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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Christian Marriage, the Real “Antidote to Chaos”

“According to the Word of God, your spouse is clad in the most beautiful jewels put on by God… This is why you hear God himself say to you: ‘You shall be your wife’s husband. And you, wife, should stand by this husband of yours.’ This is how God has ordained it” (35). — Martin Luther

Did the 16th century church reformer Martin Luther believe that there was a “War of the Sexes”?

One can certainly make that case. He writes:

There are many pagan books which treat of nothing but the depravity of womankind and the unhappiness of the estate of marriage, such that some have thought that even if Wisdom itself were a woman one should not marry. A Roman official was once supposed to encourage young men to take wives (because the country was in need of a large population on account of its incessant wars). Among other things he said to them, “My dear young men, if we could only live without women we would be spared a great deal of annoyance; but since we cannot do without them, take to yourselves wives,” etc. … So they concluded that woman is a necessary evil, and that no household can be without such an evil. These are the words of blind heathen, who are ignorant of the fact that man and woman are God’s creation. … I imagine that if women were to write books they would say exactly the same thing about men. What they have failed to set down in writing, however, they express with their grumbling and complaining whenever they get together. (AE 45:36-37, in WIMR? 99)

So what did Luther recommend to counter such a state of affairs? Why, Christian marriage of course.

Do we ultimately need 12 rules? Or Everything Marriage Means?

Even then though, Luther’s picture of marriage wasn’t terribly romantic and rosy, but highly realistic and rather jarring.

Here are just some samples of things that he said:

  • “…when two people, a man and a woman, live together in an unholy way, it looks just like the married life… You cannot distinguish between how they are living and the married life based on reason” (19).
  • “… those who think about marriage but are not married, think that it is a life of lustful desires and good times” (23).
  • “…there will be a loss of desire for your spouse. You will feel that you’ve had enough of him or her; that you do not want to remain [sexually] united with your spouse for long…the devil cannot stand that spouses remain on friendly terms and united with each another” (25).
  • “…no one experiences alienation from another faster than a husband and wife! A single word spoken flippantly or jokingly can cause it to happen… people say about spouses that get along: It is a special grace and rarely turns out so well” (27, 28).
  • “If you are not married, you think that once you are, there will always be laughter and good times. You cannot imagine ever saying a word that might hurt your spouse” (30).
  • “…if you follow your thoughts and the lures of the devil… ‘If I only had that other woman or that other man! He or she is so friendly and so nice!’ In such a way, evil desires will indeed strike, just as the poets write that love rages and raves wildly” (34).
  • “our flesh is dangerously curious. By nature we are gluttons. We quickly grow tired of whatever God gives us…” (38).

By this point, you might be wondering “What good is marriage if it militates against what we desire and brings such misery? What in the world does Luther think marriage has to offer!?” And “where did you get this interesting information anyways?”

I’m glad you asked…

In 1536 two of Martin Luther’s sermons on marriage appeared in German in a small book, and the quotes above are from the first sermon, on Hebrews 13. Even though these sermons were later printed in several German editions of Martin Luther’s works, they, surprisingly, were only recently translated into English in 2013. My pastor helped get them published, and, when asked, gave me permission to publish the final part of the sermon on Ephesians 5:22-33. This is the passage that Matthew Cochran says is “probably the most hated Bible passage in America.”[i]

That’s right, the answer to “What in the world does Luther think marriage has to offer?” is the meaning of “probably the most hated Bible passage in America.” [ii]

If you want to read on you will see Luther explain how given God’s original intention for mankind, marriage is not only a great gift in this world but ultimately serves to point us towards what is ultimate for humanity: our status as creatures beloved by their Holy Creator, and made One with Him by His work on our behalf.

“…the most-desired skill of married life is this: To learn to think of marriage according to the honor given it by God….[it has] been created, ordained and established by God. In fact, we should consider this institution to be God’s gift to mankind.” – p. 13, Martin Luther

Here is the extended quotation from Luther, which in the book is chapter 17, “The Christian’s Spiritual Marriage Shapes Marriage”:

We see how nowadays and always Christians are seduced by many a sectarian group. We also see how up to this time the entire world was totally filled with institutes of spiritual fornication and adultery under the papacy.

Christ’s bride had been corrupted to the point of be­ing unrecognizable. Now Christ has once again begun to cleanse her by his Word.

