—by Dr. John W. Kleinig
Those who know me know that I am firmly opposed to the ordination of
women. Yet many of them can’t understand why I am so adamant on this,
since it seems such an unimportant issue and so contrary to common
sense. How could I be so unreasonable? They are even more puzzled when
they discover that I did not always have a strong conviction on this
matter. I have therefore been asked why I have changed my mind on
whether women may be pastors, and why this matters so much to me.
The answer is quite simple. Despite my conviction of the equality of
women and men before God, close attention to God’s word has made me
change my mind. And that with some difficulty as it has meant taking a
culturally unfashionable stance! Yet I have done so joyfully because I
am confident in God’s word and certain that many blessings flow from
obedience to it. Since Christ has spoken on this matter I must listen
and obey for the good of the church and its mission to our broken world.
In that light I would like to spell out for you, as clearly and briefly
as I can, why I am conscience bound to uphold the traditional teaching
of the whole church on the ordination of women.
To read the whole article, click here. . .
My comments. . .
There are those who might suggest that being against the ordination of women is being against women. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike those who claim St. Paul was a misogynist, the actual truth is that St. Paul did more to liberate women from the unrighteous tyranny of male domination than any of the modern feminists. Yet, St. Paul himself addresses the reality of some things that are simply beyond the pale of our authority to change. These represent God's order, the means that He has chosen and therefore not changeable by will or desire of any who be faithful to His Word. Dr. Kleinig has shown us that objections to the ordination of women are based upon theology, upon Scripture, and upon the unchanging order with which God has chosen to work. Far from being some against women, such faithfulness honors women and men with the godly vocation and callings that ennobles us and never diminishes us. In the face of a false idea of equality which demands that gender and vocation be ignored, distinctions which God has placed upon our service to Him neither diminish nor elevate us above one another or above Christ (as some are wont to do).
Here are some more strong and adament convictions about the practice of ordaining women as pastors -
In his Women Pastors? (Third Edition, CPH, 2012), President Harrison writes in the Preface to the first and second editions: "Ordaining women to serve in the pastoral office is a denial of biblical authority."
In the Preface to the third edition, President Harrison writes: "John Pless has also given us another essay demonstrating the truth that women's ordination and the acceptance of homosexuality are intimately connected. As a woman ordained to the ministry in the ELCA told me twenty years ago, while she was already then strongly advocating for a hermeneutic favorable to homosexuality, 'You can't have one without the other.'"
In Part 3 of his address at the ACNA-LCMS Open Forum held at Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne on Thursday, October 27, 2011, President Harrison presented his firm opposition to the ordination of women and (at 1:33 in the video) his specifically description of the "heresy of women's 'ordination'."
Here are two quotes from Dr. Albert Collver III from his "According to Nature, Adiaphora, and Ordination," (Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal, Robert C. Baker and Roland Cap Ehlke, Eds., St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011):
"Being female in not sinful. Both women and men were created in the image of God, and both women and men were redeemed by Christ. However, a female who enters into the Office of the Holy Ministry is in a state of sin, for she has acted against nature by violating the order of creation and the institution and mandate of Jesus, who puts men into He has chosen into the office." (p. 264).
"Human beings are able to violate the natural order of things by creating human/mouse chimerate, engaging in homosexual acts, ordaining women, and so on. Such usurping of the natural order illustrates that unnatural acts can be described as 'humanity displaces God and elevates itself as the sole source of all values.' Ultimately, it is the violation of the First Commandment, the murder of God, and the replacement of God with man." (p. 265)
Here's an excerpt from p. 3 of Hermann Sasse's paper, "Ordination of Women," originally published in The Lutheran (Rev E W Wiebusch, ed.) on May 3rd the year after both the ALC and LCA, committed "the heresy of women's ordination":
“During the First Session of the Second Vatican Council a lady turned up in Rome and asked for an audience with the pope to discuss with him the question of the ordination of women to the Catholic priesthood. She was Dr. Gertrud Heinzelmann, a lawyer at Lucerne, the famous centre of the Roman Church in Switzerland. Pope John, who was otherwise kindness and patience personified, lost his patience. ‘Tell that suffragette that I shall never receive her. She should go back to her homeland.’ Why did the good pope, who was otherwise prepared for a dialog even with the worst enemies of the Church, give such a harsh answer? Could he not have replied something like this: ‘Tell my daughter that the ordination of women is against the Word of God’? This was his argument when the Archbishop of Canterbury declared such ordination to be against the tradition of the Church. Could he not have referred her for further information to one of his theologians? John was not an intellectual like his predecessor. He was not a great theologian either. But he was, as his ‘Journals’ show, a great pastor.
"Every pastor knows, or should know, that there are cases, when a discussion is impossible and the only answer to a question can be that ‘Begone, Satan!’ which Jesus spoke not only to the devil (Matthew 4.10), but also to his faithful confessor, Simon Peter (Matthew 16.23). Not every question can be settled by means of a friendly discussion. It is necessary to remember this in an age which has a superstitious belief in dialog as the infallible means of setting everything. There are questions raised by the devil to destroy the Church of Christ. To achieve this he may use as his mouth piece not only ambitious professors of theology; his favorite tools, but also simple, pious souls. Why women cannot be ordained is one of those questions."
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