What Does This Mean? posting on Facebook

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Ahead of our participation in the August 2-4 “Our Children’s Church” Conference, Ordain Women Now will be posting topics from WhatDoesThisMean.net on our Facebook page.  The website was written by OWN Board member and Missouri Synod Pastor Arnie Voigt.  The 42 topics on the website regarding the ordination of women were derived from a larger work of Arnie’s which he submitted to the LCMS CTCR in 1999 in response to and in dialog with their 1985 document, “Women in the Church: Scriptural Principles and Ecclesial Practice.”  Today’s link leads to the “About” page, where the story of Doris is told along with the history of and reasoning for Arnie’s writings on the website.  In part he writes:

“In the Synod we commit ourselves to “walk together.”  We accept without reservation the “Scriptures of the Old and New Testament as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice” (Article II Confession).  “Walking together” begins with being “together in the Word” (“No resolution of Synod is binding if it is not in accordance with the Word of God…[Italics added]” (Article VII Relation of the Synod to Its Members).

The covenant of “walking together” does not preclude or prevent or curb examining the resolutions and positions of Synod on the basis of the written Word.  Indeed, faithfully “walking together” drives us deeper into the Word and expands our collective discussions based on the Word.  We begin neither with church fathers and Lutheran patriarchs, nor do we limit the basis of our discussions to them.  Synod’s history supports this.

The careful reader will note some inconsistencies, a lack of overarching cohesion in argumentation.  The operative word is “resources.”  Study, choose, make your own decision letting the Spirit guide.  The Commission on Theology and Church Relation’s document is, after all, only one human construct among many.  The arguments and points of view herein will not necessarily convince, but in the least this paper ought to suggest that the Commission on Theology and Church Relations has not completed its exegetical homework.  The question of our understanding of how God also equips and employs and empowers women for ministry within the community of faith is still open for discussion on the basis of the written Word of God.

And we must remember that this discussion is not about “women’s issues” or “women’s problems.”  This description points a finger of blame.  Rather, the discussion is about our inadequate and incomplete understanding of God’s will for all his people, an understanding that will only be opened up on the basis of the continuing study of the written Word and Will of God.  The Holy Spirit continues to guide the Church today through the written Scriptures.”

For the full introduction on the About page, please visit www.WhatDoesThisMean.net/about, view the Table of Contents and Abbreviations tabs, and join us in the reading and discussion of the 42 topics in the coming days.

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