See, this is what it means for Christendom to be obedient and subject to Christ in all things: So that it might closely stand by him alone and follow only his Word. And not follow those who wish to teach and lead it differently.

Accordingly also in the institution of marriage, the wife should not only love the husband but also obey him and submit to him so as to let herself be governed and bow before him. In short, she is to stand by him and follow him, not looking only to the husband’s authority, as her head, but also place before herself this example.

And, as Mary Daly put it, “If God is male, then the male is God”?

The example of the Christian’s spiritual marriage to Christ should remind her to think like this: “My husband is an image of the true, high head Christ. For the sake of the latter I will honor the former and do what pleases him.”

In the same way also, the husband should love his wife wholeheartedly for the sake of the great love which he sees here in Christ who has given himself for us. The husband should also think: “Neither I nor anyone else has ever done something like this. I will therefore do as much as I can according to the example. I will behave toward my wife in a loving manner as toward my own flesh in order to care for her, feed her, and provide for her.

I will not act bitterly or strangely toward her but, al­though she might be with frailties and faults, bear with her in a reasonable and patient manner or make her better by friendly admonitions and rebukes.”

Many women want distorted kinds of headship. Needs?

Where this happens, it would then no longer be a worldly and human or reasonable marriage but a Christian, divine marriage about which the Pagans know nothing. For they do not see the precious adornment and great honor of the marriage, namely, that it is a picture of the great spiritual marriage of Christ.

Therefore, as I said, it behooves us as Christians to honor and glorify this institution much more because we are the ones who know the great adornment and glory which are attached to it.

Do not be surprised when the world, as it wallows in fornication and adultery, and also the false, mad saints, consider marriage to be insignificant.

“I am certain that the fact that I sit and live here with my spouse is pleasing to God…the ability always to view a marriage as God’s doing is a desirable skill which few master…” — Martin Luther, p. 22, What is Marriage Really?

Yet we should justly consider marriage to be the greatest of all institutions of human life. For no other such institu­tion has been utilized by God for such an exalted image.

We know that those who despise marriage, especially when they wish to be called Christians, not only create shame before the world but also bring dishonor and shame upon the exalted holy marriage between Christ and Chris­tendom. They show in sufficient clarity that they think very little of the latter because they despise the former, humble as it is.

“All other institutions exist and are sustained by marriage.” — Martin Luther, p. 11, What is Marriage Really?

Let this be enough for this time on this text of St. Paul where he admonishes the Christians to consider this and to look at their marriage not only according to its external forms, as the world and carnal hearts do. But Christians are to contemplate in marriage something that is larger and greater, namely, the beautiful comforting image of Christ and Christendom.

Christians are to do this so that they might keep this institution of marriage as something precious and honor­able—not only because God has ordained and commanded it thus, but also to honor the great spiritual marriage, so as to demonstrate that they would like to be found in the latter. For we are not to let such glory and comfort be taken out of our sight and hearts, or cast it into a corner, as did the monks and the nuns, who applied marriage only to themselves.

They established their false, self-made spirituality in­stead, pretending that they alone were the brides of Christ, to despise and diminish the institution of marriage. Con­trariwise, St. Paul does the opposite preaching such a great example to those united in marriage.

“I must not be ashamed to learn about marriage daily” (13). — Martin Luther (picture of Christ with His Bride, the Church)

FIN

 

Notes:

 

[i] If you took the time to look at this endnote, you can actually get the whole book for free here. You now know about the secret link. Use it wisely.

[ii] This also comes to mind: “…this Word of God is necessary for the sake of conscience. The conscience should not suffer because you fully participate in marriage. For God has created and ordained marriage, and is well pleased by it” (23).

 

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

A Critique of the LC-MS document, “Women and Military Service: A Lutheran Perspective”

+++

Should women serve in combat roles in the military?

In our country, a definitive answer was given not even 3 years ago. Around that time, Chronicles magazine article editor Aaron Wolf wrote:

“December 3 [2015 was] the day Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declared an end to the restriction on women in combat.  According to the secretary, every branch of the Armed Forces must lift all restrictions on what women are allowed to do.  He gave them 30 days to comply.

Ash Carter is a Harvard-trained physicist, former advisor to Goldman Sachs, and professor who never wore his country’s uniform, so it makes perfect sense that he would be the man to build ‘America’s force of the future,’ a job that amounts to taking the stone tablets of natural law and smashing them into a million pieces.

