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[LCMSNews] CTCR adopts man-woman report
"LCMS e-News" <LCMSENEWS@lcms.org>
Thu, 7 Jan 2010 17:09:17 -0600
> LCMS News
>THE LUTHERAN CHURCH Missouri Synod
January 7, 2010 .................... LCMSNews -- No. 2
>CTCR adopts man-woman relationship report
"The Creator's Tapestry: Scriptural Perspectives on Man-Woman
Relationships in Marriage and the Church" is the title of a 76-page
report adopted by the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations
at its Dec. 10-12 meeting.
It is the commission's latest and most comprehensive response to a
series of questions about "the Scriptural relationship of man and woman"
assigned to it by the Synod's 1995 Convention (Res. 3-10). Following
publication in early 2010, the report will be sent out to all Synod
congregations and church workers and posted on the CTCR's Web site
In the first and major section of the report, the commission presents
the scriptural view of the relationship between man and woman on the
basis of the three articles of the Apostles Creed. Beginning with
Genesis and continuing through the New Testament, the report tells the
story of how God has created, redeemed, and renewed men and women for
service to Him and to others. The report focuses on this relationship
as it exists in marriage and in single life, in service to the church,
and as participants in Christ's mission to the world.
"The biblical perspective on man and woman resembles a patterned
tapestry," says the report, "woven with multicolored threads both alike
and different. Within the Creator's design, man and woman share a
common human nature. In their sameness yet difference they interrelate
beautifully -- most intimately within the one-flesh union of marriage."
In the concluding section, the report addresses the nature of this
relationship, pointing out ways in which the Bible describes the
complementary nature of the relationship between man and woman. It
also calls attention to ways in which this relationship has been
distorted and is often caricatured. "In Baptism," says the report,
"every believer is called to service in his or her vocations within the
various spheres of life. The body of Christ requires that its
individual members exercise the wide variety of their gifts, whether
that individual is male or female (1 Cor. 12:7)."
To assist it in the preparation of this report, the commission held four
consultations with eight men and eight women representing a spectrum of
ages, areas of expertise, and experiences of service in the church.
CTCR Executive Director Dr. Joel Lehenbauer noted that the commission
has already completed a number of significant reports in response to
this assignment. These reports are available on the CTCR Web site. He
also pointed out that there are additional issues touched on in the 1995
resolution that have yet to be addressed by the commission and still
need further attention.
Among these are questions and concerns such as:
* the influence of culture on the Christian understanding of man
* violence and oppressive behavior toward women in society, home,
and church; and
* relationships of men and women beyond the context of marriage.
"We hope this document will be genuinely helpful to people as they
search the Scriptures to discover anew how its truths apply to various
aspects of their lives and relationships as men and women," said
Lehenbauer. "The church must take seriously the challenge of
communicating the scriptural understanding of the relationship between
men and women winsomely and persuasively in a day and age when many
people -- both within and outside the church -- are not familiar with
how God's Word speaks and the faith-based realities it presents."
"The greatest challenge of all," he added (citing the conclusion of the
document), "is for us to speak about these matters from the standpoint
of the cross. We dare not forget that the heart of the Christian
message is not guidance for marriage or sexuality or any other current
issue, but the truth of an irreparably broken world that finds
forgiveness, hope, and salvation only in Christ's incarnation, death,
Lehenbauer said that the commission intends to continue the work begun
in this document by immediately beginning work on issues related to men
and women in the contemporary world.
In other actions, the commission addressed a 2007 convention resolution
that asked the CTCR to coordinate opportunities for the study of
confessional Lutheran theology with members of the International
Lutheran Council (ILC). It approved a proposal to hold a Confessional
Leadership Conference June 3-5, 2010, at Concordia Theological Seminary,
The ILC will be holding its Fourth World Seminaries Conference on these
same dates in Fort Wayne, and the participants in the CTCR-sponsored
conference also will have the opportunity to listen to some of the
addresses scheduled to be given at the ILC's conference.
A $40,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans will fund the
CTCR-sponsored conference, to which 15-20 representatives of ILC-member
churches from each world region and also others from around the world
will be invited.
The next meeting of the CTCR is scheduled for Feb. 11-13. Lehenbauer
said the commission hopes to complete work at this meeting on a report
titled "A Christian Commitment to Creation: 'Together with All
Creatures,'" which addresses the Christian stewardship of the
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