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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Women in Albs, Cinctures, and Stoles Appear to be Clergy


By Larry Beane

Here is yet another example of the witness to the world regarding the Christian doctrine of men and women and the theology of the Office of the Holy Ministry from a congregation of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, especially as evidenced by the caption under the picture in the article: "Pastor Roy Minnix and affiliated Clergy."

"and affiliated Clergy."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy, even all the while, those who allowed, encouraged, or bullied (whatever the case may be) these women to dress in this way might protest with a shocked (shocked!) look on their faces that anybody could possibly be scandalized: "But, but, they're not pastors, but, but, the stole is not worn over the shoulder, but, but, they're deaconesses (or deacons), etc. etc.

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

And we will hear the following from confessional pastors and deaconesses: "But, but, that's the Atlantic District..."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

We'll hear: "But, but, this is nothing new, it has been going on for years..."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

We'll hear: "But, but, the alb, cincture and stole are adiaphora..."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

We'll hear: "But, but, these women are just lay assistants who don't consecrate the elements..."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

We'll hear: "But, but, they're not part of the Concordia Deaconess Conference..."

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

This is the confession made before the world when these pictures and articles are published, when no-one is reprimanded, when nobody in authority addresses the problem, when excuses are made by pastors and lay people all along the political spectrum, when our polity ensures that pastors and professors who even go so far as to openly advocate for women's "ordination" are protected by their district presidents, and where district presidents seemingly enjoy carte blanche because of our polity.

Is this the confession the pastors and congregations of the LCMS want to be placed before the Church and the world?  Is this how we respect our partner church bodies around the world who have suffered for making the good confession regarding the roles of man and woman in ministry and in the marital union?

Women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy.

Does that even matter any more?  Does anyone in a position of authority in our church body care?  Will they say anything about this?  Will they do anything about this?  Can they do anything about this?  Or is it just business as usual that LCMS women wear albs, cinctures, and stoles, and that women in albs, cinctures, and stoles appear to be clergy?

Is this what the response will be?