Women's Ordination: The Un-Apostolic and Anti-Apostolic Confession

by Emily Carder

"A church which ordains women into the public ministry of Word and Sacraments thereby certifies itself to be un-apostolic and anti-apostolic. Behind the apostle stands of course the Lord Himself." (Marquart - see below).

This is quite a statement! In the Nicene Creed the church confesses that she is "one holy, Christian, and apostolic church." When the world asks, "What is truth?" the Third Article of the Apostle's Creed leaves no doubt. It is the Holy Spirit who "calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the
whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith." To have faith is to have Christ; to be Christian is to believe Christ and all that He teaches. What does Jesus teach? Jesus says "Scriptures everywhere, they testify of Me" (Jn 5:39).

Christ is the apostle of the Father (He 3:1). No one comes to the Son but that he is drawn by the Father (Jn 6:44). The word "apostle" means "sent one." Jesus identifies Himself as an apostle. Throughout John's gospel Jesus refers to Himself as the Father's apostle who acts and speaks only on
the Father's authority (Jn 4:34; 5:23,37; 12:49; 14:9). Where the Father and Son are, the Holy Spirit is also.

Thus, when Paul asserts that his authority is not from men but from Christ Himself (Gal 2:2,6), he is presenting his credentials. He is the "sent one" of Christ. Secondly, Paul states in Acts 24:14 that his teaching is nothing new. Instead, he worships the God of the prophets. Paul confesses his God is Christ's Father. Paul is emphasizing what Jesus also said, He and His Father are one (Jn 10:30). This is a Trinitarian confession.

Therefore, when Paul speaks to baptized Christians regarding the public ministry of the church (1Tim 2:12-15; 1Cor 11:34), he does not institute a new order for the church. Instead, he looks to the Scriptures. Paul juxtaposes creation and its order (Ge 2:22; 1Tim 2:13); Eve's deception (Ge 3:13; 1Tim 2:14); and the promise of a Savior (Ge 3:15; 1Ti 2:15). In so doing, he reminds the church that while a perfect creation first imaged that order (Ge 1:26; Ep 5:22-32), through one man, Adam, all mankind fell while through the Man Jesus, all mankind was redeemed (Ro 5:12-21). Paul's instructions are clear: This message is not to be confused in the minds of God's people. The order of creation is not overturned; rather, it is fulfilled in Christ (Ga 3:28-29).

In this way, the church confesses what is true: The Trinitarian God is One. There can be no ordination of women except where Paul's words are repudiated. When this happens, Christ is likewise rejected (Lk 10:16) as the Head of His Church. Just as Eve usurped her head's, Adam's, authority when she was deceived (Ge 2:17; 3:6), the apostolic church usurps her Head's, Christ's, authority when she is deceived into refuting the word of the prophets and the apostles. To confess Paul in doctrine and practice is to confess Christ according to His word. Only through Christ can there be a Trinitarian confession of faith, and hence a Christian Church (Mt 16:18).

Deaconess Emily Carder attends Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School in Brandon, MS

Marquart, K. E. (1995). The Church: Her Fellowship, Ministry, And Governance (Vol. IX). Ft.Wayne, IN: International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research.

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