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Started by peter_speckhard, January 25, 2023, 10:29:56 PM

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Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Rob Morris on February 01, 2023, 04:15:13 PM

You are moving the goalposts, respectfully. You just said no women lectors because that's God's word. But Priscilla spoke God's word. So what you should be saying is no women lectors because that's public teaching.

But then you would get stuck on the challenge of women Sunday school teachers. That's God's word. That is publicly taught with the church's authority. How do you handle that? You could handle it by saying no women teaching in the divine service, but you have already said that that's not what you're saying. You could handle it by saying no women in the pastoral office, but you have already said that's not what you're saying.


I am certainly not RD, but the answer I've seen in LCMS congregations is that women were not allowed to teach Sunday school to youth who had been confirmed. Why was it OK in the lower grades, but not the upper ones, I don't know. Perhaps, the "boys" were not yet considered, "men."
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

aletheist

Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:38:22 PM
Quote from: aletheist on February 01, 2023, 03:29:54 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:02:04 PMThe "lesson" in the Divine Service is by definition teaching God's Word.
That is precisely what is being disputed--whether reading Scripture out loud during worship is publicly teaching, and thus restricted by AC XIV to those who have a regular call. The doctrinal position of the LCMS is that it is not, although I think that a case could be made for having the pastor read all the lessons as a matter of good order. After all, in what other context would anyone seriously maintain that merely reading a text out loud constitutes teaching? Should women also be forbidden from reading Bible passages out loud during a Sunday morning class, even if it is being led by the pastor?
Mr. Schmidt, I would like you to document your assertion that the doctrinal position of the LCMS is that reading the lessons in the Divine Service is not publicly teaching.
My assertion as quoted is that the doctrinal position of the LCMS is that reading the lessons in the Divine Service is not restricted by AC XIV to those who have a regular call, i.e., pastors.

Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:47:44 PMWe're not arguing over AC XIV, though it is tangentially pertinent to the argument.  It's whether a woman may publicly teach Christian doctrine to men.
The key phrase is "publicly teach," which appears in AC XIV but not in 1 Timothy 2:12. If St. Paul "means to say that a woman may not teach or exercise authority over a man," full stop, then that applies in private settings just as much as public settings. Since everyone seems to agree that there is an explicit example of a woman teaching a man in Acts 18:26, the dispute is over exactly when and where a woman teaching a man is permissible after all, as well as what constitutes teaching or exercising authority.

Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:47:44 PMThe lector in the Divine Service assumes a role very different from the volunteer reading a passage from the Bible in Bible class.
How so? Both are public, so why is one teaching while the other is not? I am genuinely seeking to understand your position here.

Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:47:44 PMIf you regard the lector as "merely reading a text out loud" I don't think you know what is going on in the Divine Service.
That is an uncharitable reading of what I posted, especially since I only used the word "merely" when I asked in what other context anyone would seriously maintain that reading a text out loud constitutes teaching--a question that I would still like you to answer, please. Otherwise, your position strikes me as special pleading--reading Scripture out loud in worship is publicly teaching, but reading any other text in any other situation is not, even if it is the very same text in a Bible class that takes place in the very same place only minutes earlier or later.
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

peter_speckhard

The difference I see between teaching and reading the Scriptures is that the Bible says what it says regardless of who reads it. There is zero leeway. The lector merely provides vocal cords to what is already written in the pew Bible or printed on a bulletin insert. If I am leading a Bible study on Sunday morning, can a woman participant read aloud from the Bible as part of that? What about speaking the Psalm together in worship? That's reading/teaching the Word of God out loud in public. If we're going to avoid a lot of convoluted distinctions and crazy what-ifs, it seems simplest to say either that we don't ask women to do anything at all that might even give the misimpression teaching men, or we say that teaching is what the teacher signs off on and is accountable for regardless of who is speaking at his direction. RDPreus prefers the former, and Dave Benke prefers the latter.

