AskdaPastor2.0 takes on Headstrong Baptist Girlfriends and Wolves in Sheep’s clothing. Woot.
Now, how and when you baptize and teach, or teach then baptize is not a
hard and fast rule. I would say, but others may differ, that if a child
is capable of answering for himself or herself then first teach the
child in an age appropriate way and then baptize the child. As always
whichever occurs first, teaching continues after baptism.
As to your membership I would urge you to talk with your pastor about
your questions. He will be your best guide in this. I will say that
you are not of the same mind as your fellow sisters and brothers in the
Missouri Synod and this is a cause for concern. How that plays out in
your congregation I will leave to your pastor’s discretion, trusting
that he will be the face of Christ’s mercy and compassion toward you.
Let me set it up like this. In AC XIV it is said that “no one should administer the Word and Sacraments unless he is rightly called.” Amen, I totally agree.
My question, or I guess I should say questions, go like this:
1) Is it only right for pastors to distribute both the host and blood or can an elder or non-ordained male church worker assist by distributing the blood? I know that it is common practice amongst many LCMS churches for elders to assist in the distribution of the blood but I just thought I would ask.
2) The Augsburg Confession and Apology only refer to a call in the context of the pastoral office. (If I am wrong on this please correct me). I guess what I am getting at is…how did we come to have “auxiliary” called church worker offices? (such as DCE, DCO, Lay Minister, Deaconesses, etc.)
I know 1 Timothy 3:8-13 talks about Deacons but would that be a called position today? I have heard it said that the “Diakonate” (sorry about the spelling) ministry is one of service, help, and assistance to the pastor and congregation but would this necessarily mean a called man or woman serving alongside a pastor in a formal way? (Youth Director, Director of Family Ministries, Director of Young Adult Ministries, etc.) Could this be seen as “dividing” the Office of the Public Ministry?
Please know I’m not trying to stir up trouble by asking this. I am just trying to figure out the Biblical and confessional basis for “called” non-ordained church workers.
Thanks! God’s peace be with you!
When it comes to axillary offices, in the LCMS, we typically mean those churchly vocations which support the pastor in his Office. These offices are distinct from the Office of the Ministry (or Pastoral Office), and flow from the Office of the Ministry. They are distinct because the Church (and not God) in her wisdom has instituted these offices. The primary focus, as you point out, of these offices is one of diakonia, of service / mercy. The distinction is that pastors are the ones called to Preach the Gospel publicly and to publicly Administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. The trouble is when we get our DC_’s/deacons/deaconesses/Music Directors confused with pastors as if they are in the same office. The Church absolutely needs pastors, which is why Jesus instituted this office, the rest, are icing on the cake.
However, the intention may or may not be meant to attack a Christian world-view. Some traditional Christians use this kind of scholarship to support their claims and theological bents. Roman Catholic theologians will often use this kind of biblical criticism to support the need for a papacy. Orthodox theologians will use it to bolster the idea that we need to lean on tradition. The logic goes like this: Look at what modern scholarship has uncovered; the Bible is just an unreliable source for information. Our best bet is to trust in a magisterium, tradition or other such authorities. The reason I mention this is that before addressing a claim made by a professor, it is good to know the bias of your teacher. You may dismiss someone who is otherwise a friend in the defense of traditional Christian views in the university.
However, you have now been introduced to religious education in a public university setting. The temptation for the protestant in general and the Lutheran in particular is to despair of our rule and norm for the faith. Don’t despair. Scripture has been under scrutiny by critics for so long that almost every rock has been turned over by someone. Yet, there are still well-educated Christians who hold to historic, biblical Christianity. There are even entire institutions who operate with the assumption that Scripture can be a norm for theology, and herein lies the key to surviving in this kind of environment: look for the assumptions.
There is an inherent fallacy in the thinking of the scholars being quoted by the professor. There isn’t any actual, primary source, proof of these kinds of claims. They are all theories. Theories, no matter how well argued and supported, are in the end, theories. There are scholars who make a living building entire pseudo-historical scenarios (creating theories) that are based on assumptions. They publish a paper on the theory, and then get quoted by a professor or a textbook. That doesn’t make the theory true. For every theory of biblical criticism, there is a counter theory, and if you find one without a counter theory, then hang on to it just in case you want to pursue a graduate education in theology. You have just found your thesis.
An honest professor in a university setting would present all of these theories as theories. Maybe your’s is. Nevertheless, my advice for you is this: Don’t attack the professor. What’s your major? If this is not your major, try to get a good grade, and chalk it up to experience.
