the feast.j9 He is hardly legally bound to take such action. There are many things in our culture that we are expected to do, but not bound by law to do so. Standing when a woman comes into the room and offering her a seat is a type of custom in our culture. \Ye show deference and respect for the "weaker sex." Giving presents and sending cards at Christmas is another custom. Customs make up the lery fiber of our culture. These nlc do by common consent, not because of legal compulsion. Paul is not establishing a once and for all culture. His whole strife with the Judaizers, characteristic of his ministry from the beginning, militates against this. He is saying that culture through its own forms should express divine principles when applied in a worship service. We can surmise that women without hair coverings in Corinth were expressing a type of contempt of men. Expressions of such contempt are always Xvrong. However in another culture women might sho\v respect to men by having their heads uncovered. Regardless of the culture, the customs and practices derired from the culture and used in the worshipping congregation should reflect and never go against divinely established principle. The principle is that the man is the head of the woman, as Christ is the head of man. But note in this section that Paul is not setting down an eternal binding custom. Unlike Chapter 13 he does not appeal to the Scriptures, Jesus, the apostolic office, or the Holy Spirit in establishing the custom. He is, however, quite adamant about uphold- ing the principle. 111. Some claim that I Corinthians 1 1 : 15 presupposes that women were allowed to lead in the services and that Paul changed 37. This is substantiated by Martin Scharlemam in "Apostolic Form," a devotion delivered to a St. Louis pastoral conference on May 8, 1972. His argument is based on 1 Peter 2:13. The Greek word used is hypotassesthni. In the next chapter Peter discusses how the male-female princlple applies to. the family. Though worship services are not discussed, the same princlple applies to the regulations of both family and worship services. 38. 1 Corinthians 15:28. 39. John 18:39. Alav Women Be Ordained As Pastors? 101 his mind in Chapter 14.4n Here is the passage in question, "any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head-it is the same as if her head were shaven." What this 'prophesying' was is difficult to determine with exactness. There were many gifts present in the Corinthian congregation which the Spirit has not given to the church in the post-apostolic period and which also do not appear in other churches at that time. Chapter 12 lists these gifts as working miracles, speaking in tongues, distinguish- ing tongues and interpreting tongues and prophesying. There is no suggestion that prophesying and leading the worship as pastor are the same gifts or office^,^' any more than speaking in tongues and the offices of the pastor are the same gifts. I do not wish to go into detail to explain why these gifts are not always given to the church today. The ultimate answer is that the I-ioly Spirit and not the enthusiasm of men decides. I rvill rely on the ~vords of St. Paul, ". . . the same Spirit who apportions to each one individually as he wills" ( 12 : 1 1). Perhaps praying and prophesying meant going around in a circle and asking each to say a prayer or word of testimony, but this is only a guess and no more. Such activity must be distinguished from the actual leading of the worship. Still the words "any woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered" can hardly be interpreted to mean conclusively that he approves of women who do this with their heads covered. Consider in the same chapter Paul's rebuke of gluttony and drunkenness in connection with the Lord's Supper. "For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal, and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink! ( 12: 2 If.)" Does this passage mean that Paul disapproves of drunkenness in the church, but not at home? Hardly, because Paul in Galatians 5: 2 1 stated that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Being drunk is bad enough; but Paul pleads with the congregation not to do it in the church, bringing added offense to the congregation and damnation to themselves. Therefore Paul's words about women cov- ering their heads when they pray and prophesy cannot by themselves be used as an apostolic endorsement of their praying and prophesy- ing. They could very well mean, at least hypothetically, that it is a disgraceful habit for women to participate as leaders of the worship, but what is worse is that they do it with uncovered heads. Still there is no conclusive evidence that "prophesying" is identical with actually leading the I\-orship services. Regardless of its exact meaning it probably is witnessing in which all Christians engage. 40. The Ordination of Women (p. 13) suggests that Paul might have changcd his mind. "If it is taken seriously a contradiction must be resolved. How can it be that Paul allowed the Corinthian 'women both to pray and prophesy in the previous passage (1 Corinthians ll), while in this one he forbids them to speak the church?" The answer is quite obvious in that prophesying and praying were merent from leahng the worship service and participating in the discussion centering around the sermon. 