GalRevRedux

Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on February 01, 2023, 02:23:14 PM
Quote from: GalRevRedux on February 01, 2023, 01:20:24 PM
I still lurk occasionally around here. Nice to see that the forum remains a constant in our ever-shifting world.

8)

Donna

Welcome back. We're you leading a congregation through the pandemic? Wondering how things went in your area.

I am still in interim ministry. Have been in my current congregation as interim for 3+ years. For 11 months I managed two congregations, and, thankfully, the churches both were flexible to accommodate the schedule.

Because my congregation during pandemic is very small and not tech savvy, we went without worship for a few months. To those with internet I would send links for area churches that had livestreams, as well as lessons and prayers for the week and also links to YouTube videos of hymns appropriate to the day.

Did the best I could, considering.

Donna
A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.

RDPreus

Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 01, 2023, 04:16:16 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:38:22 PM
Quote from: aletheist on February 01, 2023, 03:29:54 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 03:02:04 PMThe "lesson" in the Divine Service is by definition teaching God's Word.
That is precisely what is being disputed--whether reading Scripture out loud during worship is publicly teaching, and thus restricted by AC XIV to those who have a regular call. The doctrinal position of the LCMS is that it is not, although I think that a case could be made for having the pastor read all the lessons as a matter of good order. After all, in what other context would anyone seriously maintain that merely reading a text out loud constitutes teaching? Should women also be forbidden from reading Bible passages out loud during a Sunday morning class, even if it is being led by the pastor?

Mr. Schmidt, I would like you to document your assertion that the doctrinal position of the LCMS is that reading the lessons in the Divine Service is not publicly teaching.


The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, Convention Proceedings: the 57th Regular Convention, Wichita, Kansas, July 7-14, 1989, p. 118.

Quote
To Address Appropriate Roles for Women and Men in Worship

RESOLUTION 3-14

Overtures 3-90-91 (CW, pp. 195-96)

Whereas, The Gospel images and expectations of women—particularly those associated with the incarnation, the resurrection, and the ministry of Jesus—present strong and persistent recognition of the active and vital roles of service that women can offer to our Lord and to others; and

Whereas, The Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) has stated that there are certain distinct functions which should not ordinarily be carried out by the laity (who may hold auxiliary offices) but which are to be exercised by the pastor, including the following: 1. Preaching in the services of the congregation 2. Leading the formal public services of worship 3. The public administration of the sacraments 4. The public administration of the Office of the Keys (Women in the Church, p. 42); and

Whereas, The CTCR has also stated in its report Women in the Church: "There is no ceremonial law in the New Testament regarding the reading of Scripture in the context of public worship. Nor is there explicit apostolic prohibition of such reading by women. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of the CTCR that the reading of the Scriptures is most properly the function of the pastoral office and should therefore not ordinarily be delegated to lay per son, woman or man," (Women in the Church, p. 45); and

Whereas, The use of lay assisting ministers, both female and male, is permitted within the rubrics of Lutheran Worship for the reading of the lessons, except the Gospel and the leading of the prayers of the people; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Synod urge and encourage the continued service of women and men to our Lord and His church in accordance with His will as set forth in Holy Scripture; and be it further

Resolved, That the CTCR report Women in the Church and especially Section III, "Guidelines for Practice," be commended for study and guidance; and be it finally

Resolved, That the congregations of the Synod proceed with care and sensitivity in making decisions permitting the lay reading of the Scriptures, recognizing decisions in this regard lie in the area of Christian judgment.

Action: Adopted (15).



Concerning the CTCR report "Women in the Church," it seems to me that while the CTCR did not give a definite yes or no in that report on women reading the lessons, it did write that

QuoteThe reading of the Scriptures belongs to the priesthood of all believers, men and women. . . . .Moreover, there is no ceremonial law in the New Testament regarding the reading of Scripture in the context of public worship. Nor is there explicit apostolic prohibition of such reading by women. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of the CTCR that the reading of the Scriptures is most properly the function of the pastoral office and should therefore not ordinarily be delegated to a lay person, woman or man.

