Friday, December 14, 2012

The Queen James Bible: The next stage of "interpretive ambiguity"

The Queen James BibleRound and round and round it goes.
     Where it'll stop, who really knows?
          Or cares?

The strictures of gender-neutrality placed on the translation of the NIV 2011 superimpose a feminist worldview on the entire text of the Bible. But this is old news. The next controversial phase of attacks on God's Word is to superimpose a homosexual worldview on the Bible. How long will it be before confessional Lutherans join this movement? From the Product Description on Amazon:
    A Gay Bible
    The Queen James Bible is based on The King James Bible, edited to prevent homophobic misinterpretation.

    Homosexuality in The Bible
    Homosexuality was first mentioned in the Bible in 1946, in the Revised Standard Version. There is no mention of or reference to homosexuality in any Bible prior to this - only interpretations have been made. Anti-LGBT Bible interpretations commonly cite only eight verses in the Bible that they interpret to mean homosexuality is a sin; Eight verses in a book of thousands!

    The Queen James Bible seeks to resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality: We edited those eight verses in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.

    Who is Queen James?
    The King James Bible is the most popular Bible of all time, and arguably the most important English language document of all time. It is the brainchild and namesake of King James I, who wanted an English language Bible that all could own and read. The KJV, as it is called, has been in print for over 400 years and has brought more people to Christ than any other Bible translation. Commonly known to biographers but often surprising to most Christians, King James I was a well-known bisexual. Though he did marry a woman, his many gay relationships were so well-known that amongst some of his friends and court, he was known as "Queen James." It is in his great debt and honor that we name The Queen James Bible so...

    [bold emphasis is mine]
Are confessional Lutherans ready for this? It only changes eight verses. How could that be so bad? Some confessional Lutherans are more than ready, I'm sure, but my guess is, most are not. Give it time, though. That's the way change takes place. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, but little by little until new ideas take hold and become normative. Give it a couple decades or so for a more emancipated social consciousness to work its way into the leadership and schools of confessional Lutherans. Maybe then they'll be ready for a Bible such as "The Queen James Bible." For now, I am sure that the ELCA is ready to endorse it as a translation which can be used with "a high degree of confidence," and that should be good enough to encourage the beginning and continuation of changes elsewhere.

Cultural Change and the Church
As Koehler pointed out to us in defending the Historical Disciplines (see the Introduction to my Conference paper, Why is this Happening to Us?), the only way to tell that change has occurred and is impacting the Church is to examine the past:
    The truth must remain unchanged but the method must vary in order always to remain the spontaneous expression of the truth. Today we are confronted by new situations... They can be covered with one term, the intrusion of worldly ways into the church... It won’t do to go into isolation and pretend that problems do not exist... But neither is anything accomplished by making compromises and bringing the world into the church... What counts is that we actually stay with the truth in doctrine and conduct and actually shut our church against worldliness. What is the remedy?... In our case it is the historical studies that indicate that a change is taking place, and it is highly important that we do not remain inactive and let it dominate us so that our church may not be harmed by it.

    [Koehler, J.P. (1997). The Importance of the Historical Disciplines for the American Lutheran Church of the Present. In C. Jahn (Ed.), Wauwatosa Theology, Vol. 3 (I. Habeck, Trans., 1975). Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House. (Original work published in German, 1904). pp. 436 - 437]
But once harmful change has taken root, it's too late. It's probably too late to reverse many harmful changes hindsight has been revealing to us, especially since the resolution is to bring "clarity" to confusion, while the harmful changes we see often have their root in a love for the power and independence that "ambiguity" brings to the individual.

