03 October 2010

That counts. No, really.

I recently received a copy of Lutheranism 101 on account of having a kicked out a few pages thereof. My own few pages aren't of much interest outside of the fact that I can now say very literally that I wrote, well, not quite the book, but a good part of the chapter on repentance. Plenty of expertise there. :P

Anyway, that's not what I sat myself down here to jabber about. What caught my eye when I flipped through was, predictably, chapter 14, "What About Women?" As I've mentioned here, I am of the persuasion that Our Beloved Synod has not handled the woman problem (and we are always a problem, aren't we? :D ) too well. By reason of fear (and more recently, I think, a resulting theological sciolism) and means of attrition the LCMS has really sold out to the world in this department.

So what does Lutheranism 101 say about women? That's right, the same old lame stuff. "The highest honor ever given to any human being was a given to a woman" and "The influence that Christian mothers and teachers have upon the spiritual development of children and youth is enormous." Bo-ring.

But that's just it, isn't it? What the Synodical Powers mean by approving this is for publication with the coveted CPH logo is: that counts. It counts that the Savior of the world was born of woman. It counts that women bear and raise children. All that pain, all that fear, all that loneliness, all that scorn, all that frustration, all that doubt, all that invisibleness, all that bo-ring: it counts. It is good. It is enough. It is respectable and admirable. It is blessed. It is faithful. It is the life and work to which women have been specially appointed. It is a gift twice over: to give and nurture life, and thereby to assiduously cultivate that profoundest and most painful virtue, humility. It is pleasing to God and as such should be pleasing to man.

Then after that is some blather about chicks who wrote hymns. So someone over there on Jefferson Ave. still hasn't gotten the "And what else are you doing?" question out of his or her system yet (Reb. Mary posted on this once but now I can't find it--bother). OK, whatev. The point is, if the "Mary" and "motherhood" answers sound like they don't count, like they aren't good enough, like they don't deserve the respect granted to other pursuits, it is because they are falling on ears tuned too much to the world. The fact that our little corner of Christendom still gives them top billing is a good sign.


Letha Hicks said...

I like this post. Sometimes I'm surprised what come out of my mouth. How worldly it can sound. For example I found myself telling my husband the other day that I don't want to appear just as a mom at home doing nothing. How gross this sounds now. He reminded me that I have nothing to prove. I'm forgiven daily and from the beginning of the universe so that really renders any striving thing I could do absolutely pointless. Hallelujah! Why is this so hard to hear sometimes? I like your blog. Keep it up!

HappyFox said...

I think they should add this post to the next printing/edition/whatever. Maybe they could add it to the website.


Untamed Shrew said...

I write hymns. You blog. We both make babies by His favor. It's all good.

The voice of CSPP reminds me of the tiniest Who in "Horton Hears A Who!" It's really, really difficult to convince all those BC-using sem wives that there is a better way when the whole world--yea, many even within the haven of the seminary--is cheering them on with cries of Responsibility and Christian Freedom. We may be drowned out by worldly mantras, but we still count.

Rebekah said...

Letha, are you sure you don't want to be known as some sylvan creature? Anyway, I know what you mean. That inclination dies hard.

Fox, I think CPH is a little tired of my suggestions or I'd run that by them. :D

Shrew, I don't think there's any problem with chicks writing hymns, but I do get annoyed with the impression such excurses give that "just being a mom" leaves something to be desired. Kind of undercuts the main message

Gauntlets said...

I totally have zero ambition anymore. But just how humble? I mean, like, ground turkey, humble? Like, spitted lizard, humble? Like, roadkill, humble? Because, as much as I hate to think it, that's what I think it's going to take. :P

I'm ape crazy, but all I got left to me is Mary.

Phft. That Gauntlets. Such a killjoy. Who lets her comment here, anyway?

Reb. Mary said...

Some of us like it when Gauntlets comments :D.

The Perennial Woman Problem and the Lingering of the What Else Malaise...yeah. Personally, I'm thinking roadkill humble.

Kristi said...

LOL LOL LOL Love this post girls! And Gauntlet's, comment away! I love the chitter chatter between you all!
HOnestly, I understand what you are saying here totally. I think I need this book. I am slowly buying the Lutheran library yet still looking for THEE Lutheran church at the moment.
I read something the other night about their being a 3rd synod? I had never heard of it before? Confessional Lutheran Synod I think? Is this a real thing? This internet you know, never can trust it! ;)

Rebekah said...

Oh, Kristi, there's no end to Lutheran ecclesial thingies. You've got your ELCA (mainline liberal Protestant), your LCMS (what I and most people here are), your WELS, your ELS, your TAALC, your various others, your various independents, and some really far out peeps in the Upper Peninsula.

Although I attend a parish which is a member of a specific organization, I think of myself as belonging to the Church of the Augsburg Confession--long may she confess.

Untamed Shrew said...

I think the 3rd synod she's refering to is NALC--North American Lutheran Church. In general, it's for people who are fed up with the heresies of ELCA but not willing to join LCMS.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this post. Even though God has not (yet) blessed me with the children (although this is a good thing since I am not married) I respect the vocation of motherhood. Yes, vocation. Ladies do not ever forget that God has called those of you with children to be mothers. Your care and nurturing of your children are a blessing to the world.

I do not usually have a problem with birth control used within a marriage because I do not know the reason why it is chosen to be used. There could be serious health reasons, and this could be the only way to insure the life of someone. That being said, I believe in adoption. The vocation of motherhood is truly a blessing from God.