We must now drink the bitter water…” (bold mine)

Aaron Wolf. On natural law here.

This question was brought up at the 2004, 2007, and 2010 Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod conventions[i] and in both the 2013 and 2016 conventions resolutions were adopted which tasked the Synod’s CTCR (Commission of Theology and Church Relations) to study and produce a report on the topic. Finally, in 2018, a document was released, and I want to lead with statements from it that I really appreciated:

  • “By the means of Mary’s embodiment as a woman, and our Lord Jesus’ embodiment as a man, the whole of humanity, both male and female, plays a role in nothing less than the salvation of the world. If God Himself gives such dignity to man and woman, then each of us, whether male or female, is also called to live within his or her individual, sexual personhood, uniquely, yet toward God’s own eternal purposes within the tapestry He has woven” (21).
  • A footnote notifies us about “a strong and compelling argument against the conscription of women rooted primarily in convictions regarding the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception, see Andrew A. Sicree, “A Miscall to Arms: Why Selective Service for Women is Immoral,” Touchstone (September/October 2017), 55–58.”
  • A footnote notifies us about: “a 1998 resolution by the Southern Baptist Convention opposing women in combat cites Eph. 5:23–24 as a key passage in demonstrating ‘the divinely assigned role and responsibilities of self-sacrificial male headship of the family’ [emphasis added] and explicitly connects this to ‘the moral justification for combat service by men rather than women.'” (See sbc.net/resolutions/1089.)” (10).
  • “As 2016 Res. 5-11A rightly observes, reason and natural law recognize physical, hormonal and emotional distinctions between men and women. On average, males have greater physical strength than females, particularly upper body strength. Additionally, due to differing hormonal concentrations, males typically have higher aggression levels, and females have greater tendencies toward nurturing, supporting others and developing or building relationships. Furthermore, some men may have protective attitudes toward women that could cause unit and mission risk if women are involved in combat units. Studies have shown that all-male combat units perform significantly better than integrated combat units. They also reveal that women have significantly higher attrition rates due to injuries in combat-related situations… While the death of any soldier is deeply tragic, and while both fathers and mothers play a crucial role in the family, reason and natural law recognize the likelihood (even certainty) that the loss of significant numbers of women in combat would negatively affect the morale not only of soldiers and the military but of society as a whole. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the witness of world cultures, both ancient and modern, is almost unanimous in maintaining a prohibition against women serving in combat” (13).

Getting into the heart of why the document finally made its appearance now — after so many years of discussion — here is a paragraph that I think gets to that, namely, the threat of women being drafted[ii]:

“Free a man to fight?” Or, open a door to woman in combat?

This document has been prepared by the CTCR in response to these 2013 and 2016 resolutions of the Synod. The moral question of whether a society or a government should conscript women or employ them in combat is an important one. In view of the American social, political and legal context — especially in view of very recent decisions opening all combat roles to women and recent legislative discussions regarding the possibility of requiring Selective Service registration for women as well as men — the primary focus of the present study is on the moral deliberation of women who are serving in or contemplating service in the military, or who could potentially face registration for or conscription by a military draft. (4)

As to the wider question of whether women should voluntarily serve in combat roles, the document says that this is a matter of the individual Christian women’s conscience. In the document’s third part, addressing practical matters, it states:

Those women who are not conscience-bound against women serving in combat and who desire to serve in a combat specialty within the armed forces should evaluate their motives and physical qualifications for desiring to serve in this vocation. Some questions may include:

  • Can I faithfully and conscientiously bear witness to my faith in Christ and my unqualified commitment to “live under him in his kingdom” (Luther’s Small Catechism, Explanation of the Second Article) in and through the left-hand kingdom vocation of military service?
  • Is this service or vocation sought out of love for God and my neighbor and not simply or primarily for self-interest or career advancement?
  • Am I physically, mentally and emotionally qualified for this specific service?
  • Am I prepared for the greater potential for sexual assault and/or harassment that exists for women in military service?
  • Can I, in good conscience, willingly participate in training that prepares me to take human life?
  • How might such service affect others whose consciences are troubled by this issue?
  • Do I have other vocations that would be affected by such service, particularly as a wife and mother?

