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It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church

24 Nov

Reposting the first part of Tony Jones’ article on women in the church

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I don’t take this lightly. I very much take Jesus’ prayer for unity in the Fourth Gospel seriously. Our eschatological hope is that the church will be one, and that we will all be united in belief, practice, and love.

But sometimes we need to separate. We need to say hard words to those who are not living the way that Jesus laid out for us. We need to divorce.

The time has come for a schism regarding the issue of women in the church. Those of us who know that women should be accorded full participation in every aspect of church life need to visibly and forcefully separate ourselves from those who do not. Their subjugation of women is anti-Christian, and it should be tolerated no longer.

That means:

  • If you attend a church that does not let women preach or hold positions of ecclesial authority, you need to leave that church.
  • If you work for a ministry that does not affirm women in ecclesial leadership, you need to leave that ministry.
  • If you write for a publishing house that also prints books by “complementarians,” you need to take your books to another publishing house.
  • If you speak at conferences, you need to withdraw from all events that do not affirm women as speakers, teachers, and leaders.  Read more here.

Sadly, the secular world has discovered the gifts and talents of women decades ago, and there comes a time when enough is enough.  The time for talk is done.  The issue was settled long ago for most people. There is no good news in gender power structures.

It will be difficult for many people. It will cause broken relationships. But we have daughters, and the subjugation of women in the church needs to end in this generation.

 

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18 Comments

Posted by on November 24, 2013 in sociology, theology, women's ordination

 

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18 responses to “It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church

  1. Karin

    November 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Is this then an invitation to leave the LCA?

     
    • Katie and Martin

      November 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Tony Jones is talking from a USA church context.

       
  2. Sandra

    November 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    We have daughters.

     
  3. Graham Semmler

    November 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I don’t think that we need to talk about this at this time, we have waited this long, let’s wait for the next Synod and give our new Bishop the chance to make some changes. Remember he hasn’t been in the position very long.Jesus didn’t change everything overnight either.
    God Bless you all. Graham Semmler

     
    • Katie and Martin

      November 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      This is from the US but it’s useful hearing how frustrated people are with the state of affairs. At some stage congregations need may need to act.

       
    • janine

      November 25, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      i think that this is actually something we should talk about, all the time, we can no longer go on ignoring this.

      however, i do take your point that we should perhaps allow the new bishop one synod.

      but, for those oppressed, there is only so long that they can and should wait whilst those in power refuse to share. as we are often reminded, rights are rarely given, they usually need to be taken.

       
  4. gladdoug

    November 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Where oh here is your Christian Love in wanting to cause schism in our church, you will cause friction, put families against families. Etc.The Devil does move in strange and sneaky ways his duties to perform. My family consider your movements as wolves in sheep closing Why don’t you form another cult if you feel so strongly Doug

     
    • janine

      November 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      feeling the christian love from you doug. thanks.

       
  5. Margaret

    November 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I don’t believe that this article is helpful at all in promoting Women’s Ordination in the LCA. I agree with Graham Semmler’s comments. Maybe it’s been a long time in the melting pot, but the time to wait is now – for just a wee bit longer. Leaving the LCA would solve absolutely nothing, as Tony seems to be suggesting.

     
    • Karin

      November 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Leaving the LCA may not change anything in the LCA, that is correct, but it will change the lives of those who move away. There is a freedom when the chains that enslaved and oppressed are left behind and one can stand proud and tall, claiming ones place as a woman next to God.

       
      • janine

        November 25, 2013 at 11:25 pm

        in the end, the lca is just a church, not God.

         
        • Karin

          November 26, 2013 at 12:46 am

          That is exactly it! My walk is with God, the church is there to guide me in the process, but when the church cannot do this, then I have to move on. There is no choice really, Jesus’ call to follow him must always come first. In fact, scripture says that to follow Christ one must leave all things and follow him, and that we must be ready to part from all things and people to follow him. I suspect that to follow him, some must also leave the LCA behind.

           
  6. BarneyChristian P.J. Bahnerth PhD

    March 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Join a church that matches your belief, do NOT attempt to change a church so it matches your belief.

     
    • Katie and Martin

      April 3, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Dear Barney, that’s a shaky policy. The LCA will shortly ordain women – nothing is more certain. When that happens it would be churlish for us to suggest that you join another church.

       
      • Barney

        April 13, 2014 at 6:33 am

        It is not I who should leave the LCA, but those who cannot follow its Doctrine and its adherence to Article II, clause a of our constitution. C.f. 1 John 2:3,4

         
  7. janine

    April 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    for a lutheran that’s pretty darn funny.

     
  8. Christian P.J. Bahnerth PhD

    April 18, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Maundy Thursday 2014

    Re: It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church; or rather, Is it time for a schism in the Church (i.e. the LCA)?

