Writing this blog is going to be about as much fun as having teeth pulled....and its going to sound as cohesive as a person talking with a numb mouth. I'm sorry.
1. The WELS take on woman and our roles in the church.
My problem...Woman have the passion and the heart yet can't help the church in any way above cleaning, alter, and organizing pot lucks or what not....and if you have a man with a strong enough backbone MAYBE you can influence his vote by voicing your opinion at a voters meeting.
My whole life I have heard woman complain about our roles in the church and honestly it's never really bothered me that much. I grew up in a house with a mom and a dad who listened to each other and a dad who was not scared to follow through. I understand the idea outlined in the bible. Here's an article from the WELS website because I think they can do a better job then I explaining it.
However, Scripture is also clear that while we are equal in status and importance before him, God has not made us duplicates or clones of each other in how we carry out our various God-given callings. Already in the perfection of the Garden of Eden he assigned unique callings or roles to the man and the woman when God made her to be helper suitable for the man and created her right from the man (Genesis 2:18ff). God gave to the man the unique calling of being a loving head and to his wife the unique calling of being a loving helper to him. In the New Testament, the inspired Apostle Paul assures us that these unique callings were indeed found already in the perfection of Eden when he writes, "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God" (1 Corinthians 11:3). Later Paul reminds us that what we read in Genesis 2 is indeed where this was established when he says, "For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman but woman for man" (1 Corinthians 11:8-9).....
Of course, wise heads know that God has given them helpers for a reason. The wisdom and insights, the questions and concerns of everyone in the congregation, men and women, are important. Especially when a woman may have no husband in her home, it is very important that the congregation look for ways to gain her input.
(copy and paste into your browser if you want to see the whole shot article)
I would like to draw your attention to the line "When a woman may have no husband in her home, it is very important that the congregation look for ways to gain her input."
I like that ... IF a church does...but it still doesn't solve the problem some churches have...
Where the men, married or not seem to have hit auto pilot and the few that would fight for the life of a church are so frustrated with the men on auto pilot that they have all but given up. Now either the wives at home are not voicing their opinions loudly enough or the men are not listening. Maybe the men simply have no idea what to do to fix the problem so they do nothing...not even ask the woman for help....Whatever the problem the woman have a lot of strong feelings about the ways of the mission and my voice, and the others I have spoken too are NOT being heard.
So this is where church becomes luke warm...neither dead nor alive...and at this rate my church WILL close.
So I don't disagree with the doctrine as strongly as some woman I disagree with the application. I'm frustrated because I feel my opinion my worries are being ignored because I am a woman and can do nothing besides talk and pray...and watch a strangling church suffocate...
I know also it's not only the elders and the voting members of the church fault...there is a lot to be said of a pastor who is aware of the situation and willing to put forth the effort to change it even if that effort s simply handing out tasks to the church members to help with it. One carefully worded statement from a pastor can sway a mans vote I think more then a thousand words from a wife at least at my church. Which brings me to the call system...
2. and the WELS much beloved and defended....call system.
here is a long article on how it's suppose to work and why.....I guess.
(copy and past into your browser if you want to see the whole LONG article)
My problem...The whole system.
I will defend much of my WELS faith I have done much searching and learning I have left and come back. ...but since I was old enough to understand I've seen nothing but problems develop with this "divine system"
I've watched it chew up and spit out MANY potential teachers because someone deemed "them unfit for the calling" My brother and his wife as two of the many....I've never understood that because in the truest form a call is something given by God. If someone has prayed and been lead by God to be a teacher NO ONE other then GOD has the right to tell them they are wrong. Maybe they would have gotten in and found they did not like it after all but at least they had a chance.
I'm sorry I have a hard time believing in the divinity of the call system that is ran by mankind that is set up by men, and men who sit at a table and discuss who should get what call. Men who send out the official call document.... Again I get the idea somewhat..but there are no biblical examples of a church ran this way and to many chances for mans free will. and brokenness to screw it up.
Another thing I have watched the call system do is take away a call from a Woman if she is engaged or married to a man who didn't "fit the mold" (my brother and sister-in-law again) and was there for not issued a call. Because someone decided the that this was not a mans calling after all. The woman then is not issued a call because they can't give a call to a woman and not the MAN who is the head of the house. Seriously? What's up with that? How is that OKAY at all EVER. I don't even consider myself a feminist...
and right now my biggest issue with the call system. The main thing hurting my church is when a Pastor is stuck in a church who has not had a call in YEARS. You can hide behind the whole God just hasn't moved him yet all you want. But when a Pastor is stagnate..when he is so defeated with a closed school a declining church attendance that the passion is sucked out of him...The call system is a problem.
I know it's not just my church but it's as if a pastor reaches a certain age, has been collecting raises every year regardless if the church is shrinking or not. He simply does not get a call because he is too expensive. To expensive for another church and to expensive for his current church. Not old enough to retire...can't quit because they he has to be completely done with the ministry....I would find it hard to joyfully service in these circumstances myself. I pray for my pastor daily....for he really is a great man.
I've been asking for prayers for my church, for my pastor...for God's mission. This is the tip of the iceberg. that will sink this ship...and that is how a heart breaks...
It breaks for a wonderful man with many talents who is stuck. It breaks for a church and school that is but a shadow of it's past. For a bunch of men who don't seem to care that any of this is happening. That breaks for a group of woman who can only speak...It breaks for my church where I was baptized married..where I would not mind having my children baptized and married. Where my mom was baptized and grew up and her mom before her. It breaks for system ran by human kind. My heart breaks for a great opportunity through thriving childcare to reach MANY children and families with Gods word...that simply will not be used in such a way....
I am reminded that this is NOT my home.
Heaven is my home.
Build your kingdom here...restore your church... open the eyes of my congregation and strengthen my pastor and church leaders for the choices they may have to make.