Pastors should be prepared to provide counsel to their parishioners as well as to others who come to them regarding God’s Word and matters of conscience” (19).

Christian Woman Can Be Soldiers?

Going along with this, one reads the following:

“A Christian woman (married or not) may come to the conscience-bound conviction that what Scripture (together with reason and natural law) says about the order of creation, while completely valid and true, is not decisive on the issue of women in combat. Reasons for arriving at this conclusion might include the fact that scriptural discussions of this issue are primarily concerned with the role of women in marriage and the family and with order in church, and that Scripture does not make explicit every implication or application of the order of creation for life in the civil estate (including service in the military)” (16).

“A Christian woman (married or not)” – why does this not just say “a Christian”? The reason, as the following paragraphs make clear, is because the person’s conscience who matters here is the one whose potential military service is under discussion.

And as Lance Brown pointed out in his own raucous article on this topic, published on my own blog yesterday, this does leave one scratching one’s head about the place of male headship in a marriage…. The document does talk about the conscience of a woman who is a wife or mother being bound “against her service in the military,” a potential reason being, for example, her husband’s disapproval (16). That said, I think it is safe to say that the document itself would not think to attempt to bind her conscience without such an obstinant husband in view! Or, especially, to seek to create so many more obstinant husbands…[iii]

Well Christians, it’s a Democracy: which individual “Bound Conscience” is the Trump card?

And that might make Pastor David Wollenberg, for one, happy. In the May 2003 Lutheran Witness, Wollenberg spoke of the reasonableness of women in combat, stating that, in part, for the Christian, “[t]he service of women in combat is a civil matter, and discussions pro and con properly belong to the civil and political realm!” and saying that “this is not an issue either of church polity or theology.”[iv] In his same article, Wollenberg stated that: “let’s also recognize and give thanks for the fact that ours is not an immoral or unfeeling government. The United States military respects individual rights even as it encourages human excellence and advancement.”

Perhaps this was wrong of me, but I could not help to think here about something else the CTCR document had spoken of, which was that those who argue for women in combat point out what they often consider the following violation of individual rights:

“As combat duty is usually regarded as necessary for promotion to senior officer positions, denying female personnel this experience ensures that very few will ever reach the highest reaches of the military and so further entrenches sexism. Women have to be given the same opportunities as men in the army; in order to have the same opportunities, they have to be exposed to the same risks. (3)

Even if one agrees wholeheartedly that military service should not be sought out “simply or primarily for self-interest or career advancement,” as the CTCR document says[v], we still cannot be unaware of the fact that as with all areas of life, advancement up “hierarchies of competence” will always be a reality that we cannot avoid thinking about or living in light of. We can perhaps casually dismiss Warren Farrel’s argument about how “the pressure on men to succeed is actually a discrimination against men,” (that’s not very manly of you Warren!) but to be sure, now women can – in many a situation at least – find themselves increasingly valued primarily for what they are able to accomplish, push through, sell, and destroy in the dog-eat-dog world.[vi]

In that same issue of the Lutheran Witness where Wollenberg’s article appeared, Dr. Leroy E. Vogel, a retired U.S. Navy chaplain and professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, also presented an alternative view. He wrote the following:

“At the very least, before a woman embarks upon a role as military combatant, she should consider this: If God is indifferent to the woman-warrior concept and a woman chooses to serve in a non-combatant role, God is not offended. If, however, God is not indifferent to the woman warrior concept, and a woman seeks service as a combatant, does she not become a victim of her own will and disobedient to that of God?

The stakes appear to merit the expenditure of our church’s finest and most diligent theological efforts.”

“The story of Deborah presents a condemnation of male cowardice in the face of God’s command; it does not provide a glorification or endorsement of woman as warrior.” — Pastor Leroy E. Vogel

As Vogel pointed out even then, “ignoring the Biblical account of creation, radical feminism identifies sexual differentiation and roles as social constructs, and, if society has created the distinctions, society can abolish them.” One can tell from the questions that he asked in his article, that he wasn’t having any of this:

“Is not part of woman’s “glory” to be found in her God-given role as life-giver and nurturer—not as life destroyer? Is man’s role not to protect and nourish her in that glorious role? Does not the abandonment of the arrangement established in Eden fly in the face of God’s design for His creation?”

