According this this article, they wanted a “conversation” about the role of women in the church as well. A conversation that involved everyone else shutting up while they continued to do whatever they wanted. In a FB comment thread, I noted that the unspoken second half of the sentence “We want to have a conversation” is “among ourselves, while everyone else just listens to what we say and affirms us.”
The seminary faculty in 1974 tried the “Bask in our brilliance” approach. The synod at the time made quite clear that the first requirement for a steward is that one be found faithful. Only then can brilliance be taken into account. Because if a person is brilliantly unfaithful, then their brilliance is not a light to guide, but a darkness made that much deeper by their own twisted intellect.
Me listening to you for only as long as you deign to speak is not conversation. If you want a conversation about a controversial topic, it doesn’t involve you talking until you’ve decided you’ve had enough and then just stony silence while you continue to practice falsely.To call that a conversation is an abuse of the word. Concordia Saint Louis seems intent on abusing various words in the last few years: “Day”, “Liturgy”, “Drink”.
The quote referenced in the article by Charles Porterfield Krauth is absolute gold:
When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three. It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others. The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions. Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the freinds of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the chruch. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them. From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgements on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommeddation is that they repudiate that faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it and to make them skillful in combating it.
It was true then. It’s true now. It will be true until our Lord returns. But some of us will not be cowed by advanced degrees and a stunning brilliance, nor by calls to allow an error, no matter how weak its proponents may be. We look first for faithfulness. And if that is lacking, nothing else matters.