We’re Emerging but into Where, What, Whom?

The January 2013 Texas District Supplement to the Lutheran Witness trumpets the 25th annual Church Extension Fund conference in April.  The keynote speaker is Dr. Leonard Sweet.  He is a world renowned leader of the Emergent Church movement, and that’s not even the downside of the soiree.

Found at the bottom of page Q is this: “Val Hennings will serve as worship leader.  An additional presenter will be the LCMS Texas District President Ken Hennings.”  We don’t need any help emerging.  We’re already there.

I know that even as I type this that LCMS Ecclesiastical Supervisors are supervising this.  Even as you read this, the CEF is penning a letter of apology or explaining there was a typo.

Okay, so they’re not, but you know the problem is me because I think St. Paul has the answer to “Why can’t the District President’s wife serve as worship leader?”  In short he says in I Timothy 2 that Mrs. Hennings can’t serve as worship leader for the same reason that President Hennings could not give birth to their daughter, Erika, who by the by is the banquet entertainer.

As there is no such thing as a male mother, so there is no such thing as a female worship leader.  As the former is not qualified physically, the latter is not qualified spiritually.  No, it’s not because women are more sinful, less gifted, more irritable.  St. Paul says it’s because the man was first formed then the woman, and the man was not deceived at all and the woman was incredibly deceived by Satan (I Timothy 2). (This makes Adam’s fall all the more egregious and Eve’s all the more understandable.)  It’s because God is the head of Christ and Christ is the head of man and man is the head of woman (I Corinthians 11).

This is all first year seminary stuff, but it’s not Emergent Church certified.  In fact, this old time religion is downright embarrassing.  You still believe that the husband is to be head in home, church, and world?  You still believe that a woman ought not to teach OR have authority over a man? Yup, and I have no earthly idea why. These teachings that have never been accepted in the world are now rejected by large groups in the church.

I’m probably just overreacting, but I wonder why no one else reacts at all?  Anyway, I’m sure Mrs. Hennings is not preaching.  She’s probably not teaching.  She probably just took the lead in lining up the men to do the preaching and teaching – maybe including the non-Lutheran ever emerging Sweet.  She probably led in the same sense elementary school female teachers lead their boys.  Nothing wrong with that.  Unless you’re not a boy and it’s not elementary school but Divine Service, worship.

I have always thought Church Extension Fund was an irresponsible “investment.”  What responsible investor puts his money in an institution that is totally unsecured?  Now I see that CEF’s brazenness to ask people to invest their money with no guarantee against loss of principle is only exceeded by their willingness to sit at the feet of un-Lutheran teachers and be led by woman.  Ironic that their theme is “Come Follow Me.”



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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