While acknowledging that there does not exist a definitive “proof text”[vii] (wait! I thought we weren’t supposed to be obsessed with proof-texts!), Vogel says “Scripture and the tradition of the Church assign to man the role of defender, protector, warrior. To woman is given the role of life-giver, nurturer, sustainer.”

Come on now women — do something really great why don’t you?

Going too far? Well, if one doesn’t want to be an unsophisticated and barbaric asserter, like moi, you can always take refuge in practical arguments that continue to hold up (even if they are always ignored nowadays). My guess, however, is that most of us won’t even do that much, but rather allow ourselves to be lulled to sleep, comforted in the fact that “the United States is not the only country moving to include women in combat roles. Other countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Poland” (footnote, p. 18).

On the other hand, maybe — given the entire history of the world up until seven seconds ago — the Apostle Paul should be our guide instead:

“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God” (Titus 2:4).

Presumably everyone’s favorite misogynist, hard at work hating on women again.

To close, when the CTCR says:

“…it is also possible to understand how Christians, including members of the LCMS, can in good conscience support and defend ‘the informed consciences of women who have carefully considered their station in life and Holy Scripture on this issue who wish to voluntarily serve in our nation’s military’ (2016 Res. 5-11A), even when this may include serving in positions of combat” (14).

I can only say:

No. It’s not understandable. Not at all. Its deeply confused and wrong.

In fact, as they rightly point out elsewhere:

“[some] cultural and societal changes…. have been decidedly negative from a Christian perspective, contributing to a continual blurring of the lines between any meaningful, created, God-given distinction between the sexes and chilling the possibility of discussing, expressing and affirming the God-given distinction between men and women in ways that are heard and received positively and constructively” (7).

Of course, “chilling the possibility of discussing… in ways that are heard and received positively and constructively” may well be what some people say about this article. Nevertheless, we need to be painfully honest with ourselves. This CTCR document, like so many other things the LC-MS has been producing these days, just needs to go away.

Far away.

On the other hand, come quickly Lord Jesus!

FIN

 

Images:

Aaron Wolf: https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/blogs/aaron-wolf/ ; Pastor Leroy E. Vogel: https://www.csl.edu/emeritus-faculty/vogel-leroy-e/

Notes:

[i] “Overtures directed specifically to this issue were formally submitted to the Synod in convention in 2004, 2007 and 2010, but no resolutions on this matter were adopted by the assembly.” (p. 3)

[ii] As the CTCT document logically points out: “Third, now that the ban on women serving in combat has been lifted, there is no evident legal rationale for exempting women from conscription into military service should registration for Selective Service be required at some point in the future” (7).

[iii] My guess: it is only a matter of time before we hear about how it is inappropriate that a person other than the woman herself object to her being conscripted…

[iv] Speaking of Ephesians 5, the CTCR also talks about how this has nothing to do with political realities: “Under the principle of mutual service, however, hierarchy within marriage is viewed not as a political relationship of the ruler over the ruled but as an arrangement whereby the welfare of the other may be served. The Christian husband will therefore understand that the position of headship has been entrusted to him for the exercise of sacrificial love toward his wife …” (11)

[v] Also, it quotes Chaplain Jonathan Shaw, a colonel in the U.S. Army: “The Christian undertakes such service not for the sake of wielding power or seeking revenge, but ‘for the good of your neighbor and for the maintenance of the safety and peace of others’” (6).

[vi] Or, as one Facebook commentator put it to me “Send the women to the meat grinder; and when their swollen rotting corpses and unrexognizeable faces populate the earth in the next world war, we can all rejoice, knowing that women are expendible, just like men, and that the relative value of men to women on the dating scene back home has not changed.”

[vii] Nevertheless, he writes the following:

“While some may view it as a shaky premise upon which to hang the will of God, there is a curious Hebrew interpretation of Deut. 22:5 that is rendered in the New International Version: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing … for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”

A prohibition against cross-dressing? Or is there more? The construct of import is the compound noun keli-geber, translated above as “men’s clothing.” In Hebrew, keli denotes “equipment,” specifically a soldier’s equipment. Further, the Hebrew noun geber denotes “mighty man” or “hunter” or “warrior.” Thus, a legitimate translation of the phrase uses language of a decidedly military flavor: “No woman shall put on the gear of a warrior.”

