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Are these guidelines from the Statement of Purpose incompatible?

Discussion in 'Egalitarian Christians' started by WolfGate, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

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    Since the forum is quiet currently, without an emotional discussion occurring, I wanted to raise something from the forum SOP. Specific guidelines, Section 4, states:

    I've bolded, italicized and underlined the two sections that I believe in practice have been incompatible. Quite simply, is it possible for someone to write that they believe the scriptures say that women are limited in becoming ordained officials without disrespecting ordained women and their ministries? I believe I've seen people write something similar before and the standard response which follows is they were violating the terms of this forum.

    If, in practice, posting in this forum requires acceptance of women as leaders and ordained officials in the Church, should we request that the SOP be updated to reflect? Do others see how both of the underlined section in the SOP can be true and consistent?
     
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  2. bekkilyn

    bekkilyn Contemplative Christian Supporter

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    I've been confused about it too because every time differing views are "explored" anywhere on CF, it always turns into yet another thread of misogynistic horror, and not sure how hosting such a thread on the Egalitarian forum would change that event.
     
  3. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Nazarite Supporter

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    That depends on one’s pov as to Paul’s (the only witness to that perspective of interpretation) intention. When interpreted from a fleshly perspective as male representative of Christ and female as subordinate as to husband (contradiction of master) then the contrast leaves no room for reality. But from the perspective of spiritual interpretation (the starting point according to Paul) the view is of the Father guiding His children, male and female He created them.
     
  4. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    That clause was discussed carefully when we came up with the SoP for this forum, as the people involved in starting this had a range of beliefs on the topic (me being one of them). At the time, there were some serious conversations denigrating women in other forums that concerned us all deeply. We all believed in the need to a forum for like minded individuals on egalitarian tenets, while still respecting each other and our theological differences.

    Note that egalitarian tenets go far beyond just ordination of women; this was intended to be a place for those of us who hold to women being equal to men and both working side by side in ministry and in the world.

    In regards to your question, yes, it can be true and consistent. I am one of those who respects women who are ordained even when I have a different belief on ordination of women to the priesthood. I still hold to the belief that women are called to share in the work of the church alongside their brothers, and will defend that 100%. I can still fight against misogyny even with those beliefs.

    ** Many times, people assume that I hold beliefs that I do not hold because of the theological position regarding ordination. I tend to avoid the subject because of that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    What Laura said, basically.

    What we wanted was to create a space where people who belong to denominations which don't ordain women, and who were comfortable with that, could still participate. At the same time, we wanted this to be a space where ordained women, or people who welcome or work towards the ordination of women in their churches, could post without having to constantly defend what we do, or have posters who aren't otherwise egalitarian constantly coming in to argue against women's ministry (whether lay or ordained).

    I think it would be within the terms of the SOP, for example, to have a thread that explored why some people who consider themselves egalitarian don't support the ordination of women, and how those things fit together. It would not be within the terms of the SOP for that to turn into a discussion of how power-hungry or deluded ordained women are, or why we should be silent in churches.

    In my experience of this forum, there are regularly people who turn up who post in a way which goes far beyond not wanting ordained women, but arguing for subordination in marriage, or wanting to bar women from particular types of ministry even as a lay person. Those posts are rightly called out as not belonging here.

    Speaking entirely personally, and not reflecting the conversation we had when we put the SOP together, I struggle with this. I find it hard to accept that someone can truly believe women are equal to men - equal in dignity and agency, equal participants in the mission of God, equally gifted, equally beloved by God, etc etc - and still believe leadership and certain roles are only for men. But I think a conversation about that can happen in a mutually respectful way within the terms of the SOP.
     
  6. Gundy22

    Gundy22 Arminian Commando

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    Paul gets bashed as being misogynistic - but we see both Aquilla and Priscilla teaching Apollos - we see Phoebe the Deaconess taking the epistle of Romans to Rome. I have had a female Pastor before - she was great. Certainly within this Egalitarian sub-forum, there should be no problem avoiding the misogynistic perspective.
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Is there a difference, in terms if the SOP, between simply stating that one believes women should not he ordained and arguing the point? Is that what needs to be made clear?
     