Why would the reading of the Scriptures most properly be a function of the pastoral office when, "the reading of the Scriptures belongs to the priesthood of all believers"? One reason could be tradition. This seems to have been a large part of the CTCR's concern. Since the readings have traditionally been done by pastors, to have lay people read them could create confusion as to the pastoral role.

I wrote to the CTCR about this. In a personal letter in response to my inquiry as to the CTCR's rationale, Dr. Samuel H. Nafzger wrote, "I think you have captured the essence of the Commission's rationale for this opinion when you surmise that 'the reasoning was perhaps primarily that it has been traditional in our church to have the pastor do the reading and so to have lay people read could produce confusion.'"

That is hardly a firm doctrinal stance that the reading of the lessons should only be done by the pastor. I am not aware of there being a doctrinal position of the LCMS on whether or not reading the lessons is teaching. But apparently it is not the doctrinal position of the LCMS that it is teaching in the sense that therefore it should only be done by pastors.

I would also point out that in the Rubrics for LSB, the Old Testament and Epistle lesson may be read by the lay assistant.

Rolf, I disagree with you on this point, that the Scripture Lessons in the worship service should only be read by the pastor. In disagreeing with you, I do not assert that you are being misogynistic, fighting the feminism wars or any such thing. Far too often in our discussions on this forum, participants demean each other by attributing motivations to each other for which they have no basis and rather than discuss the points of contention, simply try to discredit each other. I do not want to perpetuate such behavior. I am confident that you are trying, to the best of your ability, to be faithful to God's word, and careful in your interpretation. As am I. I simply think that you are wrong on this point.

Neither, however, do I want to enter into a detailed discussion on this. This is far too complex a topic to be reasonably researched and exhibited in a format like this forum. If you, or anyone else, wants to know my reasoning on this topic, I refer you to the article, "Lay Readers in Public Worship," Concordia Journal, October, 1995, pp. 400-414. Subscribers to the Concordia Journal may access this article online through ATLAS. Access information is available on the page after the Table of Contents of any recent issue. Alternatively, anyone can send me a PM with their email address, and I will email a copy.

Thank you, Daniel, I would like to receive a copy of your Concordia Journal article.  I'd have asked privately, but being computer-challenged, I can't figure out how to do it.  My email address is: rolfpreus@msn.com

Thanks!

RDPreus


Dan Fienen

By the way, the easiest way to send a Personal Message to someone on this board is to select the "My Messages" tab at the top of the ALPB Forum Online page. A dropdown menu has a selection for sending a message. In the "To:" box you can enter the screen name of the person you want to message.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

aletheist

Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 04:53:59 PMHere's something I wrote on this topic: http://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/1996/10/05/historical-use-of-laymen-within-the-worship-service/
From the linked paper: "That the authority denied to women in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 includes pastoral authority is obvious. That it denies to women the reading of the authoritative word of God to God's people during the public service of the Word and Sacrament ought to be equally obvious." Obviously, it is not equally obvious. For one thing, as rightly stated here, the authority of the readings is vested in the Word of God itself, not the person who reads it out loud during worship. For another, the paper actually argues against allowing any layperson, male or female, to read the lessons during worship; so 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is really beside the point.

I ask again: In what other context would anyone seriously maintain that reading an authoritative text out loud constitutes teaching? Why does reading the lessons out loud during worship constitute publicly teaching, but reading the very same passages out loud during a Bible class does not?
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

Tom Eckstein

#308
Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 12:58:12 PM
Quote from: Tom Eckstein on February 01, 2023, 12:09:12 PM
Quote from: Steven W Bohler on February 01, 2023, 11:43:53 AM
I take Rev. Preus' point to be that seminary instructors hold an office of the Word and receive a formal call to that office, to publicly instruct on behalf of the Church.  They are "officially" speaking/teaching for the Church.  Not so when a mother teaches her child, or Priscilla teaches Apollos.