The church fathers understood it so, as did John Calvin and Martin Luther. Luther knew Hebrew and comments on the verse as follows: “A woman shall not bear the weapons of a man … it is improper….Through this law [God] reproaches any nation in which this custom is observed.” Why? Because God created male and female with specific and complementary characteristics. It is in their relationship with one another that the two constitute the full expression of humanity.

The CTCR simply introduces more questions with its own choice of words: “In fact, the Old Testament directives in this regard extend beyond military garments and include every kind of domestic clothing as well as use of other utensils (Ex. 22:6 [stacked grain]; Lev. 11:32 [garment, skin or sack]; Lev.13:49 [garment or skin])” (12). I think the portion of that statement I italicized above is just begging to be unpacked a little bit.

The CTCR also notes that “in the historical books of the Old Testament, male armies abound, and there is never any suggestion of women serving as combatants (Gen. 14:14–15; Num. 31:3, 21, 49; Deut. 20:5–8; Judges 7:7; 1 Sam. 23:8–37; 2 Chron. 17:10–19). Even heathen armies did not include women (1 Sam. 4:9–10). The idea of women serving in combat was used as an object of ridicule (Nah. 3:13; Is. 19:16; Jer. 51:30). Women and children were specifically excluded from combat (Deut. 3:19–20; Deut. 20:13–14; Josh. 1:14–15)” (12).

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Lutheran Women In Combat — We Must Not Allow An Equality Gap!

Guest post by Lance Brown

PLEASE NOTE: If you are unfamiliar with the 1964 film ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ you should check it out

When they go down into the mine, everyone would still be alive. There would be no shocking memories, and the prevailing emotion will be one of nostalgia for those left behind, combined with a spirit of bold curiosity for the adventure ahead!

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations has released a new report titled ‘Women and Military Service: A Lutheran Perspective’. Apparently it was approved on Veterans Day of 2017. How nice.

This post isn’t about transgenderism. But it probably should be.

Let’s get something out of the way up front. It is both disgraceful and foolish for men to call upon women to do their nation’s fighting. Opposing women in front line combat roles is a no-brainer. Regardless of whether said women have been conscripted or chose to serve. No reference to Christianity or the Bible is required. Biology and human reason are enough. Do Christians have additional reasons for being opposed to such nonsense? Yes. But again, this should be clear to anyone. And, I repeat, it has nothing to do with whether or not they volunteered. These are simply not roles women should be placed in by sane authorities. Husbands should not accept this for their wives. Fathers should not accept this for their daughters. For it to even be up for debate is a sign of how depraved this nation has become.

You wanna know what I think?

That being said, the CTCR does a good job of explaining why sending women into combat is not consistent with a Christian worldview. In that regard, the report is worth reading. Especially the section labeled “Male-Female Distinctions within the Order of Creation” beginning on page 7. However, in trying to serve more than one master, this report becomes a muddled mess.

The CTCR document (following the lead of resolution 5–11A from the 2016 synodical convention) is fundamentally flawed. It doesn’t oppose women in combat. It merely opposes linking freedom to responsibility. It insists women not be drafted. That they not be required to serve. While at the same time affirming that women must be allowed to serve if they choose. Including in combat positions. And it uses Lutheran teaching regarding the bound conscience to subtly advance a kind of postmodernism wherein every woman (though perhaps not every man) can have her own truth:

“The CTCR here affirms its support of the Synod’s position that “due to deep and widespread concern among many members of the LCMS — rooted in biblical convictions, historic understandings of natural law, and reason-based common sense — about the negative impact of the conscription of women on individual consciences, marriages, families, and society as a whole, the LCMS in convention strongly oppose any legal action that forces the compulsory service of women in the military, also called the conscription of women, by mandatory participation in Selective Service registration, a draft, or by any other mechanism” (2016 Res. 5–11A).”

“We must add, however, that for other reasons discussed above — for example, the distinction between the two kingdoms, the inherent complexities of biblical interpretation, and the absence of specific and explicit biblical mandates regarding the service of women in the military — it is also possible to understand how Christians, including members of the LCMS, can in good conscience support and defend “the informed consciences of women who have carefully considered their station in life and Holy Scripture on this issue who wish to voluntarily serve in our nation’s military” (2016 Res. 5–11A), even when this may include serving in positions of combat.”