41. However. this is iust the sueeestion made in The Ordination of Women. D. 24. "Thev seke as 'prophit;sses(l coFiithiinrli; kcis 21:9),,pzrhap4 'ordain&' ai Corin&, certainly speaking in the Lord's name under the Spmt. Walter A. Maim in "Some Thoughts on the Role of Women in the Church;' The Springfielder Vol. 33, (4) 34, interprets prophesying as any type of witnessing in the Gospel. 2. ITimothy2:12-14 The other passage that should be considered is I Timothy 2: 12-14. There are some who consider that the author was not St. Paul and that he had no connection with St. Paul. This I am not milling to grant. But regardless of who wrote it, it must be regarded as the first commentary available to us on I Corinthians. In other words, in this passage Paul repeats his prohibition of women as pas- tors or someone from the first century has accurately repeated Pauline thought. Here also Paul or the unknown author is also dealing with liturgical regulations. He speaks about having intercession for civil authorities in the worship service (2: 1-7). Then he goes on to say that the leadership roles in the worship service should be given to men (2: 8-1 5). The leadership roles of bishop and deacon can only be given to men, but not to every man, so he sets the regulations for pastors and deacons (3 : 1-1 3). The second chapter ends with a type of concluding summary of these instructions. Here there are two bases for his argument. (1) He asserts his apostolic authority. "I permit no woman to teach or to hare authority over men." This we have already discussed in connection with I Corinthians 14. (2) He argues from the creation of Eve from Adam and that therefore Eve was dependent on Adam. He mentions the fall into sin. The fall has not destroyed the relationship between male and female or their distinctive creative roles, but it has added tensions. The woman still bears children, but with pain. The man works, but mith sweat. Men and woman still live together, but mith enmity. To this Paul is referring when he says, "For Adam mas formed first, then Eve; and Adan1 was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became the transgressor" (v. 13f.). Paul in I Corinthians has previously established the dependency of the woman on the man at the crea- tion (I Corinthians 11 : 8f.) This is not so inuch an argument to Scripture as it is to creation. Tho argument to creation is stronger than to Scripture, simply because creation is the first act of Jesus used the same argu- ment to the creation when the Pharisees tried to justify divorce on the basis of the R4osaic Law. He refers to the creation, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female . . ." (Matt. 19: 5). What God has made may not arbitrarily be changed. In fact the written Law of God is only a reflection of the plan already established in the creationa4' Paul's reference to the fall of Eve before Adam suggests that she unlaw- fully assumed the religious responsibility for that first community and in so doing violated God's established order between the man and woman. Adam bore the image of God and served as God's spokesman and intermediary between God and man. By the "theo- logical" conversation with the serpent, Eve assumed a function which God had not given her. Adam was given the command and ----- 41a. The issue comes down basically to the matter of natural law, which accordins to the Lutheran Confessions, precedes the written lam. Cf. Holsten Fagerberg, A New Look at the Lutheran Confessions. Translated by Gene J. Lund. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 1972), pp. 64-75. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Tlmothy argues not from God sni$ hut what God as dld. JIay Women Be Ordained As Pastors? promise and he mas responsible for all "theological negotiations." Thus the woman's assuming the man's role and his assenting to this 42. Since this article was first prepared an opposing view mas set forth in "The Orders of Creation-Some Reflection on the History and Place of the Term in Systemahc Theology," Concordin Theological Monthly, Vol. 43, 3, (March 1972) 165-178, which maintains basically the same thesis set forth in much more abbreviated form in "Thc Role of Women." The latter article, appearing in Advance (Cf. note 45), has been widely used and quoted bv those in The Lutheran Church-hlissouri Synod who have suv~orted the women uastors. The more recently ~ublished article contains further arfiumentation and wifi also receive much attentioh. The article cannot receive the full attention here that it requires and deserves. Still the basic argument is that even though God might have established a relationship between the male and female in the beginning, these relationships arc not necessarily binding today. Basic to the argument is that God is ordering the world continually and that the church can rcad history so to speak to determine what God is doing. The pertinent paragraph is included here: "Because the orders as trans-individual patterns and configurations of a wholc society are historical entities they are subject to the 'law' (that is the Creator's law) of historical change. canno{ the same also be said about the paitern of relationship bewecn the sexes from one age to another? In St. Paul's day it appears that womanly subordination was the Creator's order (societal placement). Today it is obvious that therc has been some change since St. Paul's time and place in this cultural phenomenon. If the Creator has continued to be the Creator during, the intervening years, why cannot we admit that the present growing 