Steve, just so I understand what you believe, would you be OK with a deaconess teaching/talking about God's Word with men in her home?  Unless I misunderstand Rolf, he seems to think that this would be wrong whereas I would see this as the same as what Priscilla did with Apollos.

As for a woman sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom, I just don't see that as much different than what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Preaching from pulpit in the Divine Service is another issue.

Again, I encourage you to call a spade a spade.  You use the words "sharing her insights from Scripture with men in a classroom."  Is this how you describe the teaching of a theological professor at a seminary?  Sharing his insights?  Really?  Jesus taught God's Word.  Paul taught God's Word.  Luther taught God's Word.  Were they "sharing their insights from Scripture"?  Are you not deliberately avoiding the use of words that would accurately depict what a theological professor is doing in the classroom?  Are you not doing so to avoid running afoul of St. Paul's words that clearly teach that a woman may not "teach or have authority over a man"?  So, you rephrase it, spin it, and dress it up as something it is not.  Theological professors at seminaries are not there to share their insights from Scripture.  They are there to teach, publicly, officially, on behalf of the church, God's Word to men to prepare them to be pastors in the church.  Let's call a spade a spade.

Steven and Rolf, I appreciate this discussion because it helps us all think through things that are not as obvious as we'd like to think when considering 1st Tim. 2:12 (in spite of what Rolf thinks is "clear teaching").

Steven, in a previous post you wrote:  "Your question has way too many variables to give a simple 'yes' or 'no'.  For instance: Is she teaching in an official capacity, as a deaconess under call by the church?  Is she teaching a formal Bible class or is she just sharing with friends who have asked questions?  Are the men members of her congregation or are they prospective members that she is encouraging toward instruction with the pastor?  You see, it is not as simple as question you have posed." I agree!  There are many variables and unique situations that are not so obviously addressed by 1st Tim. 2:12 which, as all three of us can agree, prohibits a women from preaching as a pastor in the Divine Service.  Of course, Rolf would add that 1st Tim. 2:12 also forbids a lay woman from teaching lay men in any PUBLIC setting of the Church - but as Rob Morris has pointed out elsewhere, what qualifies as "PUBLIC teaching of the Church" is precisely what is being debated!

Rolf, in a previous post you wrote to me:  "Again, I encourage you to call a spade a spade."  Two responses.  First, I have!  Second, you need to do a better job at defining what you call a "spade" because what you think is obviously a "spade" is NOT obviously a "spade" to others.

For example, when I speak of a woman with a PhD in exegetical theology "sharing her insights from Scripture" in a classroom you accuse me of being vague.  OK.  Of course, she is "teaching God's Word" - but what does that mean in a classroom setting?  Honestly, the kind of lectures I remember getting in a seminary classroom setting were much different creatures than what I got in the sermon from the pastor in the pulpit on Sunday mornings.

For instance, in many of my exegetical classes we discussed the dates/authorship of various books of Scripture, ancient maps of the Holy Land and the varioius views of geographical locations of ancient cities, textual variants, the views of various exegetical theologians throughout history, the fine points of grammar/syntax of the Hebrew/Greek text, discussing difficult bible passages which have had various interpretations by various Christians throughout history, etc. - are you saying an educated woman cannot share her views about such things in a seminary classroom because that would be the same thing as a pastor preaching a sermon from a pulpit during the Divine Service?  If so, I think you are in error on that.

In addition, in many of my seminary classes in historical theology we discussed the ideas and view of various early church fathers; theological controversies of the early church - such as montanism, arianism and pelagianism;  dates of significat events in Church history; names of theologians and laypeople who were significant players in the Reformation; important people and events in Amercian Lutheranism, etc. - are you saying an educated woman cannot share her views about such things in a seminary classroom because that would be the same thing as a pastor preaching a sermon from a pulpit during the Divine Service?

