St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm, Kewanee, Illinois 61443
Volume 35 July, August 2023 No. 7-8
The Great Commission and the Ordination of Women
This is a blog post I published at Gottesdienst.org in May – Pastor
Evidently the Southern Baptists are still trying valiantly to hold the line against the ordination of women. The latest has been the expulsion of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, where Rick Warren took the brazen step of ordaining three women, in direct opposition to the Southern Baptist’s declaration, “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by scripture.” Warren’s response to the expulsion was to take to Tweet, “Friends worldwide: I’m so touched by your love! Kay and I love you back!” Whether that’s meant sarcastically for the leadership or as a thank you toward those who have reached out to them since their expulsion is unclear. What is clear is that Warren, who had previously opposed women’s ordination, changed his mind. And the reason, he said, is not that he had been “caving in to culture . . . becoming a liberal.” Rather, it’s because of the Great Commission. Here’s his view of Matthew 28:18:
"There are four verbs in the Great Commission: go, make disciples, baptise and teach. Men and women are to do all four things. Women are to go, women are to make disciples. Women are to baptise and women are to teach. You can’t say: 'Well, the first two are for men and women, but the second two are only for men.' The Great Commission was given to every person; not just men and not just ordained people."
So here’s a guy who claims he believes the Bible saying he’s convinced by the Bible that women should be ordained. The Southern Baptist Convention disagrees, and so far have held sway, but some pretty powerful voices are convincing a great number of people that the ordination of women is the right way to go.
And that kind of logic ought to make Missouri Synod Lutherans sit up and take notice.
Because the very same kind of language has been central to Missouri Synod thinking for some time now. The Great Commission has for years been a kind of shibboleth for the Missouri Synod. It’s a trump card in debates; it overrides reasoned arguments and is almost ubiquitous in congregational statements about who they are. Virtually everybody bows and scrapes to the Great Commission. And the Great Commission itself is almost universally misunderstood and misapplied in the Missouri Synod, in pretty much the same way as Rick Warren has done.
Warren’s fatal error is in his first assumption. The Great Commission was not given to every person. It was given to the Apostles. There was no multitude, no assembly of Christians. Not even the Blessed Virgin was present on the mountain where Jesus gave it. Only “the eleven disciples.” Strictly speaking, this is about His authority: “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore . . .” He makes these specific disciples His sent ones, His Apostles, fully enduing them with His own authority. Specifically, His authority to teach, as He says here. And in that He says “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” He clearly means that this teaching office and authority will continue through the ones they will ordain after them, and so also until the end of the world.
And so they themselves rightly determined, or rather assumed, that the ones they will ordain must be men like themselves, as the leadership of Israel were throughout history, going right back to the Creation, when God made Adam first, and then Eve out of his side. Since Christ also is male, being the Second Adam, any personal representative of Him could hardly be female, because that’s simply not the way things were made. Accordingly, St. Peter’s first requirement for a replacement for Judas was that it be a male: “Wherefore of these men (ανδρων) which have companied with us . . .” (Acts 1:21).
This interpretation is of course fully consistent with St. Paul’s strict proscription: “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (I Tim. 2:12). Warren’s interpretation says nothing at all about the Pauline proscription, and not surprisingly, because it’s in direct contradiction to what he says.
But it doesn’t matter, because Warren played the trump card.
All this is recounted here to demonstrate how very vulnerable we have become in our own churches to similar forays of faulty logic.
Let the Great Commission govern everything, and soon you’ll find yourself ordaining women. Just follow Warren’s logic. It’s only a matter of time.
+ Pastor Eckardt
Wednesday Evening Masses
There is no mass scheduled on Wednesday, July 12t or July 19th. Pastor and Carol will be on vacation.
Tentatively Wednesday masses are scheduled at 7 pm on all the other Wednesdays in July and August.
July, August Anniversaries
8/1/2009 Chris and Trista Dooley
8/1/1981 Larry and Michele Campbell
8/13/2022 Derek and Felicia Baker
Altar Guild Notes
Catechism Resumes in August
Junior Catechism will resume on Tuesday, August 22nd, at 5:00 in the afternoon.
The council will be meeting on July 26th, the fourth Wednesday in the month, as Pastor will be away on the 19th. In August, the scheduled meeting is for Wednesday, August 16th, the usual time.
July and August Birthdays
7/2 Dana McReynolds
7/4 Sarah Kraklow
7/5 Sandra Verplaetse
7/7 Stephen Harris
7/9 Michelle Armstrong
7/10 Otis Anderson
7/13 Gayle Beauprez
7/14 Father Eckardt
7/14 Elizabeth Dooley
8/11 Sam Fisher
8/11 Judy Thompson
8/13 Donald Murphy
8/16 Trista Dooley
8/21 John Sovanski
I will be away for vacation from July 10th to the 21st. Matins will be held on Sunday the 16th, a service without communion. The subdeacons will lead the service which consists of psalms, hymns, canticles, readings, and the reading of a sermon by pastor. There is no mass on Wednesday the 12t or the 19th. I return on Friday the 21st..