'equality' station of women 1s a work of the Creator? Into what placement is God putting women now? He is not placing them into a societal web of subordination-at least not in the Wcstcrn world-nor is He placing the males into a superordinate ranking. It is in this situation of cqualization of ranks that men and women are called to be God's kind of men and women. How did such a change arise? Historians and sociologists can chronicle somc of the factors in the metamorphosis. Should Christians not expect that one of the abetting factors in the West may well have been Christians living their 'life under the Gospcl' in the two millenia of the Gospel's history in the Western world? Thc CTCR report is chary about acknowledging that the 'order of redemption' can brlng about concrete changes in the 'orders of creation' but is that perhaps not a sign of weak faith rather than of theological precision? sweeping generalization about all orders of &cation will be of little help to anyone. Yet in the particular placement of women in Western s;ciety the new order of God's Gospel has surely helped to shape some of the chances. The concepts involved resemble nrnress thenlnev nr nhilnsnnhv wherehv Cnd continues to create the norum. P opposition to the ordination of women on the sicni of his times. so we in our aee where women are receiving more rights should and must be able to read thc signs of our times. This kind of an argument blurs the distinction between special and natural revelation. In the sense that history or culture or the like is a bearer of revelation, this concept, greatly resembles the theories of revelation held by Pannen- berg and other theologians connected with the 'theology of hope.' Using history by itself as a vehicle of revelation is a very dangerous thing. One could conclude that in the early 1940's that God was telling us that killing Jews was proper in that God was speaking to us through Hitler's history. But this is the rerv argument offercd in claiming that God in history is saying that women can be bastors. The proposed amendment to the American Constitution giving equal rights to women wlll surely be used. According to the Apology of the Augsburg Confession what God has established In creation is not open to change as long as we are in the present aeon. Porro ills naturale vere est ills divinnm, quin est ordinatio divinitus inzpressn natalme (XXXIII, 12). The Gospel can hare an effect in the changes in society which is ok course contaminated with sin as the article ~ndicates. We can agree with the statement: "Yet in the particular placement of women in Western society the new order of God's Gospel has surely helped to shape some of the changes." (op. cit., p. 174) But the Gospel comes after the creation. Instead of violating the creation the Gospel endorses it. Only a Manichean concept of creation would regard creatlon qua creation as redeemable in any sense at all. It was the thought of Flaccius that somc- how the human nature itself was sinful (Formula of Concord, I). The Formula of Concord, 11, distinguishes four states of man: "1. before the Fa11;,,2. since the Fall; 3. after regeneration 4. after the resurrection of the body . . . Marriage or the relationship between' male and female was created in the first time period. Sins connected with marriage or the male and female relationship are redeemable, but the relationship, since it is created by God, is not redeemable. The relationship between the sexes will only pass away after God has attained His purposes through them. -4ccording to Jesus, this happens at the resurrection on the last dav. The same article claims that the phrases "order of creation" and the like are more Calvinistic in origin than Lutheran (though this case is hardly conclusive from the evidence presented) in discussing the male-female relationship. With such a suggestion it mlght be better to use the language of the Apology and call it a "natural right." "lus naturale sit immutabi1e"-the natural right is immutable (XXIII 12). Just as it is impossible to change the laws about marriage which is ordained by God so it is illegitimate (against the immutable law or will of God) to ordain womei as pastors. Stephen A. Schmidt presents both sides of the argument from creation in Powerless Pedagogues, 29th Lutheran Education pssociation Yearbook (River Forest, 1971), pp. 107f. without committing himself to either. incursion are part of the first sin. \\Tomen preaching and celebrating hiass could very well be a graphic representation of the first sin. In regard to the Timothy passage some have concluded that if we would follow this literally then women could not be allowed to teach in any capacity in the church. The word for teach is didaskein4" and it refers to the official and public proclamation of the Gospel. A teacher is one who is charged with the public proclamation of Christianity. Not even Priscilla did this type of public teaching at the Euchari~t.~~ For exam le in I Timothy 4 in refers to Timothy's official tasks as pastor. Not R ing here is said about prohibiting women from instructing children in the church, school or home. This does not disrupt the family "rights". In fact the Old Testament obligates father and mother to instruct their children, Proverbs 1: 8. It would seem that instruction in church and school are an extention of such parental authority and obligation. 