  8. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Having joined a Methodist/Presbyterian Union church in New Brighton, Christchurch a couple of years ago, I would say that if there were no female ordained Methodist ministers, the Methodist church would have a catastrophic shortage of ordained ministers to keep the church going!
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I think it's about what kind of arguments are resorted to. Women should not be ordained because they're subordinate, they're inferior, they're more readily deceived, etc; or because Scripture says women cannot exercise authority or teach men, etc; not on. If you can thread the needle of arguing women shouldn't be ordained while still upholding the equality, dignity, gifts etc of women and holding open a place for exercising those gifts in the church, then by all means make the argument.

    I don't know that I've seen it done without tipping over into the former, but the SOP leaves it open to someone to try!
     
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  10. bekkilyn

    bekkilyn Contemplative Christian Supporter

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    I think the problem with the argument is going to come down to the structures of power within the church. If a non-ordained female role was as powerful or even more powerful than ordained male roles, I could see an egalitarian argument working, but what tends to happen is that the male ordained role gets both the ordination AND the power while the female roles are always subordinate in some way, and so I think it would be very difficult to make an egalitarian argument that doesn't assume the inferiority of the female.

    But as far as participation goes, people who belong to non-Egalitarian churches or denominations could certainly be egalitarians and/or be able to discuss the topic. For example a Catholic nun and a female Episcopalian priest could both have a productive discussion on female mysticism in the church and its importance in a space safe from people coming in and "interrupting" with posts on how females who have visions are possessed by Satan because females are weak to Satanic influence because of Eve, or some other such nonsense.
     
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  11. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    It's definitely a problem (not just for this discussion, but in general) that in so many churches, power and ordination go hand-in-hand. There's no inherent reason why it has to be that way, and different churches have tried different ways to work with that, but the reality is that almost across the board, ordination confers power. How does egalitarianism engage with that reality in different contexts? That's something I think is really worth exploring.
     
  12. All4Christ

    All4Christ ✙ The Handmaid of God Laura ✙ CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    I think that would be a great discussion.
     
  13. 3 Resurrections

    3 Resurrections That's 666 YEARS, folks

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    Yes, both statements can be true and consistent. I will make a post shortly displaying both sides of this SOP, on the subject of the plurality of elders.
     
  14. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    This thread really highlights why these types of forums are important. This discussion so far has been absolutely fantastic. In a less structured forum a conversation such as this would be nearly impossible.
     
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  15. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

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    I serve in a large church that has several women pastors and have spoken at others. I always respect their ministry and ordination. On the other hand, I do not believe the Bible supports egalitarianism.

    I'm not here to argue just to give my testimony.
     
  16. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

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    My recollection is I've seen 2 things happen. One is as you said, it tipped to the former. The other is that I recall posts mentioning the scriptures alone, and the response was that violated forum rules. I remember thinking at those times that I didn't see where they had violated the rules. Having said all that, I briefly went back to find an example, but I was not successful, so either my memory is faulty or the posts were edited to comply or I just didn't find them.

    In any case, I think All4Christ's and Paidiske's history on the topic is enough to explain the reasoning. Perhaps if I think I see it again, I'll bring this thread back up at that time (surely I can find my own thread. LOL!)
     
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Others might find their recollections differ, but while I do recall people sometimes coming in and throwing a cherry-picked Scripture in, it seems to me to usually be aimed at making an anti-egalitarian point. If someone just comes in and throws around verses about needing to submit or be silent, for example, without adding anything else, it doesn't come across as nuanced argument.
     
  18. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

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    I know my conclusions on many points of scripture have matured as I've learned more over the 5 years since this forum began. Which means it's also possible that I would view those same posts differently now.
     
  19. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    I've always been confused by this.

    Guidelines.png

    It isn't so much the underlined parts, but the part in the middle that throws it all up in the air for me. There have been times that people have posted here with what I feel is clearly an anti-egalitarian position, and my first reaction is, "That's against the rules!" But then I read this and think that maybe it's not. I would have thought that the rules here would prevent people from making anti-Egalitarian statements the same as the rules in the Catholic forum prevent people from making anti-Catholic statements. But apparently not.
     
  20. WolfGate

    WolfGate Senior Member Supporter

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    Interesting. I thought that the middle part was specifically addressing the issue of ordination, essentially carving it out as an area that could be (respectfully) discussed. Which would keep discussion on other areas off limits in effect.
     
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