As I stated in my last post, How does one interpret language in a post-Modern Age? What about the language of the Bible?, it used to be that among confessional Lutherans, "all doctrine was taken from direct positive statements of Scripture, only," – a grammatical definition – but now, "all doctrine is taken only from "clear statements" of Scripture" – a relative definition. It may seem like this sort of thing happens by accident. And maybe it does. But the strategic use of "ambiguity" is also a weapon, used by man to wage war against the clarity of the Scriptures. In fact, I concluded a previous post entitled, When the Third Use of the Law pre-dominates..., which characterized the decline of sound doctrine in the ELCA as a decline in the perceived "clarity" of the Scriptures, with the phrase, "Pursuing freedom from Scripture's clear teachings, by arguing for their ambiguity, results only in tyranny," and used that phrase as the title of two successive posts:These posts briefly examine the debate between Erasmus and Luther in their works on Human Will (Freedom of the Will and Bondage of the Will respectively), and focus on Erasmus' appeal to "the ambiguity of the Scriptures – to maintain the freedom and authority of man over against Scripture," characterizing such appeals as essentially the same sin of Satan himself – the sin of pride and of desiring equality with God (Ge. 3:1-19). Deliberately making wholesale changes to God's Word, even deliberately changing His Word in only eight places, to satisfy what seems to be laudable values of contemporary social consciousness, only vaunts ambiguity in Scripture in order to employ the freedom of man's arbitrative rights and obligations. Indeed, it often succeeds at inventing such ambiguity in the face of Scripture's clarity, in order that ambiguity can be claimed and strategically used to put man, and what man wants, in the place of God and what He says. This is a childish game played by man from a heart of sinful pride and a desirous love for freedom from Authority. And as the ELCA has amply demonstrated, ambiguity empowers this love, mightily.

Shall confessional Lutherans follow them?


Anonymous said...

Really? Don't you think you're being more than a little sensationalistic? To compare the NIV2011 to this "Queen James Bible" isn't fair or accurate. This blog is quickly going downhill into the realm of reactionary hyperbole.

Isaac Parson

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

It's just a stage in the process, Mr. Parson. Give it time. Their approach to superimposing a homosexual worldview will become far less obtuse, much more refined, much more intellectual. Over time. We wouldn't have dreamed of adopting the NIV 2011 in 1984, would we?

Pastor Spencer said...

Mr. Parsons - In case you're thinking this was made up by Mr. Lindee as a bit of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, you need to know that it is real. Here is the actual site itself:

And lest you think that "it can't happen here," I can assure you that 80 years ago folks in the old Augustana Synod could never imagine in their wildest nightmares their churches being served by lesbian "pastors."


Anonymous said...

Pastor Spencer,

I'm fully aware that it's a real book. But for Mr. Lindee to link it to the NIV2011 is invalid for at least two reasons.

First, it's invalid from a rhetorical perspective because it's a classic example of the slippery-slope argument. The Queen James Bible simply isn't pertinent to the discussion of whether the NIV2011 is suitable for use in the WELS. Tying the two together only muddies the water with emotionalism.

Second, it's invalid from a Scriptural perspective because it assumes the worst about the translators of the NIV2011 and implies that they are knowingly and willingly supporting and promoting a pro-feminist, pro-homosexual agenda. This flies in the face of the Eighth Commandment which demands that we put the best possible construction on the words and actions of others.

Believe me, I've had serious concerns about the NIV2011 and still have some reservations about it, but this sort of attack is wrong and counter-productive, and damages your argument rather than helping it.

Mr. Isaac Parson

Pastor Spencer said...

Thank you for your comment, Isaac.

I believe there is a reason that the "slippery-slope" argument exists; namely, that it has a long history of being proven correct!

I hope you know that a "slippery-slope" argument is NOT a priori "invalid" of itself. In debate it can be part of a valid presentation. It simply means that an arguer posits that making a particular move starts something on a path down a "slippery slope". Having started down the metaphorical slope, it will continue to slide in the same direction. If the arguer sees the direction as a negative one, then the slope will be argued as being a downward one.

