Letters from the Trashcan – Confessing or Pretending?

Here’s a letter I wrote to The Lutheran Witness in June 2015. They never published it or responded at least in print. They might have online and I missed it.

Dear Editor:

Having read the June 2015 article “Saved Through Childbearing?”, I was amazed that it did not cite what our Lutheran Confessions have to say on this verse.

“Paul says that a woman is saved through childbearing.  In contrast to the hypocrisy of celibacy, what greater honor could He bestow than to say that woman is saved by the conjugal functions themselves, by conjugal intercourse, by childbirth, and by her other domestic duties?  But what does Paul mean?  Let the reader observe that faith is added and that the domestic duties are not praised apart from faith: ‘provided they continue,’ he says, ‘in faith.’  For he is speaking about the entire class of mothers….This work pleases God on account of faith.  Thus the duties of a woman please God on account of faith, and a believing woman who faithfully serves in these duties of her calling is saved” (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XXIII, 32).

We claim to be a confessional Lutheran church. When we are dealing with a difficult text of Scripture we should start with our Confessions or at least mention them.

I can see how a lay person might not know this, but surely the staff of the Witness does. You could have at least cited the passage I did in a text box.

Rev. Paul R. Harris                                                                                                                

Trinity Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas

We have to discipline ourselves to do theology like our forefathers: Scripture, Confessions, Church Fathers rather than dipping first into the well of our own wisdom, even so-called Scriptural wisdom, which at best is no more than 50 or so years deep.

If we’re not standing on the shoulders of giants we haven’t even gotten our heads above the effluent of our own generation let alone century. And when we won’t stand on our own Confessions, we’re only pretending to be a confessional Lutheran synod.

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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