First and foremost, women’s ordination has nothing to do with equal rights. Women’s ordination is a question of scripture’s veracity, reliability, and authority dressed up as an equal rights issue. In 1958 Krister Stendahl, then Bishop of Stockholm, argued that there was a direct connection between women’s ordination and their political and social emancipation. “The question about the ordination of women cannot be separated from the total problem of emancipation of women in our society. In the
One’s view of scripture is one or the other: Either the biblical text is God’s revealed, inspired by him, and therefore inerrant, infallible, sufficient and authoritative word—or it isn’t. In this world there are two religions. That’s all. There is the religion God gives of and from himself through his Son by his grace and mercy. And then there is the religion the world gives from itself as it tries to find, define, and describe its god, and then consecrate itself to that one. Satan offered Eve the latter when he told her there was one more thing she needed to do in order to be like God—when in fact she had already been created in his likeness and image. The religion of God’s unaltered word leads to the truth, and where there is truth, there is Christ. With him is the Father, and where the two are together there the Holy Spirit resides with and proceeds from them. There is no path to God save through Christ and his truth. (Jn 14:6).
Stendahl is correct on one point: one’s view of scripture is at the heart of women’s ordination. The quest for equal rights, mistakenly believed to have not already been given through God the Father in his Son already, drive the agenda for women's ordination. The crumbs to the witch’s house have already been tossed upon the trail with little tidbits like these, written by Mary Todd on page 2 of Authority Vested:
Adherence to verbal scriptural inerrancy guarantees that the pastoral office will remain filled by men alone because the authoritative texts the church uses to support its position insist that women keep silent in the church and exercise no authority over men. Taking the words of scripture literally where the service of women is concerned provides the surest case for the synod’s dogged but also relatively recent adherence to a doctrine of verbal scriptural inerrancy and infallibility... (Authority Vested: A Story of Identity and Change in the
According to Todd, vested authority in the LC-MS means the synod continues to keep women locked in virtual prisons of inequality simply because it won’t give up on the doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility.
The true issue, as has been proven by the facts in
Paul bases his instructions regarding whether women are to be ordained on two things: God created Adam first, and he was not deceived (1Ti -14) into the first sin. (See Ste. Em Revisits St. Gregory). However, if the church doesn’t necessarily need to believe that God was actually speaking to us in the Bible, or if those words can be determined to be “good for then, changeable for us now,” then we don’t need to be concerned those details of the Christian faith. In fact, it doesn’t even really matter if we are “Christian,” at all.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton recognized that if she was to advance her cause for the emancipation of women, she would need to nullify the effect of the Bible and religion in women’s lives. That was her purpose in writing The Woman’s Bible. She held to the rejection of religion and the miraculous, the acceptance of Darwinism, a strong belief in individualism, and a conviction that human reason will triumph. To this
Honored place in literature! How deluded the critics of the biblical text are! When God says we shall have no other gods before him, he literally says, "Before his face." Where is his face? Where is it not? He says he is everywhaere, even in sheol. The First Commandment is not one of serial gods, and no god shall come in line ahead of him; rather, no god shall ever be placed by us where God is. Since God is everywhere we are, no other god shall be there also.
How true is that of his word, also. How can his word have an honored place in literature if it is God's word, and therefore separate from literature, which is man's work? To put the Bible in literature, as if it were an equal among others, is to dishonor it. Yet this is precisely what Stanton and feminism has achieved by making the Bible merely a text which can not only be retrofitted at whim to suit the felt needs of each individual. Stanton used the scriptures as a political tool in order to rip religion from women. Instead, she drove women to the Bible in order to revise the text to justify and rationalize their political agendas. Stanton instigated the use of the Bible as a political tool under the guise as religion for and by women.
What does this mean?
It means that when Christ said, “It is finished,” it wasn’t. There was more yet for us to do in order to assure the reclamation of some. His redemption of them and Baptism’s delivery of that doesn’t guarantee their oneness in Christ, only the state can assure equality.
It means that that when Christ says no one comes to the Father but by him, he doesn’t mean that literally. He will kindly welcome all religions, even those who don’t believe in him. One of the persistent themes in feminist theology, (which was legitimated by women’s ordination and could not have been so unless women had been ordained!), is ecumenism. Ecumenism allows not merely variances in ceremony, but in confession of Christ. Ann E. Carr admits that “Feminist theology values this diversity of approaches” and was “ecumenical from its origins, as the discussion has included Christians of many denominations, Jewish feminists, and feminists of other traditions or of no tradition at all” (“The New Vision of Feminist Theology,” in Freeing Theology: The Essentials of Theology in FeministPerspective, ed. Catherine Mowry LaCugna (San Francisco: Harper, 1993), 11).
It means that that if you don’t want the savior you’ve been given, then re-imagine and revise until you finally name the one you want.
It means that saying that Christ is the only way to heaven may one day wind you in the lap of the Law for practicing racism. Feminists have already made such threats known. Just as androcentrism is an anathema, so, too, is proclaiming Christianity as the one true religion.
Now, then… how innocuous is Open Communion? How distantly related are doctrine and practice?
Where do we ever hear Jesus say he spoke differently than his own Father’s words, or that he objected to his Father’s authority over him? Instead, where the Father has already spoken and made his will known, Christ takes up those same words and makes them his own. He used Moses and the Prophets to explain more fully the events of his own death and resurrection (Lk 24:27). The Gospel of John records Jesus making clear that he is the Apostle (sent one) of the Father, speaking only on the Father’s behalf (Jn 5:30, 36, 37; 6:39, 44; 8:18, 29, 42; 12:49; 14:10; 17:21). Jesus is definitely culturally and exegetically bound to his presuppositions because he speaks of one mind with the Father’s (Jn ). His Father’s will is his own, even though he did not wish to suffer death (Lk ). Not even the sinless Son of God corrected his Father’s prophets. His apostles follows Christ’s example, being of one mind with him (Ph 2:2-3). Paul is careful to clarify his credentials as the apostle of the Apostle – the sent one of the Sent One of the Father. Paul does not speak on his own behalf, but in the stead of Christ (Ro 1:1; 1Cor 1:1; 2Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:1; Col 1:1; 1Ti 1:1). Perhaps we ought to do as [the sainted] Marquart wisely advised,” [S]imply see how the Lord and His apostles treated and regarded the sacred text, and then ... obediently do likewise” (Anatomy of an Explosion. Vol. 3 Concordia Seminary Monograph Series, ed. David P. Scaer and Douglas Judisch.
Contrary to the assumptions of some—who continue to maintain that our doctrine is sound even though our practice needs some fixin’—if our practice is unsound, then our doctrine will follow suit. Women’s ordination is a result of a particular presupposition of scripture—that it is not inerrant or infallible, so it may be revised because it is not authoritative for the church today. That is, it is not God who is speaking to us through his Son, but another voice now tells the church how it should live and what it should be. If the text is no longer authoritative today, then who, or what, is in authority? In