We see this in action quite often in the real world where a relatively minor action - say the jailing of an Austrian paper-hanger after a failed beer-hall putsch - leads to world-wide conflagration and other such catastrophes (assassination of Archduke Ferdinand & WWI, Gulf of Tonkin Resolution & Viet Nam, etc., etc., etc...). Quite often a small event causes a significant impact through a long chain of connected happenings. This is a logically valid form of argument. Our Savior uses a variation quite often, i.e. the all-pervasive influence of yeast, in that even a tiny bit of yeast can permeate an entire batch of dough:

Matthew 13:33
He spoke another parable to them, “ The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.”

Matthew 16:6
And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

And St. Paul makes the same argument:

Galatians 5:9
A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.

As for putting the best construction on everything everyone says, I've always wondered how that would be applied to statements such as these:

On the Trinity:
“Truly the Trinity is simply the Father and the man Jesus and their Spirit as the Spirit of the believing community.” Vol. 1, p. 155

Regarding Christ's Virgin Birth:
“Finally, the history and phenomenology of religions have called our attention to the mythic character of the incarnation. The notion of the preexistent Son of God becoming a human being in the womb of a virgin and then returning to his heavenly home is bound up with a mythological picture of that world that clashes with our modern scientific world view.” Vol. 1, p. 527

Both quotes are from Christian Dogmatics, Braaten, Carl E. and Jenson, Robert W., editors, 2 Vols. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. This is the dogmatics textbook used in ELCA seminaries.

It seems to me that one of the "best possible ways" to take such statements is to assume that these men mean exactly what they say; that they are not lying or trying to fool anyone; that they believe what they are saying. Of course, according to the Athanasian Creed that would also mean that they are going to hell, but it is still taking their words in a constructive way.

Mr. Lindee has shown - in my view, conclusively - that those who promote the NNIV have a feminist agenda. Now, they may very well be very sincere, honest, and well-meaning. That would be taking their words in a positive way. But they would still be wrong, and their approach dangerous, and injurious to the best proclamation of God's Word.

Again, thank you for the discussion. I'm very glad you have misgivings about the NNIV. Make sure to express them to WELS leaders.

Pastor Spencer

Anonymous said...

I'm a firm believer in the Hitler rule--whoever brings up Hitler in a discussion immediately and automatically loses the argument. But this is exactly the problem I had with the original post. Let's talk about the specific merits and demerits of the NIV. There's no need to cloud the issue by bringing in homosexuality and Hitler.

Isaac Parson

Anonymous said...

Mr. Parson,

Pastor Spencer wrote 15 paragraphs in response to your post. You appear to have read the first four and then stopped and composed the non sequitur comprising your response. But that seems unkind: he gave you a good, lengthy, substantive answer! In particular, Pastor Spencer's penultimate paragraph directly addresses the fallacy that taking words and action in the kindest possible way means we must throw discernment out the window.

The editors of this blog have very helpfully compiled a set of links to posts on the NIV2011, which should appear on the right hand of your screen. Serious, productive effort has gone into these, and I heartily recommend them to you. I think you will find many of the questions you have raised answered quite directly and thoroughly.

Mr. Joseph Jewell

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

Thank you Rev. Spencer for your fine reply and defense. I read through the comments here, Friday, and had meant to reply before now, but end-of-year deadlines and holiday activities have prevented me from responding directly. So, I've stolen time here and there over the past couple of days to compose further thoughts.