Also, in my classes of systematic theology we discussed the differences between various theological traditions; the intricacies of the Two Natures of Christ and the Christological genera; compared and contrasted difference theological books written by different authors - such as "Freedom of the Will" by Erasmus versus "Bondage of the Will" by Luther, etc. -  are you saying an educated woman cannot share her views about such things in a seminary classroom because that would be the same thing as a pastor preaching a sermon from a pulpit during the Divine Service?

Now, when it comes to teaching a class on homiletics or pastoral theology - I think that such subjects should be taught by an ordained pastor, but in the other cases I mentioned above I don't see why a woman can't share her insights in a seminary classroom because what is going on there is far different than what a pastor is doing when he baptizes, absolves, preaches and consecrates the elements of the Lord's Supper during the Divine Service.

I have a deaconess in my congregation who will sometimes teach a bible class in my absence - and these bible classes have both men and women.  She does this with the following understanding:  1)  She is NOT the pastor of the congregation and any teaching she does is under my authority;  2) When she teaches a bible class she is doing this as lay person talking about God's Word with other lay people - which is something lay Christians have always done and is what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Just because lay people are discussing God's Word at church versus someone's home doesn't make the former PUBLIC and the latter PRIVATE.  The issue is whether she claims to be teaching God's Word as the ordained pastor of the congregation, which she is NOT!  In addition, I would also make a distinction between a bible study (which can happen with only lay people present) versus the Divine Service where God's people are gathered to receive Christ's gifts from the called and ordained pastor in their midst.


Here'a another example.  At a congregation I once served in the St. Louis area there were a few lay women who were vocal about how the LCMS should ordain women as pastors.  I used Scripture to correct them on this, but they would respond that I was reading Scripture as a "man" and couldn't be objective.   :o   Well ... there was a woman who was getting her PhD in exegetical theology at the St. Louis seminary.  She was writing her thesis on 1st. Corinthians 11 and the meaning of "headship" - and she agreed 100% with the LCMS that women should not serve as pastors and used 1st Cor. ch. 11 as one of the texts to prove that point.  So, I invited her to address our bible class one Sunday and give her insights from her study of I Cor. chap. 11 and what "headship" means and why only men should serve as pastors.  Do you think she sinned when she did this?


One last example.  The LifeLight Bible Study series from CPH has multiple authors who are men (I'm one of them) as well as WOMEN.  Do you think 1st Tim. 2:12 forbids a lay woman from writing a LifeLight bible study for other lay people to consider and digest?  If so, why?

Rolf, in a nutshell, I think you are using 1st Tim. 2:12 to impose your views of what women can't do on situations that, contrary to your view, are not so obviously addresed by 1st Tim. 2:12.  Again, I don't think that a professor giving a lecture about Scripture or other theological subjects in a seminary classroom is the same as what a called and ordained pastor is doing during the Divine Service.  I think the seminary classroom is more like what Priscilla did with Apollos.  Faithful Lutherans need to be able to discuss these things without one of them saying:  "Scripture's clear teaching on this should be obvious to you!"
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Charles Austin

Pastor Preus, do you elevate everything Paul said to this level of absolutism? What about the words of Peter? Or anyone else?
And do you reject the pre-Reformation women teachers the church named "doctors" of the Church - Catherine of Siena, Hildegard of Bingen and a couple of others? All on your own reading of one incident?
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

aletheist

Quote from: Tom Eckstein on February 01, 2023, 05:42:04 PMare you saying an educated woman cannot share her views about such things in a seminary classroom because that would be the same thing as a pastor preaching a sermon from a pulpit during the Divine Service?
As I understand Rev. Preus's position, what he would find problematic is not that a woman shares her views, but that she actually teaches the class; and he is not saying that it would be the same thing as preaching from the pulpit, but that it is equally forbidden by 1 Timothy 2:12.
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

RDPreus

Quote from: aletheist on February 01, 2023, 05:17:27 PM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 01, 2023, 04:53:59 PMHere's something I wrote on this topic: http://christforus.org/NewSite/index.php/1996/10/05/historical-use-of-laymen-within-the-worship-service/
From the linked paper: "That the authority denied to women in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 includes pastoral authority is obvious. That it denies to women the reading of the authoritative word of God to God's people during the public service of the Word and Sacrament ought to be equally obvious." Obviously, it is not equally obvious. For one thing, as rightly stated here, the authority of the readings is vested in the Word of God itself, not the person who reads it out loud during worship. For another, the paper actually argues against allowing any layperson, male or female, to read the lessons during worship; so 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is really beside the point.

