You Can Learn a lot from women, so Don’t Sacrifice them

There are shows aimed at men and shows at women.  While, as far as I know, no one has thought of a derisive term for movies aimed at men such as “Male Movie” or “Testosterone Tape,” we do have the derisive term “Chick Flick.”  Now that my sons are out in the working world, I am left alone with women to watch movies.  I find no pleasure in watching a movie and waiting to cry; however, there is even less virtue in watching a typical male movie and waiting for other people to die.  Still when watching the things my wife and daughters opt for I find myself dying not crying.

This being said, you can learn a lot from women.  Take the show Ghost Whisperer.  Having managed to escape the Horse Whisperer, I’ve been caught by the grief that goes along with ghosts wishing to say one more thing before going into the bright light.  I had almost given up on this show when not the Ghost Whisperer but a ghost whispered something stunningly profound. Having lived a life of crime, hate, and vengeance, he says, “Being unforgiving is drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  Now that’s profound.  It might even be worth all the gut wrenching. Who said this first, as far as I can tell, is equally stunning.  It’s none other than Carrie Fisher.  You probably don’t recognize the name unless you’re a Star Wars geek.  She played Princess Leia.  The quote actually goes as follows, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Carrie knew, at least intuitively, what our Lord tells us, “Vengeance is mine.”  Belonging to God, we mere mortals can’t handle vengeance.  It poisons us; devours us.

You can learn a lot from women.  I learned from Jodie Foster’s movie The Brave One.  It has the male theme of Charles Bronson’s Death Wish, but with a girl bent.  (Surely such mixing would have been forbidden by Levitical laws had they had movies.  In the same way sowing a field with two kinds of seed, wearing garments of two kinds of cloth (Lev. 19:19), plowing with an ox and a donkey (Deut. 22:10) were forbidden, so would have mixing male and female movie themes.  But more about this in a minute.  Despite this alchemy once more I heard something stunning.  In the end song “Answer” by Sarah McLachlan I heard this profound line.  “Cast me gently/ Into morning/ For the night has been unkind/ Take me to a/ Place so holy/ That I can wash this from my mind.”

What the movie doesn’t tell you is that such a place really exists.  It’s not heaven; it’s heaven on earth.  It’s your Baptism.  I Peter 3: 21 says that Baptism doesn’t only save you for all eternity, it gives you a good conscience here in time.  O not by the removal of dirt from the body, but it washes the mind by giving it a good conscience with which to answer God.  Though you conscience can always, and I mean always, rightly accuse you of not fearing, loving, or trusting God enough thereby squeezing out of you, “I’m guilty, guilty, guilty,” Baptism covers you with Christ’s holiness.  Your Baptism says, “Not guilty,” and it is to be heard louder and longer than your conscience.  Your Baptism is that place so holy that it can wash from your mind that dark night of sin which has been so unkind.

Now back to mingling what ought not to be.  There really were Levitical laws about sowing with two kinds of seed, plowing with two kinds of animals, and wearing garments of two kinds of cloth.  There was also one about cross dressing: “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 22:5).  Hebrew scholars can show you that this is not about a woman wearing a man’s clothes in general but his battle garments in particular.

You respond: “We do sow fields with different types of grain; we do wear garments of two types of cloth, and someone somewhere isplowing with an ox and donkey even as we speak.  These belong to the Levitical laws; the laws given to the Old Testament Church and have as little to do with us as the laws of Mexico have to do with people living in America.”  There is a sense that this is true.  Luther even writes about it, but there are aspects of the moral law found in the Levitical laws.  Leviticus 18 is about prohibited sexual relationships, and they still apply.  Why?  Because the moral law is for all people at all time.  The moral law is written in our hearts.  Though murky and clouded by sin; it’s still there.

Moral law tells us that men ought to protect women and not the other way around.  Moral law tells us that women and children are to be put ahead of men in times of danger and they certainly shouldn’t be sacrificed to protect men. Women are the glory of men (I Cor. 11:7), and what is best, brightest, and most beautiful about men ought not to be sacrificed by them.

To this end my congregation has passed the resolution below.  We sent this resolution to both the 2004 and 2007 LCMS Synodical convention where it was never allowed to see the light of day.  We sent it because in 2003 the CTCR published a pro-con article in The Lutheran Witness that said the Bible doesn’t speak to this.  This means that on board the Titanic the cry, “Women and children first,” could have been answered with, “There is no thus says the Lord about it.”  If such a reply had been accepted, how many women and children would have made it off?

The resolution of Trinity Lutheran Church doesn’t demand our secular government follow the Bible – though it is always to the determent of a government when they don’t follow Natural or moral law.  We simply wanted to state that our little Lutheran church does believe there is a basis in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions for stating that women have no vocation or calling to defend men, and therefore, they can in good conscience object to registering for a draft.

If it were simply a matter of women registering to serve their country, that would be fine.  But the architects of these proposals for a draft want to be able to use women in whatever capacity the nation needs them even as peacekeepers.  The think tank Hope For America has followed this issue closely for years, and they say once a law reinstating the draft has been passed it will be too late to claim your church is opposed to women serving in combat roles.  Since our Synod would not even consider such a resolution, much less pass it, we did.

I for one would rather have by daughters afflicting me with movies that try to make me cry than to be at home waiting for them to die for their country.  I for one have too much to learn from these women in particular and women in general to sacrifice them in name of equality, freedom, or faux Biblical uncertainty.

Subject: To State that the Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas Does have an official Position on Women Serving in Combat    

            WHEREAS, Rep. Charles Rangel of New York has proposed a draft revival bill which calls for the federal government to “impose a requirement that no four-year college or university be allowed to accept a student, male or female, unless and until that student had completed a 12-month to two-year term of service;” and

            WHEREAS, Though students would be given their choice from three officially sanctioned forms of involuntary servitude in national service programs, homeland security, or the military, “They would be deployed as needed for peacekeeping and nation-building missions;” and

            WHEREAS, The prospect of purposely involving women in combat operations is a direct result of the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces which concluded in part: “Theological testimony was received from representatives of a wide range of different religions and denominations.  Among the major religious establishments in the U.S., none has adopted a position regarding women being assigned to combat positions on the basis of theology.  The Commission concludes that although the U.S. has undeniably strong religious heritage, it is not one that speaks clearly on the issue of women in combat,” and

            WHEREAS, Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas does wish to speak clearly on this issue; and

            WHEREAS, Our Lutheran Confessions consistently urge men and women to do their duty according to their calling or vocation; and

            WHEREAS, Article XX, 3 of our Augsburg Confession states that Lutheran teachers “have taught well what is pleasing to God in every station and vocation in life”; and

            WHEREAS, Women have no God-given calling or vocation to defend men; therefore, be it

            RESOLVED, That Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas hereby declares her opposition to women serving in combat thereby providing the women members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas with a theological basis for conscientious objection to registering for a draft.

Adopted April 8, 2008

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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