Perhaps I should simply remain silent, but I will risk "damaging our argument" by pointing out a few simple things. First, this isn't a naked "slippery-slope" argument. It isn't an argument waged in the ether of pure logic and possibility, but is rooted in established historical fact. In the world of real events, facts cannot be viewed and evaluated in isolation from one another: all events are contingent, and all events have consequence. It is valid to argue in the realm of pure formal logic that one thing does not necessarily lead to another, but in the world of reality, the opposite is true: all things lead to something else. It is an historical fact that harmful changes most often begin with the innocuous, which are usually well-intentioned, but which are nevertheless insidious and incremental. The example of the Augustana Synod is a good example, but another example, more close to home, is the growth of Egalitarian prediliction in the WELS. In my post, Post-Modernism, Pop-culture, Transcendence, and the Church Militant, I quote extensively from WELS pastors and layman whose defense of feminist theology ultimately resulted in the expulsion of St. James Ev. Luthean Church. But this expulsion most certainly did not rid us of Egalitarianism; it merely exposed the problem and deprived its adherents the privilege of publishing in public. Today, the promotion of an Egalitarian translation of the Holy Scriptures (NIV 2011) parallels a decade or more of attempts to elevate women to ministerial roles throughout the Synod. As a result of such attempts, there is a standing moratorium on women acting as pastors in the distribution of the Lord's Supper to other women – not because women distributing the sacrament is considered unscriptural in WELS, but to avoid offending "weaker brothers" in our sister synods who object to this practice. We also see a growth in congregations considering and adopting a "consensus model" of congregational polity for the purpose of granting women authority in decision-making while circumventing the suffrage issue, since a "consensus model" doesn't involve "voting" in the decision making process (this was also pointed out in the Post-Modernism, Pop-culture... post linked above). Today, in my own district, advocacy of "women's ministry" seems to smother practically every other subject of communication – fliers and email and you name it. It's almost all I hear about anymore. After a recent change in leadership, even the billing of our yearly "Councilmen's Workshop" was changed to the "Council Person's Workshop" (as I recall, this or something like this was the name of the Workshop – that's the year I stopped attending), and then as the "Church Leadership Workshop - Women Invited." Egalitarianism isn't just a threat. We've got it. It's just waiting to bust out.

Continued in next comment...

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

...Continued from previous comment.

Second, in my previous comment, I laid a little bait, stating, "We wouldn't have dreamed of adopting the NIV 2011 in 1984, would we?" I frankly expected someone to call me on this: "Of course we couldn't have dreamed of it – politically-correct feminist terminology hadn't yet become a normative aspect of the American conversational vocabulary." And this is one of two key historical facts that needs to be understood and applied. Sure, in 1984, politically-correct feminist terminology hadn't yet become a normative aspect of the American conversational vocabulary. That's just the point. Here we are 25 years later. What happened in American culture in the intervening time? Feminism, along with its speech and thought patterns, have become dominant in American society, and in open rebellion against Christ and His Church, has directly asserted itself in the face of Scripture's teaching. Instead of making a stark contrast with this cultural rebellion, we are told by our "leaders" that we must accept the authority of culture in the matter of communication, and that it is necessary to adopt the speech and thought patterns of the average American including politically-correct speech and thought patterns dictated by militant feminism in order for the average WELS member to understand the text of the Bible (a notion that I positively reject, by the way). Why? Because the ideology of Dynamic Equivalency tells us we have to, and WELS leadership adheres to this post-Modern ideology of translation.

So, what do you think is going to happen to American culture and the conversational speaking vocabulary of the average American over the next 25 years – after two decades of gay marriage, and reinforcement of this new institution in the language of our legal and political establishments, not to mention the parlance of popular entertainment in which these speech and thought patterns already dominate!? It's already a reality in the mainline protestant denominations, and it's a growing reality among Evangelicals under the leadership of Rick Warren and others (i.e., Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, Ted Haggard, etc.), many of whom are idolized by confessional Lutheran pastors enamoured with the Church Growth Movement. Playing the ostrich with dismissive slippery-slope jibber-jabber will not suffice to avoid the inevitable.