I ask again: In what other context would anyone seriously maintain that reading an authoritative text out loud constitutes teaching? Why does reading the lessons out loud during worship constitute publicly teaching, but reading the very same passages out loud during a Bible class does not?

You write, "the authority of the readings is vested in the Word of God itself, not the person who reads it out loud during worship." I agree.  The authority is vested in the Word of God.  Not in the preacher.  In the Word of God.

Hess

#312
Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 01, 2023, 01:26:13 PM

That's bad. Agreed. And I hope we're agreed that it is bad not just because it is illegal and the equivalent of speeding or using a fake ID to get into a bar. It is bad because it is entirely incompatible with loving your neighbor as yourself. It is bad even though the sons of Israel did it. It is bad even though slavery was a normal part of life for the patriarchs. To call it bad is not to abandon a Biblical worldview in favor of a humanist one, as though maybe these cobalt mine owners are just using child slave labor because they're more Biblically faithful and reject the humanism of the West.

As for slave labor or the equivalent in other countries, that is a major issue that I have little control over, but to tiny the degree I do have some influence, I support measures to eliminate those conditions. I vote for people who pressure our state department to pressure places like China to address these human rights abuses.

As for how we treat people who did things we recognize as bad that they didn't recognize as bad, like Jacob fathering children via concubines, we don't have to say it was perfectly acceptable for them but not for us, as though somehow right and wrong changed. Nor do we have to condemn them as though their doing it is the moral equivalent of one of us doing it today. We look at the available options they had and the reasons they understood things as they did. Some things that are bad in themselves (like prisons) are nevertheless necessary because nobody can figure out how to operate society without them. But if they could-- if prisons were shown to be unnecessary for the protection of society or the reform of criminals, then imprisoning a criminal would be a terrible thing to do. Someone who did it in those circumstances would not be the moral equivalent of someone who did it in our circumstances, or at least it would be grossly uncharitable to judge them the same way.

That is my beef with the iconoclasts tearing down statues-- they're engaged in anachronistic, often irrelevant, and always uncharitable condemnations of people. A teacher today who whips her student is bonkers and should lose her license. But if your great-grandmother was teacher who sometimes whipped her students, well, she was probably a perfectly good teacher. It isn't necessarily that an alien worldview is replacing a Biblical worldview, though that might certainly be in play in many cases. It might just be better possibilities replacing worse ones, making the worse ones less and less excusable.

Stealing someone and selling them into slavery is bad because God forbids it by name.  It's also breaking the 5th and 7th commandments.  Concubinage and polygamy is forbidden by Christ when He calls divorce and remarriage adultery.  Why God permitted David and Solomon to have so many I don't know, although I think in the case of the patriarchs you had a different situation.  Abraham took a concubine because he listened to his wife, and not to God, according to the custom of the time; Jacob married an extra wife because he was deceived by his father-in-law, then took concubines for a similar reason to Abraham, because his wives wanted him to.

But slavery itself is something different.  There you have God Himself explicitly laying down laws for how slavery is going to work in Israel, mandating that non-Jewish slaves are to be treated differently from Jewish ones.  To say slavery itself is sinful, or that in theory it's not but in practice it is, is contradicting God.  Abusing slaves is bad, but when a slave is treated with love by his owner his situation can actually be better than it might have been outside of slavery.  Americans are quite capable of admitting this when it suits them.  You will hear and read that in the Islamic world slaves sometimes became rich and powerful while still owned by their masters.  Marxists talk about marriage being slavery, they talk about wage-slavery, and they are right.  A technically free man who has to work 12 hour days in a sweatshop, owes his soul to the company store, etc., is living in a form of bondage.  Luther himself rightly said that marriage is a form of slavery.  This was true up until probably the twentieth century.  Often you paid a bride price for your wife.  It was essentially totally impossible to get a divorce, and even if a woman could get one she couldn't really survive apart from a man.  There's a song on the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology, from 19th or early 20th century America, where some guy from Appalachia is singing:

"Hard is the fortune of all womankind; they're always controlled, they're always confined,
Controlled by their parents until they are wives, then slaves to their husbands the rest of their lives."

