This blog has been created to discuss various theological issues and as a forum to answer theological questions. Many theological/biblical questions people have come from incorrect information--hence the blog name. It is my aim to answer these questions according to Holy Scripture.

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Location: Monett, Missouri, United States

29 June 2006

New Stained-Glass Windows at St. John's

We are happy to report that as of Sunday, June 18, 2006, we now have our stained-glass windows installed at St. John's Lutheran-Monett, MO. This has been a project that was planned for our congregation 10 years ago when the new sanctuary was built. We now have this task accomplished. We invite anyone in the area of Monett to stop by and see the beautiful addition it has made to the church. I will post one photo on the blog, but you may visit the St John's website any time you would like to see all of them. The theme is the Six Chief Parts of Martin Luther's Small Catechism. At this time, only Chief Parts 4, 5, and 6 are complete, with the addition of the Luther Seal. The others are in production as we speak. They should be ready in about six months. Look forward to them also!

Pastor, Why do we not have women pastors in the LC-MS?

There is a new pastor in my town who belongs to the Disciples of Christ (or also known as the Christian Church). This is nothing out of the ordinary, pastors come and go all the time. However, this new pastor is a female pastor. It is sad to see this trend happening all around us in various denominations today. Unfortunately, this is simply "Theologically-Incorrect." Let me explain.

There was a time not too long ago that this practice of ordaining women into the Office of the Holy Ministry was virtually unheard of. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's, which church body I'm affiliated with, prohibibtion against women clergy has very little to do with tradition, however. Neither is it because we are made up of a bunch of male-chauvinist pigs who have the opinion that women are not able to perform the duties of a pastor as well as a man. The reason that the LC-MS does not ordain women is Biblical. Simply put, and on several levels, the Scriptures forbids it.

First, we have the very explicit words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:34: "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but to be submissive, as the law also says." What kind of speech is St. Paul talking about? Authoratative speech. Pastor's speech. Likewise, St. Paul instructs St. Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:12: "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man..." Again St. Paul is talking about teaching authoritatively in the church, that is, in the worshipping assembly.

Second, we have the Biblical reason behind St. Paul's prohibibition. St. Paul mentions that it is forbidden by the law. Which law is he speaking about? The law which is implicit in the very Order of Creation established by God Himself in Genesis 2. Here the Lord gives man authority over every other creature that He has made. He makes Eve, not to rule over Adam, but to be his helper, a position of authority over the rest of creation, but not over man. The one helping to exercise dominion is, of course, under the authority of the one she is helping, that is the man.

This truth is stated explicity in Genesis 3:16, which is little more than a restatement of the natural order to which the woman must submit: "He, [that is, the man or husband] shall rule over you [that is, the woman or wife]." Therefore, the concept of a woman pastor, someone who is acting with God's own authority over and in service to men and women alike, is contrary to the roles God Himself established for men and women.

Third, we must consider the Christological character of the Office of the Holy Ministry itself. The Scriptures describe Christ as being the Bridegroom and the Church as being His Bride. Pastors stand "in the stead" or "in the place of" Christ as His represetatives to the Church. A female cannot, in a Christian congregation, play Bridegroom to the Bride. The Office of the Holy Ministry is masculine by its very nature. It is an Office of giving, of implanting the Seed of God's Word, while the Church's role is explicitly feminine, that of receiving the implanted Word and giving birth to and nourishing the faithful. A woman will never be able to "plant the seed"--she is only a receiver of the seed. A woman in the role of Bridegroom is, simply put, "Theologically-Incorrect" and a perversion of this relationship and a mis-representation of Christ.

10 June 2006

What About Cremation?

I have often been asked by members of the congregation, "Pastor, what is the Church's view on cremation?"

The Church once had the view that cremation was inappropriate. It felt this way because back in the early church, many of the pagans would burn the bodies of their dead in spite of the Christians belief in the physical resurrection of the body in the Last Day. So to counter the pagans burning of the bodies, the Church decided that it would not participate in cremation.

Out of this stand on cremation, many supersitions and false beliefs about it have surfaced and unfortunately still exist today.

However, today, there is nothing wrong with cremation. The pagans, though many still exist in our world today, are not into burning their dead to spite the resurrection. So, if you wish to choose cremation over a regular casket burial, it is perfectly normal. Many choose cremation for financial reasons, even though cremation can get quite costly itself.

If you still have questions about it, consider talking to your pastor about your options. The Lord be with you!

See the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's official position on cremation by pushing the link provided for you.