Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Why" isn't necessarily a theological question

Pastors are to be well trained theologically. We need to know Scripture and doctrine forwards and backwards - so that we may stand ready to answer questions, or at least know where to look to find the answers.

However, one thing to remember is that this doesn't mean that all the questions we answer - even on a theological topic, will be theological questions. For example - say the topic of Women's Ordination comes up, and you point out that this is not allowed Scripturally - you may be asked why.

What does this why mean? What are they asking? Do they wish to hear a long discussion about the order of creation, or about the Christological nature of the Office of the Holy Ministry? Perhaps. . . but more often, when a person asks "why" to God or one of God statements - it's not a why that means, "Please explain to me the rationale behind this," but rather, "why could God do this because I don't like it."

So we need to ask a follow-up, figure out what they need to know. If you think the idea of not having women pastors doesn't seem fair - you can talk about the order of creation or the Christological nature of the office until you are blue in the face -- it will just be more stuff that is "unfair" or that they don't think it seems right. That theological answer won't do much - because that why wasn't a theological question. It was a complaint.

Doctrine (per se) isn't the response to a specific complaint. Rather - perspective is called for. Not having women pastors is unfair? I'll never have the honor or privilege of giving birth to a child - I'll never be a mom. Is that unfair? It doesn't make sense that God would limit the office to just men -- well, He has limited to more than just "men" - look at the congregation - none of those men are pastors either. It's not something a man can claim by right, but is a vocation given by God.

Sometimes a "why" doesn't need an explanation, it calls for looking at something from a different perspective.

1 comment:

Pastor D said...

There are two answers to the question of "Why?" "WHY NOT" & "BECAUSE"