Leaving the Established Office and Command in Place

Pentecost 13 Wednesday

Jeremiah 23:21

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.”

I am surprised that they, since they are so learned in the Spirit, do not pull out the examples that women too prophesied and thereby governed men, land, and people, e.g., Deborah in Judges 4 who defeated King Jabin and Sisera and ruled in Israel; and the prophetess at Abel during David’s life, 2 Samuel 20:16-22; and the prophetess Huldah at the time of Josiah, 2 Kings 22:14. Long before that there was Sarah who taught her lord and husband, Abraham, to expel Ishmael with his mother, Hagar, and God told Abraham to obey Sarah, Genesis 21:10, 12. And there were many more, including the widow Hannah, Luke 2:36, and the virgin Mary, Luke 1:46. Here they could distinguish themselves by giving women the authority to preach in the church; how much more might the men preach when and where they wanted according to the examples? Now we do not pursue further the right of such women to teach and govern in the Old Testament. At least they did not exercise this right as sneakers, uncalled, based on their own devotion and daring. Otherwise, God would not have confirmed their office and work by miracles and great deeds. Yet in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit ordained by St. Paul that the women should be silent in the church or congregation, saying that it is the Lord’s commandment, 1 Corinthians 14:34, although St. Paul knew that Joel prophesied that God would pour out his Spirit also on his female servants, Joel 2:29. St. Paul had also seen that the four daughters of Philip prophesied, Acts 21:9. Yet in the congregation or church, where the preaching office is, the women are to be silent and are not to preach. Yet they may pray, sing, praise, and say the Amen along with the men; and at home they may read and teach, admonish, comfort one another and interpret Scripture to the best of their ability. In summary, St. Paul will not tolerate the sacrilege and wantonness that one interferes with the office given to another, but wants each to mind his own command and call in order to leave another’s call unhindered and in peace. Let him be intelligent, teach, sing, read, interpret where he has the right to
do so until he has his fill. If God wants to do something extraordinary outside of this order of offices and calls and raise up a person in addition to the prophets, he will prove it with signs and miraculous deeds, as he made the jennet talk and rebuke the prophet Balaam, her master, Numbers 22:28. If God does not do this, we are to leave the established offices and command in place. If they do not teach correctly, what is that to you? You need not give an account for their misdeeds.

St. Louis ed., 20:1673-1674.

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