My wife is a good woman, a fine wife, and is also somewhat opinionated and near-famously gifted with what some Lutherans call "gab." Gifts can be used properly, and they can be an occasion for impropriety. If on occasion she steps over the line, especially if that involves, say, engaging in arguments in public, then her husband speaks with her about it, and deals with it. That's simply life, in an obstinately unenlightened and decidedly unegalitarian marriage.
Far worse than such behavior on the part of an opinionated woman, in my view, is when a man chooses to engage in an argument with a woman, and on top of that, actually goes on the attack. This is not the way a man behaves. You are not a man, much less a Christian man, when you behave this way. Moreover, you pastors of the church are called not merely to be men, which is a high and challenging calling in itself, but churchmen, men of the church. And some of you dare attack a woman, another mans wife? What exactly is the problem with you? If you see a woman say something with which you profoundly disagree, on politics, the culture, or whatever, and you even find yourself downright irritated, you could simply be the man, be the one with the inner strength to be the gentleman. Have the strength to resist your urges. Some men need to do what the character George Costanza on Seinfeld once did, and resolve to do the exact opposite of whatever you would normally do.
I am not merely referring to Matt Lorfeld's behavior on facebook, which can only be described as childish (or at best it is seminary behavior, where there ought not be women anyway). I am referring to it, but not merely to it. For it is a type. It takes a certain type of minister of the church to publicly call a woman "ignorant." So let us review some basics. The ministry of the church is by its nature a public matter. It is also by its nature a servanthood. And what exactly is it to which one is in service when he is called to the church's ministry (ministerio ecclesiastico)? He is called to the high art of theology. Theology is his life, not simply one of the things he does. It permeates his life and being; it defines his role in this world. Far from being a mere career the theologian has chosen for himself, it is a habitus practicus Ѳεοσδοτον. One wonders, by their behavior, if some churchmen even know what that means.
To add an even finer point to this, when a man is called to be a servant of theology, it means, ipso facto, that his life is now in the service of people, people whom some pastors have no problems fighting over the headlines of the day. Please. Wake up and renew your spirit of churchmanship. And if you won't, then at least refrain from engaging in this type of behavior with any lady in my family.
Now that I have expounded a bit on the topic of unchurchmanly behavior, let me now briefly address what I would call an example of improper use of the law of God, or put another way, a badly mistaken view of the Ten Commandments. For quite apart from the issue of his method of interaction on the topic, I am struck by Pastor Lorfeld's claim that the Seventh Commandment is involved in the possibility of the public teachers' unions losing a portion of what they have enjoyed in recent times. It is one thing for a theologian to have a political opinion, though I tend to think the churchman ought to speak of political issues only when they touch moral problems. It is quite another for him to express his opinion in such a way as to bring morality into the topic in a completely improper and false manner. The teacher of the church -that is what the preacher is (ministerium docendi)- who says such things is allowing the flesh to speak, and is stifling the spirit. When this happens, as Luther says, we are deceived into misbelief, despair, and other great shame and vice. The churchman is not given many things by which to fulfill his role in this life, and to which he much be faithful, but they are things of the utmost importance. Truth be told, they are the most powerful and dangerous things in life, things like the holy mysteries of God, and the Word of God, which includes the Ten Commandments. Let us be careful how we handle such things, and learn anew to speak in the public square in a manner befitting the Gospel and the Church.