Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is Our Polity the Problem?

You may have heard about the woman deacon in the Mid-South district. An official publication of the Mid-South district featured a picture of "persons" involved in the new deacon program in the district. Pictured there among the new deacons and a supervising pastor was a woman, Jean Fleischer, dressed in alb with a deacon's stole. Yes, there are a number of pastors within our synod who are determined to undermine the synod's position of womens' ordination. This they do 0nly with violation to the texts of Scripture which forbid it, and the historic Christian practice. Have mercy, O Lord, on our synod.
This is a problem, but what is the root cause of the problem? Recently, in a blog, a fellow pastor commenting on this issue located the source of the problem in our synodical polity. The problem was, at least in part, as he saw it, our rejection of the classic polity of the Church. Specifically, it is the rejection of the heirarchal system of Bishop, pastor, and deacon that has led to the errors that the Church is now experiencing, especially that of women's ordination.
First, let me say that the heir archal system has not saved Rome or Greece from many of the errors which those churches believe. But secondly, and more to the point, the heirarchal system has not saved the Church of Sweden from embracing women's ordination, neither has it preserved the Church of England. The picture above is the new head of the American Episcopal Church. Even though they have a traditional Church polity, a woman now sits at the head of the Episcopal Church in America. So the problem is not the polity but the clear rejection of Scripture.
Finally, let me say that, while there are some within our synod who are hedonistically pushing the boundaries, and some in leadership who are clearly letting it happen, we do not have women's ordination in our synod. It, at the moment at least, doesn't have a chance of passing. We've managed to keep it out without a heirarchal system.


Favorite Apron said...

That picture is just wrong!
I get the same bad feeling in my gut when I see a 9-mos pregnant woman in national guard fatigues and boots in the grocery store.
Does that bother men?

Pastor Brett Cornelius said...

Speaking for this man, yes. What kind of country do we live in when our women do the fighting for us?

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. And I reread this post several times. You're complaining about a deaconess installation? Are you LCMS? To my knowledge...there is no problem in the LCMS with the deaconess system, and thusly shouldn't be a problem with a woman wearing a deacon's stole - no?

In Christ,

Pastor Brett Cornelius said...

I'm not complaining about a deaconess installation. I'm complaining about pastoral installation under the pretext of a deaconess installation. Whatever functions a deaconess serves in the congregation, it is certainly not for word and sacrament ministry. A deaconess dressed in alb and stole implies more than your typical deaconess work.
My complaint is that there are some in the LCMS that are anxious to have women in pastoral ministry, they will use underhanded tactics like this. If they can sneak them in through the back door, they would be happy to do it. This is a back door. Yes, there is a BIG problem with a woman wearing a deacon's stole. It implies she has a function in the services of the Church. That is explicitly forbidden by Scripture.

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