“A Christian woman (married or not) may come to the conscience-bound conviction that what Scripture (together with reason and natural law) says about the order of creation, while completely valid and true, is not decisive on the issue of women in combat.”

This is the LCMS saying that it firmly opposes female responsibility. Women must have all the choices, all the freedoms, all the rights, all the privileges, all the opportunities. But, definitely not the responsibilities. This is the Christian position? This is the Lutheran position? This is a recipe for disaster. The disaster we see when we look at the current state of the family and all the tragedies which flow from that evil spring. Either women can volunteer to serve in combat positions and should therefore also be eligible to be drafted into those positions OR combat roles should not be open to women. Christians should be opposed to the madness of sexual egalitarianism. But to increase women’s freedom without also increasing their responsibility is so much worse. And that’s what we get. Because equality has always been a lie.

Open your eyes to the truth.

There has been a pattern repeated time and time again over the last century or so. Feminism demands more rights, more freedom, more choices, more power, more authority. Always more. Traditionalism responds by grumbling. Giving people time to be upset, to vent, to wax nostalgic about the good ol’ days. And then traditionalism completely caves. The demands of feminism are agreed to. But on one condition. Traditionalism bravely chooses one hill to die on. Traditionalism insists that women must not be given increased responsibility/accountability to go with their increased freedom/autonomy. Similarly, as the authority previously granted men is eroded, traditionalism caves. Notice in the excerpt above that it’s the conscience of the married woman and not her husband which must be respected. Is that what headship looks like?

Meanwhile, both sides agree to continue holding men to a higher standard of accountability and the constant calls from traditionalism for men to ‘man up’ and take responsibility only grow more desperate. Equality has always been a lie.

The CTCR report makes sure to genuflect and pay homage to this lie:

as everyone is aware, cultural and societal views on the relationship between men and women and on women’s role in society at-large have changed dramatically in recent decades, and they continue to change. Some of these changes have been positive, resulting in more opportunities for God-pleasing and beneficial service of women in a variety of vocations, greater respect for women and their God-given gifts and abilities, and societal concerns about and protection for women who encounter derogatory attitudes and abusive behavior.”

I’m reminded of an excellent observation from the book ‘LadyLike’ by Rebekah Curtis and Rose Adle. The ladies observe that men go along with feminist nonsense:

for the same reason they yield to any idea of female origin: to end the badgering, or more charitably, to make the women they love happy. Badgers, though, are hardy folk, and mistreatment is the charge that never runs out. So men keep trying to care by pretending to agree with things… It’s this kind of insanity, dreamed up by insatiable women and enabled by lazy men, that will eventually have us all back in grubby fish-hovels.”

Honey Badger Don’t Care

Before we go any further, let’s stop for a moment and acknowledge that no one is getting drafted. We have an all-volunteer military. The trend is toward privatization and increased use of contractors. And as anyone who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces this century can tell you, when it’s time to be deployed, women who want to find a way out can easily make that happen. And many do. The timing of pregnancies among servicewomen is something military personnel can’t help but notice. Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. We want young ladies to prioritize motherhood. But we do not need mommies in the military:

From US Navy Has A Pregnancy Problem, And It’s Getting Worse’ by Richard Pollock:

Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy.”

“The evacuation of pregnant women is costly for the Navy. Jude Eden, a nationally known author about women in the military who served in 2004 as a Marine deployed to Iraq said a single transfer can cost the Navy up to $30,000 for each woman trained for a specific task, then evacuated from an active duty ship and sent to land.”

A pregnancy takes you out of action for about two years. And there’s no replacement,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonpartisan public policy organization. “So everybody else has to work all that harder,” adding that on small ships and on submarines, “you really have a potential crew disaster.””

The military has been tight lipped over the years about these numbers. They don’t like to publicize them,” Eden told TheDCNF. The Navy has been dogged for years by lingering claims that some women get pregnant simply to avoid deployment. “We all know that happens. Women do it to avoid deployment,” Eden told TheDCNF. “There do seem to be coincidences,” said Donnelly. “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence.””

The Navy officially considered pregnancy incompatible with military service and women who became pregnant were automatically discharged, according to The Alliance for National Defense. However, with the introduction of the all-volunteer military, the Navy provided many lucrative incentives to men and women — including free housing, medical care, recreation and educational opportunities. But women got additional benefits, including free prenatal care, daycare, counseling, and special education for toddlers and children with disabilities or for other “special needs.” “Since benefits offered to recruits who are women are so very generous, it almost becomes an incentive,” said Donnelly. “One feminist advocate many years ago referred to the military as a ‘Mecca for single moms.’””