    Some comments on Katie and Martin’s Blog on the Lutheran Church in Australia.

    Firstly the LCA is not THE Church, the Church is where Saints and Sinners Worship God, in all Three Persons, and love God and follow His commandments to the best of their ability. Church is NOT where attendants choose to do what is right in their own eyes and ride – or are allowed to ride – roughshod over the Commandments of Jesus Christ.

    Page 2
    The time has come …
    Dot point 1; NO, that means that those in the LCA who are for Women’s Ordination (WO from here on) need to reassess their adherence to Article II of our Constitution, if they cannot comply, then they need to select a denomination or sect where women may preach, contrary to 1 Cor. 14 33-38, and 1 Tim. 2 & 3. The Lutheran more than anyone else needs to obey God’s Word first and foremost.
    Dot point 2; YES, if that ministry includes public preaching in Church. NO, if that ministry comprises chaplaincy to the sick, the shut-ins, or those in prison or other institution.
    Dot point 3; Too ridiculous for words. This is directly against the teaching that Women were created to be a help suitable for Men (Genesis 2:20b-24), not lower, not higher, but equal with different vocations.
    Dot point 4; Depends, if the speaker (gender inclusive) is a proponent of actions that contravene the Word of God then the Speaker should be ignored, vide 1 Cor. 14:38.

    It was settled twice in National synods that women could NOT be ordained, c.f. 1 Tim 3.

    There is a critical difference in women’s vocations, in the secular sphere women can be carpenters, or butchers and men can be nurses or midwives. But in Church we are bound by the Word of God as to what vocation is open to us; a woman cannot be a husband, nor a man be a wife.

    Comments to the Blog.

    RE: Janine 2013-11-25 (24?) 6:17 pm?
    “Rights must be taken?” Is it a “right” that women may preach where capable men are available? Can you take what is NOT yours? It is out of context to say that women are oppressed in the case of Ordination, our Lord Jesus Christ never appointed a woman as an Apostle, nor is there any biblical and historical evidence that any of the 70 (72) who were sent were of the female gender, Christ Jesus showed us a very clear example. As for; “we should allow the new Bishop one Synod”, this is not only rude but also gives away that those in favour of WO only seek power over the LCA.

    RE: Margaret 2013-11-25 11:40 am
    There is no need to wait for WO, it is against the Word of God, it has been twice defeated in Synod AND it cannot be supported by those who maintain loyalty to the Doctrines of the Lutheran interpretation of the Christian faith.

    RE: Karin 2013-11-25 11:11 pm
    Leaving the LCA by those who cannot (or will not) subscribe to Article II of our constitution and the Articles of Union, will only purify the praxis and the outreach of the faith of our forebears. The remains of the true Lutherans may be small but they still stand for the Word of God as written and not as it is spoken of in aid of a different agenda.

    Re Janine 2013-11-26 See my note on church above.

    RE: Karin 2013-11-26 12:46 am
    I agree that we must follow Jesus’ call as a first priority, this is best done according to His will and His commandments (1 John 2:3,4). It is debatable that those who leave the LCA are true followers of Christ Jesus in the sense of Matthew 7:21-23. To follow Christ Jesus, we must study His teachings and consequent commandments. Remember the hymn; “Love and Obey, for there is no other way.”, surely you do!

    RE: Katie and Martin 2014-4-3 7:13 pm
    Dear K&M, if you cannot believe the teachings of the Lutheran interpretation of the Christian Faith, then what is your purpose to stay in the LCA whilst there are other denominations that more readily represent your agenda? There are many denominations that accept women as preachers, e.g. the Anglican Church and in the extreme the Salvation Army where the spouse of the preacher has the same rank in their fellowship. Some Synods have now appointed female Bishops, how do you compare that with the Apostolic instruction that both Overseers and Deacons are to be a HUSBAND of one wife, can a woman ever be a husband? Even among those who give themselves over to unnatural practices, in M2M and F2F domestic relationships both males call their partner “Husband” and both females call their partners “Wife”, i.e. same gender title in a same gender relationship.
    You suggest that it would be “churlish” for you to suggest that true Lutherans join another church, this very thing has happened in Northern Europe, where qualified male candidates for ordinations failed to be ordained for the very reason that they stuck to the Holy Bible c.f. 1 Tim. 2:12. Their “fault” was to stick to the written Word of God.
    I do not see how you can call: “Join a church that matches your belief, do NOT attempt to change a church so it matches your belief.” ‘a shaky policy’. There are sufficient denominations and sects that accommodate the belief that one can go against the Word of God either in doctrine or in practice. It is better policy for a denomination such as the Lutheran Church – in this case the LCA as a Synod – to stick to the Word of God and NOT to disobey our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Remember the reason for the Season, John 3:16
    One cannot live a Christian life by disobeying Christ Jesus!

    Barney

     

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