It's not quite that way anymore.  Parents don't control their children anymore like they used to, and husbands don't dominate their wives like they often did back then.  But the only way you make marriage not a form of enslavement is you make divorce easy, or you make sex available easy outside of marriage.  Part of the reason parents controlled their daughters so much back then was that they didn't want her to get pregnant before she got married.  Now, of course, we don't worry about the pregnancy bit so much, for a variety of reasons.  Women are liberated, fornication is easy, divorce is easy, and we have how many millions of dead infants who paid the price for us to have this "better" world where we know better than to deny people liberty?

You say you don't have control over whether or not people were enslaved to make your cell phone and laptop.  Sure you do.  You have the same choice that a plantation owner had when he was contemplating buying a slave that could be wrongly enslaved--don't buy it.  For the plantation owner that would have meant the end of his livelihood.  You probably wouldn't have to quit your calling if you couldn't use a smart phone and a laptop, but your life would be difficult.  But you buy the phone and the laptop because you realize it's a sinful world and there's no way to live in it without remotely cooperating in some evil.  It was just the same with a slave owner in the South.  A faithful pastor would not have told him, "You shouldn't own any slaves," contradicting Scripture.  He would have said, "You are permitted to own slaves, but you are to treat them like members of your household.  See that they learn God's Word.  Feed and clothe them.  Do not be harsh with them.  It may be that in your house they will be saved, whereas in Africa they would never hear the gospel."  That's the teaching Paul gave to slave owners.  We shouldn't pretend we are holier than Paul.

Hess

Quote from: peter_speckhard on February 01, 2023, 01:26:13 PM

That is my beef with the iconoclasts tearing down statues-- they're engaged in anachronistic, often irrelevant, and always uncharitable condemnations of people. A teacher today who whips her student is bonkers and should lose her license. But if your great-grandmother was teacher who sometimes whipped her students, well, she was probably a perfectly good teacher. It isn't necessarily that an alien worldview is replacing a Biblical worldview, though that might certainly be in play in many cases. It might just be better possibilities replacing worse ones, making the worse ones less and less excusable.

Also whipping students, by which I assume you mean corporal punishment, is not bad, but it would be bonkers today.  They were still using corporal punishment in Lutheran and public schools into the 70s and 80s.  My dad had a story about how he got caned in a British government high school by the headmaster.  I can't imagine why you'd think the chaos we have in schools today is preferable to the teacher being allowed to spank you.

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

Quote from: GalRevRedux on February 01, 2023, 04:29:18 PM
Quote from: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on February 01, 2023, 02:23:14 PM
Quote from: GalRevRedux on February 01, 2023, 01:20:24 PM
I still lurk occasionally around here. Nice to see that the forum remains a constant in our ever-shifting world.

8)

Donna

Welcome back. We're you leading a congregation through the pandemic? Wondering how things went in your area.

I am still in interim ministry. Have been in my current congregation as interim for 3+ years. For 11 months I managed two congregations, and, thankfully, the churches both were flexible to accommodate the schedule.

Because my congregation during pandemic is very small and not tech savvy, we went without worship for a few months. To those with internet I would send links for area churches that had livestreams, as well as lessons and prayers for the week and also links to YouTube videos of hymns appropriate to the day.

Did the best I could, considering.

Donna

Sounds like a handful. I had to learn how to shoot video, edit it, upload it, and I still find myself making videos.  Most of our folks come together but there are still some out there.

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