3. Galatians 3 : 2 8 Has Redemption's Orders Superceded Those of Creation'i4" Galatians 3:28 with the words that in Christ Jesus there is neither male or female has been used to demonstrate that God has abolished the old law and therefore restrictions or roles assigned the sexes have been abolished.46 A careful study of Galatians 3: 23-29 will quite quickly show that Paul is discussing justification of the sinner before God, coranz deo. He states that by faith we have be- come justified and thus all of us are sons of God and Abraham's off- spring. There are no offices, no special gifts, no economic differences, no differences based on sex, as sinners stand justified by God through faith in Christ. There is only one "advantage" that qualifies before 43. The word didaskein is inappropriately used of the functions oE Sunday parochial and public school teachers. This word refers to the publicly sanctioned &oclamatioi of the Gospel before the assembled worshipping congregation. It in no way forbids women from being teachers in various agencies of the church, as it is suggested in The Ordination of Women, op. cit., p. 14. Withoi~t theological or Biblical evidence, arguments used for a male clergy and hence against female clergy have been Introduced into the discussion of the office of the parochial school teacher. While this entire issue must be treated at length at another time, much confusion has resulted by defining the pastor's office as "minister" and then asserting that parochial school teachers have a ministry. The implication which has become quite explicit in recent years is that pastor and parochial school teacher are equal office holders of the same ministry. Now all Christians ha~e a ministry, but only a logical error, which St. Paul speaks against would come to the unwarranted conclusion that all possess the same office (1 Cor. 12:28ff.). The other error involved is concluding that the admonitions concerning "teachers" in the New Testament apply to "parochial school teachers." They do not! Teaching in the New Testament applies to the public proclamation oE the Gospel, not to knowledge con- veyed about secular subjects, even when done under the auspicies of the church. Stephen A. Schmidt (op. cit.) mentions, and rightfully so, the condescending attitude shown to women parochial school teachers. They are not included in conventions for pastors and male teachers. The tend to receive less pay than their male counterparts and have tenure less frequentiy. There is no theological or Biblical reason to dis- criminate between male and female parochial school teachers. Conferences for pastors and teachers should include both men and women. The arguments for putting men teachers on a higher plain than women seems to be anti-feminist. True, men teachers unlike women teachers may apply for the ofice of pastor; however, both men and women teachers hare not been certified to have the competenc to pastors. Simply because men as men hare one criterion, their maleness, that migit indicate a certain potential for the office of the pastor lacking in women, does not give them a higher position. There are other requireme& for the o5ce of the pastor than merely being a man In the reverse pastors judged to be competent in roclamation of the Word of ~od do not per se have the competence to teach other %an the rehgious sublects in the parochial school, unless because of the religious implications of certain secular subjects. The New Tesfament distinguishes between different offices, so should we. 44. The vocabulary used in Acts 18:26 in no way suggests that Priscilla engaged in public teaching. Didaskein or any other nearly related word 1s not used. May Womew Be Ordaiwed As Pastors? 105 God and that is faith. In this there are no degrees of worthiness or dignity. The three year old girl in Sunday School stands before God in the same position as the Mother of our Lord, and the Apostle Paul stands in the same relationship as the ten year old who lights the candles on Sunday morning and almost burns down the church in doing so. Paul hardly suggested that the roles are exchangeable. Paul never suggests that the rde of man or female could ever be exchanged, or that Greeks would become Jews or vice versa. The things ordained by God in creation and the divisions of society which reflect to some extent the creation of God are not annulled. The church also has orders or ranks which cannot be changed. Consider what Paul says in I Corinthians 13 : 29 : "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?" The answer is no. Justification before God through faith in Christ does not abolish the relationships that men hare with each other. All are equal before God, but equality hardly suggests interchangeability." PART I11 CONCLUSION How Binding is the 'Law' that Women Cannot Serve as Pastors? As soon as the word 'law' is used we are using a freighted term, 45. Galatians 3:27-28 is used by both the LCUSA's The Ordination of Women, p. 22 and "The Role of Worqen in the Church of Jesus Christ" in Advance (October 1970). pp. 10-12, for suggeshng that women can be ordained. The latter offers the view that God is now changing the orders of creation now that the Gospel has replaced the law. Perha~s Horace Hummel's comments can best rectify this. "Nor am I able to .see that more sophisticated argument from 'changing orders of creation) is not ultunately vulnerable to the same charge; it seems to me to be exegetically beside the point because Paul clearly does not argue from something be considers as result of