In the event of the inevitable, the question is, will our "leaders" vacate their supposedly "evangelical arguments" vaunting the authority of worldly philosophy by saying, "Golly, we can't go that far" (like they would have said in 1984, regarding the feminist translation of the Scriptures that they embrace today), or will they be consistent with the ideology of Dynamic Equivalency, and maintain the argument that only the subjectively determined "meaning" of the original texts needs to be translated, that it is necessary to render it only in the conversational idiom of the average American, and that such an idiom ought to control the terms in which we read and contemplate the Holy Scriptures and in which we think and speak of our faith and teaching? If the latter (which is precisely what is happening today, in the case of feminism), then a homosexual worldview will necessarily be imposed on the Scriptures in their entirety (because the post-Modern ideology of Dynamic Equivalency will require it); if the former, then we are free to assert, today, that neither is it necessary to accept the wholesale imposition of feminist ideology over the Scriptures in their entirety. In other words, if we would abandon Dynamic Equivalency in the case of imposing a homosexual worldview over the Scriptures (an even that we have every good reason to expect), then we ought to abandon it today, as it is forcing us to impose a feminist worldview over the text of the Scriptures.

Continued in next comment...

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

...Continued from previous comment.

The controlling change in either case, is a change in the contemporary conversational idiom of the average American. The historical observation is a shift to the common use of politically charged feminist speech patterns by the average American; the reasonable prediction (inevitable outcome, IMHO) is a similar change in homosexual speech patterns over the next 25 years. The constant that binds the observation and the prediction to the question of Bible translation is the ideology of Dynamic Equivalence – which will demand of translations with reference to homosexual terminology in the future, precisely what it demands of feminist terminology today: that it become a normative aspect of the Bible's translation because such is normative of the contemporary conversational idiom of the average American. If such is to be rejected, then or now, it means jettisoning not merely the NIV, but Dynamic Equivalence – the ideology which would dictate the authority of such worldly principles and vain philosophies over the translation of God's Word.

The ideology of Dynamic Equivalence is one significant constant. But there is at least one additional significant constant linking today's adoption of politically-correct feminist speech patterns in our Bibles to the almost inevitable adoption of homosexual speech patterns in the future, especially if the post-Modern ideology of Dynamic Equivalence continues to dominate the thinking of our leaders: the rise of male effeminacy in American culture. This is, and will continue to be, difficult to deal with in any event, since many factors contributing to this phenomenon are already proliferate. Certainly, pop-media rather transparently endeavors to make a male role model out of the modern metro-sexual stereotype. The positive male role-model in pop-media is a sashaying, indecisive, bumbling effeminate who often depends on a dominant female figure, or collection of male acquaintances displaying various degrees of animistic and self-destructive machismo, to supply for him what he latently knows he is personally lacking. "The modern metro-sexual stereotype" as the preferred male role-model in popular entertainment is often portrayed as an ineffective and generally underachieving failure, and generally contrasted either with a worthless drunkard, a conniving lecherous bully, or worse, a pathological murderer or a trigger-happy ape-man with little regard for the value of life. The resulting observation is, Either a man is effeminate, or he is something to be despised. (In this regard, I will say that, though we discarded our television in 2009, up to that point I can testify that my wife and I are agreed: the only positively portrayed masculine male in pop-media in the prior decade was the character, "Red Foreman" of That 70's Show [and in Wisconsin, we all recognized that as a misprint, which should have read, That 80's Show] – an eminently flawed man, to be sure [like we all are], but also an eminently masculine figure who was accurately portrayed as a man who bore the responsibility of life's real burdens in the context of contemporary times, who took seriously the task of protecting and providing for his family, and of preparing his son, the best way he knew how, for life of bearing similar responsibility in a treacherous and unforgiving world. He was flawed [like all male characters in contemporary pop-media], yet eminently masculine [unlike nearly all male characters in contemporary pop-media].) Yet, this factor, like the ideology of Dynamic Equivalence, can be dispensed with – by simply getting rid of the television (like getting rid of Dynamic Equivalence). But there are other cultural factors not so easily discarded.

Continued in next comment...

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

...Continued from previous comment.