Either pregnancy should result in discharge or women of childbearing age should be excluded from service in the first place. The military should not be a way for women to marry Uncle Sam.

Once more, and this time with feeling, equality has always been a lie.

G-Forces are Great for Morning Sickness

The CTCR document also states:

“At a time in which asymmetrical warfare is the norm, the lines between “combat” and “noncombat” (zones, personnel, missions, scenarios, etc.) become blurred, often beyond recognition or meaningful distinction. Someone serving in what is technically a combat support unit or role can quickly and unexpectedly find himself or herself in the middle of a kinetic threat and have to face immediate life-or-death decisions about whether and/or how to engage the enemy in combat (whether defensively or offensively or both).”

Now if on this basis the CTCR concluded that all military positions have effectively become combat positions and therefore objected to women serving in the military at all, there might be reason to take them seriously. But as already noted, they support women voluntarily serving in any role they wish.

Furthermore, the difference between combat and noncombat is still quite significant. The reality of asymmetric warfare and terrorism means that even a civilian “can quickly and unexpectedly find himself or herself in the middle of a kinetic threat and have to face immediate life-or-death decisions”. However, women owning firearms, taking self-defense classes, and participating in active-shooter training at the office is not the same thing as joining the Marines. Similarly, we can still distinguish between combat and noncombat roles in the military. That is, if we want to. We can still distinguish between roles that are appropriate for women and roles that are not. If we want to. The CTCR document itself makes this clear when discussing how pastors should support women in the church if they are to be drafted:

“In the event that women are required to register for the draft, pastors will need to be ready to assist those women who are conscience bound against serving in combat or being conscripted into military service to apply as a conscientious objector.”

“Two types of service, determined by the individual’s specific beliefs, are available to conscientious objectors in the event that the draft is again implemented. The person who is opposed to any form of military service may be assigned to alternative service (conservation corps, caring for the very young or very old, education or health care). The person whose beliefs allow for service in the military but in a noncombatant capacity will serve in a branch of the armed forces but will not be assigned training or duties that include using weapons. The length of such service will normally be 24 months.”

So it is obviously possible to serve in a noncombat role. If the LCMS believes it is appropriate for women to choose to serve in these noncombat roles, then they should be eligible to be drafted into them. And again, if it isn’t, then the LCMS should be saying it is no longer appropriate for women to serve in the military at all. If the LCMS is going to take a position on these matters, then it should stand for something other than giving women autonomy devoid of responsibility.

Precious Bodily Fluids

I must note The Heritage Foundation recently informed us that 71 percent of young Americans between 17 and 24 couldn’t join the military even if they wanted to. To quote one news report, “Rising obesity numbers, drug use, criminal backgrounds and other problems mean most people at prime military recruiting age are ineligible to serve.” So while I support the idea of pastors helping their female parishioners in the unlikely event that women are ever drafted, a better use of their time and energy here in the real world might be to help more young men become the kind of fit, healthy, law-abiding citizens who are prepared to serve. Which means they’ll be prepared to do lots of other things as well. And by help young men, I don’t mean continuing to insist on more freedom, more benefits, more programs, more attention, more money, and more double standards for unaccountable females while demanding male responsibility sans male authority. I mean actually help.

This report is an attempt to have it both ways. Taken as a whole ‘Women and Military Service: A Lutheran Perspective’ is, at best, a pointless document. At worst, it bows to the goddess of equality and her never-ending sexual revolution. Lutherans should reject this false deity and recognize that her promise of equality is a seductive lie. The people of our increasingly re-paganized civilization (including many who call themselves Christians) worship this idol. They mutilate their bodies, sacrifice their children, and pervert every human institution in service to their sick religion. The goddess of equality will bring destruction. Her army marches on relentlessly. Now is not the time for appeasement. Now is not the time for a Lutheran perspective. Just one truth among many for us all to choose from. Now is the time for Lutheran (read: Christian) proclamation of the truth.

Enough from me. Go read some Scripture. Start with Jeremiah 6.

Yee-Haw!

FIN

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

 
 
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