sin, and hence subject to 'redemption ' but rather from a given already preceding the Fall." "Bible and Confession " hi Springfielder Vol. 35, 4, 270f. Dr. Victor Pfitmer, prhessor of New ~eitament at Luther Seminary of .the Lutheran Church pf Ausbalia also makes the point that tpe, equality of Chrishans suggested In Galat~ans 3327f. applies only to how these Chrishans appear before God and has nothing to do with the ordering of the congregation. He also shows that as the demands for women pastors grow, there will be greater rehance on the concept that the pastor receives his office as an extension of the ofiice which all members of the congregation hold jointly. C. F. W. Walther's doceine of the minisey, which gives every baptized Christian the o5ce of the minisey, carried to its logical con- clusion does regretfully allow for the ordination of women pastors. To counter this Dr. Pfitzner's appraisal is given: "The equali that Luther speaks about is the equality of the redeemed coram Deo, Gal. 3:27f.%ut this does not immediately imply equal, in the sense of identical, functions in the church. Every member of the church has the right, not the duty, to articipate in the calling of a servant of the Word, as he also has the duty to test animaintain the authenticity of the Word which is pro claimed on Christ's behalf. But there can be no confusion of o5ces and functions.. . . While the old Uebertragungslehre of the last century will hardly be repeated in the same terms, we can expect a repetition of the claim that the public off~ce 1s merely a delegated authority. And as the plea for the ordination of women intensifies we can expect repeated references to this idea." "General Priesthood' and Ministry,'' Lutheran Iournal of Theology Vol. 5 (November 1971), pp. 107f. 46. A related argument for the ordination of women is based on the universal priesthood of all believers in The Ordination of Women, p. 23. It is an extremely poor one, but should be presented. "But by and large there is agreement that the mmishy of the Church of Jesus Christ is not particulariy a continuation of the Old Testament priest- hood. The New Testament deliberately changes it. There is a 'royal priesthood' of all baptized believers (1 Peter 2:9). Christian baptism ordains all believers. Women, then are 'priests' by baptism." John Hall Elliott in his doctoral dissertation proves that this passage has nothing to do with the cultic practices of the worshipping congregation. J. H. Elliott, The Elect and Holy. An Exegetical Examination of I Peter 2:4-10 and the Phrase 'baxileinon hierateuma' (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1966). Cf. by the same author "Death of a Slogan: from Royal Priests to Celebrating Community," Una Sancta Vol. 25, pp. 18ff. To say that all baptized people are "ordained " in whatever sense Ordination of Women means, would spell the end for the public 'ministry and would reduce Luther- a~llsm to the most barbaric form of congregationalism, This would certainly lend credence to the thesis that the ordination of women pastors as a movement is related to all forms of egalitarian fanaticism. 47. Horace Hummel (op. cit.) suggests that the "egalitarian assumptions of our culture" might really be behind the movement to ordain women as pastors. as some ~vill say that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law and that the law has been replaced by the Gospel. Of course the Gospel does not destroy the law, but only means that God in Christ has fulfilled the law and all its just requirements. The law is not abolished, but its punishments are. The Scriptures use the concept of law in a variety of \~ays."~ It can refer to the ceremonial and civic law of Israel. Jesus, as is evident from his preaching was not the first to break this law. He mentions how David ate the shewbread to save his men from starvation, even though this bread was intended for priestly con- sunlption. The Old Testament did not demand that this law be observed by non-Jews. Gentiles, who professed faith in Israel's God, did not necessarily have to obey the ceremonial or civic laws of Israel. God in His written revelation indicated when this law would apply and when it mould not apply. There is also the moral law as given by RIoses and repeated by Jesus and the Apostles. This law reflects the very essence of God and n7as established in the world from its very creation. Alan according to Romans 1 and 2 perverted this law because of his own warped nature and God had to republish it. Illenever God acts, He acts morally. He never acts amorally. In fact, He is not capable of an amoral act. All of what God does is per se good and just. God does not first create and then pronounce that it is good. It is good from the very beginning of the act and because God does it. Sex and the relationships between the sexes belong to God's creative acts. Today there is a lot of "honest-to-sex" talk with the very valid comment that sex is not dirty but good. Unfortunately this talk does not go beyond telling teenagers and married people with hang-ups that they should not fear sex. But there is another step. Sex has been created by God and the relationship between male and female has been established by God in the creation. It is not an afterthought. Sex belongs to God's creative law and is reflected in the Rlosaic Decalogue. The divine plan for the family is an outgrowth of this sexual relationship. Jesus in Rlatt. 