For example, it is a widely known medical fact that a prime correlating factor in the natural production of testosterone in the male body is fat intake – especially during puberty. Corresponding to the rise of effeminacy in pop-media and American culture is the rise of the "health conscious" low-fat diet, particularly with the preoccupation of young men with sports performance and/or the appearance of their physique, and thus their resulting preference for energy boosting high-protein/carbohydrate foods, and their neglect of foods with higher (unsaturated) fat content. Certainly, a low-fat diet has its health benefits. But it has its trade-offs, as well. One is lower testosterone production which, over time, results in lower energy levels, less stamina, and reduced confidence and competitive drive. As a result, such dietary deficiencies also have a critical impact on the male psychology, such as chronic depression and mood swings, and even irrationally aggressive behaviour; and if these deficiencies are present during puberty, then on the development of a boy's psychology as well – a far more critical issue not easily remedied by a simple change in diet. This is bad enough in a world where there is considerable social pressure on boys and men to give up fat calories in favor of carbohydrates and protein for reasons of performance and appearance. But what will happen to male psychology after a generation of government intrusion in the diets of schoolchildren, which in some places is already restricting school lunch menus to 850 low-fat calories? Given the widely known and understood connection between fat intake and testosterone production in boys, one could easily refer to this as a continuation of the war on boys and men, which began in the late 19th Century with the lengthening of school years from eight to twelve, so that they "[would be] prevented from taking up their working lives until an advanced age when the ardor of youth and its insufferable self-confidence had cooled" (Gatto, J. (2006). Underground History of American Education. pg. 38ff; c.f., following article by Rev. Dr. Steven Hein [LCMS]: A Politically Incorrect Review of American Progressive Education: What was it intended to be and do?, in Classical Lutheran Education Journal, Vol. V, 2011, pp. 1-12), which served to prevent them from competing with the industrial interests which financed revolutionary and harmful changes in education during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries (see the second half of my blog post, Music for the Twelve Days of Christmas, Part 2: Heinrich Schütz ... and other thoughts to ponder over the New Year Holiday..., especially the footnotes, for more details). Diet is considerable factor not only in male physical health, but psychology, as well, and dietary trends are contributing to the feminization of the male gender.

Continued in next comment...

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

...Continued from previous comment.

As another example, it is generally known that boys have a strong developmental need for close and extended contact with their mothers through late childhood – a fact which, though exaggerated at the time, was the driving force behind the underground Home Education movement of the 1970's. Yet, an American culture of two-income families separates boys from their mothers at ever-increasing ages. Likewise, following childhood, adolescent boys have a strong psychological need for their fathers, but an American culture of divorce (compounded by uninvolvment of parents in the critical choice of their childrens' life-mates, IMHO) has either driven the father from the home, or granted him the "freedom" to wantonly abdicate his family responsibilities. (Boys are different from girls in this way – boys have a discreet need for mothers at young ages, and for their fathers during adolescence, while a girl's need for both mother and father is generally balanced throughout).

The point is, other far less controllable factors will contribute to the continuing rise of male effeminacy in America. It has already resulted in a predisposition among men to accept feminist attacks against masculinity and masculine patterns of thinking and speaking, and in a general tolerance for homosexually charged innuendo. There is no reason to suspect that this trend will be reverse, and every good reason to believe that it will continue. In other words, American culture is already predisposed to such changes, making the dictates of Dynamic Equivalence all the more difficult to resist. Those firmly in the grip of both the post-Modern ideology of Dynamic Equivalence and the worldly thought patterns of secular American culture will, in the future, most certainly accept the imposition of a homosexual worldview of the text of Scripture, just as they accept the imposition of a feminist worldview of the text of Scripture today. They will already be predisposed to accepting it, through their own effeminacy, perhaps, as well as the impact of its growing predominance in American culture. It's not like such observations are outlandish or unprecedented. Most of these cultural factors are similar to the changes that contributed to the disintegration of the Roman Empire – growing affluence contributed to less balanced dietary choices, and to an ever-declining regard for children (which was already unspeakably low among the pagans of the Roman Empire), resulting in increased male effeminacy and a cultural lethargy leaving them unwilling to engage the struggles of living, preferring instead to sacrifice unwanted children, to own slaves who would manage and perform nearly all labor, and to hire mercenary Barbarians to protect the Empire. These factors, and others, are driving the West in the same direction today, driving masculinity from our blood and from our thought and speech patterns, and along with it, a healthy masculine drive to pursue and achieve. Like the Romans, we prefer to be entertained.