If you want some help, get the Zondervan book, “An Introduction to the New Testament.” This book will provide a good overview of each book of the Bible, including most of the popular critical theories, but often balanced by traditional views. It is good to know the options. When you write a paper for your class, if you take a traditional view, cite your views using this book and the work of the scholars mentioned in the bibliography of this book. You should not get a bad grade for a viewpoint that is supported by scholarship. Also, grab the Matthew commentary from CPH. You can use it as a source for any paper that you may have to write. If you cannot afford it, don’t forget that your university library can get it through inter-library loan.
If you are majoring in Religion, you’re going to have to work harder than others in order to support a traditional view. The university setting is geared toward dismissing a traditional Christian viewpoint as an unfair bias. Of course, this is in itself an unfair bias, but if you’re going to survive, you’re job will be to unveil this unfair bias in an intelligent way. Attack the assumptions.
Do we have any real proof of these warring churches? It’s not like we have articles of incorporation, sample statements of faith, and other such evidence. Do we have proof of a disagreement between Paul and the representatives of the so-called disciples of Matthew, or is this assumption based on the actual disagreements between Peter and Paul or Paul and the Judaizers? Is someone trying to link this alleged group with the Judaizers? If so, then why would they present a Jesus who suggests that the Jewish law is no longer normative in the way it was in the past? Why would they focus so clearly on the Gentiles? Have we superimposed our modern denominational scene onto Paul and this supposed group of Christians? These are just a few suggestions, but I think you can get the idea.
“Hello, I am at my last quarter at DU and I keep coming across this
statement: Paul was a misogynist. Please elobrate why this is false
and why they say this?”
A “misogynist” is, quite literally, a “hater of women.” In our age of
hyper-egalitarianism, such name-calling is an easy-to-hand tool for
avoiding having to deal with Paul’s writings on their own footing. It
is a scare tactic used to undermine any authority the name-called
might have in an argument. So, for example, you tell me that the
Keynesian theory of economics is better than the Swiss school’s, and I
yell, “Racist! You just hate the Swiss!” Then no one listens to you
and we all assume the Swiss are right, since they’ve been sore
Of course, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but hopefully the point is clear.
Plainly, according to his writings, Paul was not a misogynist. In
fact, when compared with other philosophers of his day, his view of
womanhood was extremely elevated. While Roman women had many similar
privileges of action to women of our own day, they were never
considered on par with men in human value. Westernized society has
Christianity (and Paul!) to thank for this shift in human rights. In
fact, it can be truly said that calling Paul a misogynist if cutting
off the legs of the stool said “egalitarian” professor is standing on.
Once one goes does the road of secular agnosticism, it will not be
long before true egalitarianism is lost to the “will to power” of
Nitzche and others in his train.
The reason why Paul might receive such 3rd-grade playground antics of
debate is because, while he does view men and women as equal partners
in God’s design of value, he understands that they are not equal in
economy. They have differing roles, which require varying vocations
at various points of life. These realities we’ve looked at briefly
already. Truly, to the hyper-modernist who believes that every person
who wants to opine loudly at any moment he/she/it decides he/she/it
has the right to opine, any notion that “silence” may be “golden” for
some or such in a given moment is seen as oppression. But the
Biblical teachings on both “submission” and “weakness” are not matters
of tyranny, but willing sacrifice unto harmony. They are urged not
only on women, or children, but on all, within their vocations, for
the sake of good order. The alterior option is a cacophony of
boastful trumpets each trying to be loudest, because, after all is
said and done, the one who is loudest (and has the most mean names in
his/her/its toolbox) will win the debate and own the will to power.
“Women are the authors of many devotional books used by families,
hopefully with the father leading the family in devotion. Isn’t having
a woman as an author of a devotional in a sense preaching/teaching
over men? – T”
The question of how women may serve the churches in study and research
is one which, to my mind, treads into the realm of “gray.” It is
precisely here that we are tempted to make laws where there are none,
in order to preserve the design which we have learned to love. But
the way of the law only begets more law, and never creates faith.
Perhaps the most helpful bit of meat to put into this stew is to
remember that while the Scriptures clearly forbid women from
exercising the preaching/teaching Office (Predikampt,) they never
forbid women from being theologians, nor from partaking of the
consolation of the brethren in private. One great example is how both
Priscilla and Aquilla, together and in private, instruct the preacher
Apollos away from some of his heterodox-leaning ideas. (Acts 18:24-28)
What is private and what is public? That’s the rub. It can’t be
answered once for all, but will largely come down to the context of
how it’s used. Certainly, the Divine Service is public. Certainly, a
mother with her 18 year old son is private. Between these two there
is a host of contexts which we would be foolish to spend too much time
trying to define.
For this reason, to my mind, far more important in publishing is the
question of orthodoxy than the question of gender. At the same time,
there can come a time and place where the use of publishing is clearly
confusing the roles our Lord has given us, and may be less than
helpful. This, I believe, gets us back to the heart of Paul’s words
in 1 Cor. 11:3: “But I want you to understand that the head of every
man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husba