19: 2 and Paul in 1 Corinthians 11 and I Timothy 2 make specific reference to this. The relation- ship is endorsed by Jesus and His apostles and is in no way abrogated. In fact it is sanctified and presented to God as holy by His U70rd. In this set-up the children are to obey the parents and the wife is to be subordinate to the husband. The n7ord "subordinate" unfortu- nately suggests the master-slave relationship with the crack of the whip in the background. RIen greedy for power have either turned the relationship around or intensified it to the point of hatred. Subordination in nature has been placed there by God not to indicate that someone is more worthy than another or that one should be despised. Subordination is for the sake of function and 38. The phrase lex semper nrrusat taken out of context can cause confusion. The law always accuses in the area of justification, but the law functions in other areas. Before the Fall, the law did not accuse. In the state of glorification, the law will not accuse. For the redeemed chlld of God, the law does not accuse but presents to hlm the way on which a loving Father guides His children. The article "Orders of Creation" seems to overlook the Formula of Concord VI when it states:. "According Reformation theology, there is a twofold use of the Law, duplex usus legis" (OP. rit., p. 173). FC VI deals with three uses of the law. Mar Women Be Ordained As Pastors? 107 welfare. The child is subordinate to the parents for the child's welfare, not to punish the child or to benefit the parents. Christ is subordinate to God in carrying out the task of salvation. This does not degrade Christ. The church is subordinate to Christ. The one in the superior or upper position exercises love to those in the lower positions. That's why Paul says that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church. Of course many do not model their family lives after the divine pattern and grief must necessarily ensue. Still the abuse of the divine pattern does not allow abrogation of the pattern because it is defiled by sin. Women pastors abrogate the divine pattern. The church is God's new family on earth. Adam's race did not qualify as God's sons and thus in Jesus a new family, the church, has been established. The New Testament uses the term "household of the church suggesting that it is a family. In this family God's original designs are not considered invalid or outmoded or useless. Rather, in the church, God's original intentions are again revived. God has not placed the label of "NO GOOD" over His original work, but has revived it. The church is therefore bound to the proper relationship between the man and woman established by God and that it be reflected in everything the church does. The ordaining of women as pastors, leaders, guardians, bishops, yes, "fathers" of congregations is not only a deliberate breaking of not only the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, but a direct contradiction of God's plans in creation. It is going directly against God, As C. S. Lewis says, male and female may be equal but their roles are not exchangeable. It is God who loved the church and wooed her. It is men who woo their wives and love them. The late Anglican lay theologian compares the church to a ball or dance. "Sometimes the men are bad dancers, but the solution is not that ive should treat all those as neuter as if they had no sex. The solution is rather that the men should be taught to be better dancer^."^" APPENDIX I The proponents of women as pastors are more agreed in their objective of women as pastors than they are in the basis for establishing it. The most radical proponents are simply caught up in "women's lib." Women's Liberation and the Church (op. cit.,) is a good example of raw application of unproved principles. The Ordination of Women (up. cit.) intimates that there might have been women pastors in the apostolic time. Cf. p. 24. The arguments offered for this position are obviously inferior. E.g., "They minister to Jesus during his lifetime and at his death" (Luke 8:3, Mark 15:41). With such reasoning all janitors should be allowed to conduct the Eucharist. The exegesis given here is hardly worthy of the support of serious Greek scholars! The third option is that though Paul did not let women serve as pastors at Corinth, he was reflecting a cultural opinion and thus it is not binding on us. This position is offered in the "Orders of Creation," (op. cit.). It reduces the ques- tion of ordination of women from a doctrinal question to a ractical one. The question is no longer whether ordination of women is rig\t or wrong, but when will the Missouri Synod be ready for it. If all arguments are to stand, and the latter two have been offered in the Missouri Synod, it would be as if a man were convicted of crime for two different and opposing reasons. Such ----- 49. "Priestesses in the Church?" God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 237-239. conflicting evidence would make the old procedure spurious from the start. This is the situation in which the ordination of women stands today. The two arguments that (1) there might have been ordained women pastors in the apostolic time and that (2) Paul's strictures against women pastors were valid for his time but not for ours contain elements which are basically contra- dictory. Both are contained in The Ordillation of Women. APPENDIX I1 The Lutheran Deaconess Association with headquarters at Valparaiso University has become the