This matins service will again be offered on Sunday, July 30th, when Pastor will be at the LCMS Convention in Milwaukee.
+ Pastor Eckardt
In Our Prayers
Our list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists below. To update the lists please inform pastor.
in our parish:
Sharon Hartz, Bea Harris, Don and Sue Murphy, John Sovanski, Sandra VerPlaetse, John Ricknell, Linda Rowe, Jewneel Walker, Emmy Wear, Jim Watson, Bill Thompson
and beyond our parish:
Jude Clapper, Anna, Katie, and Jodi Rutowicz, Julie Ross, Elizabeth Godke, Oneida Hendrickson, Janice Hart, Tim Newman, Theresa Moore, Kathy Boeger, Allison Leezer, Shannon Watson, Karen Parker, Richard Heiden, Brock Tumbleson, Jeanna Moore, Don Bitting, Jane Mueller, Jessica Wetzel [Kris Harden’s Daughter], Megan Rowe [Linda’s daughter-in-law], Pastor Justin Kane
in the military:
John Eckardt, Richard Heiden, Eli Wetzel, Traven Wetzel, Eric Verplaetse, Jake Mahaffey, James and Ann Lee Armstrong, Marcus Prentice
unborn children in danger of abortion; Debra Reeves’s children Rae Beth and Drew Wayne, that they may be reunited; those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Pakistan, Libya, China, North Korea, and elsewhere.
Our picnic is scheduled for Sunday, July 9th, at Windmont Park. Same place as last year, and again a potluck. Mark your calendar.
Our Ushers: Jim Hornback, Tom Wells, Steve Kraklow.
Our June elders meeting was late in the month, and July is looking very difficult for finding an open Tuesday, so our next elders meeting will not be until Tuesday, August 1st at the usual time. Vespers at 6:45 (for anyone who wants to attend); meeting at 7:15.
(from Voice of the Martyrs Canada www.vomcanada.com)
8 June 2023
A 22-year-old Pakistani Christian was sentenced to death for blasphemy on May 30th. Noman Masih was found guilty of blaspheming against the Muslim prophet Muhammad because of the pictures he was accused of distributing in 2019.
The incident began when Noman’s cousin, Sunny Waqas, was taken into custody on June 29th, 2019. The police claimed to have received “secret information” proving that Sunny had printed blasphemous sketches of Muhammad and was carrying them in a bag to show others. While under interrogation, Sunny allegedly told the police he had received the images from Noman through WhatsApp.
Police claim that Noman was sitting in a public park at 3:30 a.m. on July 1st, showing images to people gathered around him, when he was arrested. However, his father denies those allegations, stating that Noman was asleep in bed when police entered the home to arrest him.
All allegations against Sunny and Noman have been denied by their family members. Sunny was released from prison on February 3rd of this year since the trial had not concluded within the mandatory two-year period. Noman’s family intends to appeal the conviction.
Between January 1st and May 10th, 2023, at least 57 cases of alleged blasphemy have been reported in Pakistan, with four of the accused individuals having since been lynched or otherwise killed because of those allegations.
1 June 2023
Six Libyans may face the death penalty for converting to Christianity and encouraging others to do the same. The believers were charged under Article 207 of Libya’s penal code, which punishes any attempt to spread views that aim to “alter fundamental constitutional principles, or the fundamental structures of the social order, or overthrow the state, and anyone who possesses books, leaflets, drawings, slogans or any other items that promote their cause.”
The Christians, who are from western Libya, had been detained by the authorities in March. One of the believers is a 22-year-old woman who released a video explaining her conversion which took place when she was 15 years of age. In a statement from Libya’s Internal Security Agency, it was reported that the arrests were made to “stop an organized gang action aiming to solicit and make people leave Islam.”
According to the interim constitution of Libya, while Islam is the state religion and the principal source of legislation, non-Muslims in the country are guaranteed the freedom to practice their religion.
8 June 2023
On May 24th, police raided the Shengjia Christian Education and Help Centre in Shunde City, which is located within the Chinese province of Guangdong. After forcibly entering the building, the authorities searched the premises and confiscated all the teaching materials. Pastor Deng was arrested, along with four of his coworkers.
The following day, the families of the detained Christians received official notifications stating that each believer had been given a 30-day detention for conducting “illegal business operations."
“When Pastor Deng’s wife, Shaoting, went to the detention centre on May 26th to bring clothing for her husband, she asked the police officers to pass along a Bible to him. They refused to do so. The officers also informed her that the pastor had blisters on his back due to an infection and the resulting inflammation. At the time, she was not told if Pastor Deng would be receiving any medical treatment.
Thankfully, Shaoting was able to deliver letters of encouragement to her husband. In one of them she wrote: “All [of this] happened to us with God’s goodwill and for the good of us. Honey, you retreat into God with peace and enjoy the rest while being detained. We can take good care of ourselves, strive to preach the Gospel, and wait for you to come back!”
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street
Kewanee, IL 61443
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