Continued in next comment...

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

...Continued from previous comment.

The growth of male effeminacy, the reinforcement of feminist and homosexual speech and thought patterns in our legal, political and cultural institutions will continue unabated. If we continue to embrace Dynamic Equivalence, it is inevitable that within 25 years we will be having this conversation with regard to the wholesale imposition of a homosexual worldview on the Scriptures, just like we are having it today regarding the wholesale imposition of a feminist worldview. The question is, will our "leaders" abandon their dogged adherence to the ideology of Dynamic Equivalence and its consequences for the language of the Bible, or will they remain consistent in their advocacy of it, as they are today? If the latter, then a homosexual worldview will necessarily be imposed on the Scriptures in their entirety; if the former, then why should we accept the wholesale imposition of feminist ideology over the Scriptures today? If the former, then I say we should advocate abandoning the ideology of Dynamic Equivalence, today.

As for Hitler, Dr. Gene Veith wrote a very important book about twenty years ago: Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview (CPH, 1993). I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss charges of Fascism, either, because we're got that ideology pulsating in Western Society, as well.

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

Since I brought up the connection between adopting feminism and accepting homosexuality in my comments, above, I thought I would share excerpts from an interesting post that was published today over on Brothers of John the Steadfast, which coincidently drew out this very same point. It was written by Rev. David Ramirez and cross-posted from Gottesdienst Online. It expresses concern over the positive nature of progress in fellowship discussions between LCMS and ELCAC -- a Lutheran denomination in Slovakia that ordains women. The ordination of women by the ELCAC seems to be excused and overlooked, in part, because of cultural factors in Europe: "[it is] the result of... an egalitarian social justice doctrine of the contemporary world that seeks to remove all gender distinctions." Here again, we see culture given authority over God's Word. We need to admit that this commonly happens, and, like Koehler enjoined us (in the body of this post) must struggle to keep such worldliness out of our church. Rev. Ramirez writes:

“[I]t is helpful and wise to speak with respect when dealing with those with whom you disagree. It is indeed unwise to act like a bull in a china shop, but it is no better to put lipstick on a pig... You don't hold to the inerrancy of the Scriptures and ordain women. You don't hold to a position really, really close to the inerrancy of the Scriptures and ordain women. The only way you ordain women is to have first given up a proper understanding of the Holy Scriptures... It is no surprise that a church that ordains women also has a 'different conception' of the Hexaemera... [W]e do a disservice to our neighbors not to point out the clear line of progression from women's ordination to acceptance of homosexuality. You cannot be a supporter of women's ordination and be a conservative in any recognizable sense. To ordain women is to capitulate to feminism and toss out the orders of creation. To ordain women is to capitulate to the liberal social agenda that afflicts not only modern Western society but the whole world...

“It is ...foolishness, to make it appear that we have more agreement with those we are engaged in dialogue with then we actually have... To love your neighbor is to tell them the truth. I am not advocating being a jerk, and we ought to be gentle with the weak. But we must call a thing what it is. We mustn't think that God's Word is negotiable and trust that if we just get folks close enough to us they will just fall into line. This would be a lack of trust in the Word of God... This procedure seems to be in vogue right now with dealing with women questioning why they should not be ordained or have authority in the church. It runs something like this: 'You can't be a pastor, but you can be a deaconess. You are so right to be angry that the church hasn't had things for you to do in a leadership capacity. I understand your frustration. But look at all the cool stuff you can do as a deaconess.' This approach minimizes the sin of wanting to do that which God has forbidden. It also concedes the underlying assumptions of the feminist mindset that men and women are in competition for leadership and authority... The woman who wishes to serve God needs to hear that God made her to be a woman. She is to be a wife and a mother. That is her calling... Everything she does flows out of who she is, and how she has been created by God. A woman is not just some cheap version of a man, doing everything he does except a few super special things like being a pastor. Unfortunately, how the Missouri Synod has started talking about deaconesses and what women are allowed to do creates this impression...”