center of much discussion of the xvoman's place in the church. This is quite natural as the office of the deaconess and her duties must relate in some way to the office of the pastor. An article in The Lutheran Deaconess (Vol. 48, 4) pp. 3-6 uses many of the arguments that have been discussed in this essay. The title "Woman . . . God's Creation" already indicates the position. The title can be slightly misleading and suggests conclusions that do not do full justice to the Scriptures. Yes, woman is God's creation but in a different sense than the man is (1 Corinthians 11 :8f.) Man is made from God and woman is made from man by God. Regrettably, as the writer points out, women have been treated too fre uently as second-class citizens in the king- dom. For example male teachersxave permanent calls and woman teachers all too frequently get contracts. However, abuses against women-and they must be protested-should not be allowed as an excuse for allowing women to preach and celebrate communion publicly. 'The presentation rests heavily on ideas of Wartburg Seminary Professor, Dr. Julius Bodensiek, delivered at the 12utheran Social Ethics Seminar at Valparaiso University in December 1955. According to these ideas a woman's place in the church may not be determined by any principles that do not give them equal responsibility, that absolutize one historical order of societ , that are based on a number of isolated texts, that have been antiquatei by contemporary society. But the arguments against the ordaining of women pastors are just these. God has created male and female with different responsibilities. The order established by God is absolute, unless God's creation is capable of improvement by change instituted by men. The texts that speak to the issue are not isolated. Genesis 1-3 is hardly isolated. The procedures of any society, ancient or modern, do not determine God's principles. Working from the standard of contemporary society, the church might have to endorse and even recommend premarital sex. Of course this is being advocated by some clergymen. This is not a far fetched analogy as the relationship between the sexes is determined by God. Any view that cites present or anticipated customs or mores operates with a source of theology other than the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures. The article offers one argument quite similar to the LCUSA's The Ordina- tiot~ of Women by asserting that, "Furthermore, the first Easter sermon of Christ's glorious Resurrection was preached by women to men." A faulty con- clusion suggesting that women could then become pastors comes from using the term "preached" in a confusing way. Preaching in the church means the proclamation of the Gospel in a public way to an assembly. Sometimes the word "preach" can refer to any bringing of good news or bad. The women on Easter morning brought news about the Resurrection. They did not conduct or lead a service. Much confusion in the issue of women pastors comes through the imprecise and less than careful use of language. Too frequently using a word which can have several connotations can lead to confusion in the church. APPENDIX 111 Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 24, 2, (May 1972) 222-223, contains a review of The Ministry and the Ministry of Women by Peter Brunner (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971) written by Frederick J. Gaiser. Brunner's strictures against the ordination of women as pastors is based on Genesis 2 and 3. Pastor Gaiser offers two ob'ections to this ar ument based on the orders of ytion. The first is essentially the same as use3 in "The Orders of Creation . . . (Cf. note 42.) "Is it not possible to sa that, if the course of history is determined by the Word of God, the socalLd orders of creation might also function differently at different times?" Such an argument, as mentioned above, May Women Re Ordained As Pustors? 109 fails to distinguish bet~veen natural and special revelation or it ascribes to man the ability to discern religious information from history or nature above the fact that God exists. According to Romans and the Lutheran Confessions man is incapable of attaining true knowledge about God and His plans from nature. The whole matter of original sin is at stake here. Pastor Gaiser also failed to distinguished the creative word of God (Genesis 1 and 2; Peter 3: 5, 7) and the word which is able to bring salvation (1 Peter 1 :23). The second argument, new to this writer, is that Pastor Gaiser raises the question of whether Genesis 2 and 3 is so clear on this point as to be applied to the relationship between the sexes. "Even by using all the tools of biblical research it would be difficult to read out of Genesis 2 and 3 such an absolutely certain view of God's once-for-all desired relationship between man and woman that it could be called 'a central point with which the whole Christian message hangs together." (p. 31) Gaiser has criticized Peter Brunner for the very arguments that Paul has offered in 1 Corinthians 1l:i-10 and 1 Timothy 2: 13f. Paul in both cases argues from the creation and fall accounts. Regard- less of what position the reader takes in this debate, it has become obvious that Genesis 2-3 and its interpretations are important. If there is no agreement on the creation and fall accounts, there can be no agreement on a theology of the sexes. Further application to the ordination of women pastors become impos- sible.