Anonymous said...

Regarding Isaac Parson's December 14th post, he said "Let's talk about the specific merits and demerits of the NIV. There's no need to cloud the issue by bringing in homosexuality and Hitler." Which makes me wonder, is it "clouding the issue" to consider the merits and demerits of gender neutrality in the 2011 NIV. Is it God's idea or is it man's to rewrite the Bible to make it gender neutral? If it was God's idea, why didn't he write it that way to begin with? If it is man's idea, why are we even considering it? I've asked this question many times to many 2011 NIV advocates, and to this day, have not heard an answer that satisfactorily addresses the question in favor of a gender neutral Bible.


Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

Eighteen months later, The Queen James Bible is still in the news, and is apparently playing a role in society advancing homosexuality within American Christianity: People are getting fired from their jobs for criticizing The Queen James. Yes, indeed, homosexual terminology is FAST becoming a normative, if not dominant, aspect of the contemporary conversational idiom of the average American; and it is being actively FORCED upon the Church from without by being FORCED on individual Christians as they live out their vocations in society. Once we start habitually speaking in such terms, we will inevitably start thinking in such terms, and learn to adopt the new ideas they represent. Those who worship culture and make it a prime authority in the rendering of Scripture and the language of the Church (as do many in Church leadership), WILL, as they have done with militant feminism, insist on placing homosexual terminology and ideology in a determinative position. If they are to remain consistent, that is.

Iowa Newspaper Editor Fired for Criticizing ‘Queen James Bible’ on Personal Blog
From the Christian News Network, May 7, 2014

“A newspaper editor in Iowa has been fired for opining on his personal blog that the Queen James Bible is an attempt by homosexuals ‘to make their sinful nature "right with God."’ ... ‘It's pretty easy to brush off...’ Eschliman wrote. ‘No, they want all Christendom to abandon their faith...’

“‘[Jesus] said there would be deceivers... [while] Christians who remain true to His teachings [would be] reviled. [Jesus] said false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound.’”

According to the Christian News Network article, fellow journalist, Jim Romenesko, found Eschliman's blog post online, and composed his own article in response, entitled: Iowa Newspaper Blasts the ‘Enemy Gaystapo’ and the ‘LGBTQXYZ’ Crowd. In it, Romenesko suggested that Eschliman was not able to be objective, since he held particular views. “Eschliman ignored Romenesko's correspondence, but removed the post from his blog.”

Eschliman's noble employer, the Newton Daily News immediately suspended him when they learned of his personal views, and that they had been published on his personal blog. A week later (May 5), he was fired.

Editor Fired for Criticizing ‘Queen James Bible’ on Personal Blog Files Federal Complaint
From a followup article published July 25, 2014, by the Christian News Network

As a result of the termination Eschliman suffered as a consequence of his publically stated religious views, he has, under advice of legal council, filed a complaint with the EEOC.

“‘To be fired for ...expressing my personal and deeply-held religious views is shocking,’ he told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday... ‘No one should be fired for simply expressing his religious beliefs,’ Whitaker stated... ‘This kind of religious intolerance by an employer has no place in today's welcoming workforce.’”

Why is it “shocking,” again? Didn't he write back in May that “[Jesus] said there would be deceivers...”, that “Christians who remain true to His teachings [would be] reviled”, and that “false prophets would follow to deceive even more, and that lawlessness will abound”? It seems to me that Quietistic Christians are getting exactly the kind of society they deserve, the kind of society they have wanted all along.

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