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Featured Women Priests.

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by sparow, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I completely disagree. Anonymity is anathema to good ministry, which is always inherently relational.

    I don't know about "almost inevitable," although I agree they must be resisted. I'm disagreeing with your proposed methods, is all.

    I would argue that this is necessary, though, and has been seen so since even the New Testament. We have always needed leaders, elders, overseers, teachers, pastors, and the like; and we have always recognised that not everyone should seek those roles.

    Early patristic sources such as the Shepherd and the Didache would suggest otherwise.

    Because we believe everyone ought to be able to seek God's grace in community, albeit - in this sort of instance - in very tightly controlled ways. My point was simply to illustrate that not everyone is a fit person to hold office in the church. I would have thought that was a fairly uncontroversial thought.

    But that is not the case. Anyone may baptise. Lay people may handle administer the sacrament of communion. There are very, very few things only an ordained person may do.
     
  2. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    I agree good ministry is relational, but we're speaking of the usefulness of distinctive clothing among strangers. It only operates in the manner you advocate(as a symbol of the office) if the clothing is identified with the office and not the office holders.



    Fair enough.



    There have always been roles to fill and needs to be met, but rolling them up into a designated clergy naturally creates division among the members with a class distinction. Ordination in the NT is to tasks, not to offices.



    Not quite, the only one that hints at clerical exclusivity is Apostolic Tradition and that's likely a 3rd century document. Full clerical exclusivity didn't come until Augustine enshrined apostolic authority with "the church" as a response to the Donatists and then used the force of law to subdue them.



    There are certainly qualifications for official status within the church, but this cuts to the function of elders in the NT. They weren't exclusively administering baptisms and communion, or overseeing the liturgy, they were adminstrators of communal resources. The first official office in Acts is serving food to widows, and it seems apparent to me from what Paul wrote to Timothy that liturgical offices weren't what was in mind with eldership.



    What are these restrictions? Are they liturgical, or practical considerations of communal resources? I can understand the latter, but the former seems would be making a class distinction.
     
  3. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    Paul, in the very same book, said that when women are praying or prophesying in the church they should have their heads covered. Very clearly Paul allowed women to speak in church. (1 Cor 11:5)

    A closer examination of the Scripture to which you refer reveals Paul telling 3 groups of people to "be quiet"

    1. Tongues speakers when no interpreter is present. (1 Cor 14:28)
    2. Prophets, when other prophets are speaking.
    3. Women, when they have questions. (1 Cor 14:34-35)

    In each case, the goal was decency and order. (1 Cor 14:40)

    So I believe you are incorrect about the Scripture you cited.
     
  4. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    That's not the same as "anonymity," though, or any sublimation of the person wearing it.

    I might be able to go along with an argument that we should abolish the concept of "clergy" and simply have a collection of different offices (I think that reflects the NT situation pretty well). But I don't think we can make such a neat distinction between tasks and offices. An office is, in effect, a way of conceptualising a group of tasks. Not that I think we can reduce church offices to tasks entirely (see above points about relationality) but that to speak of an office of teacher, for example, is a way of speaking of someone with responsibility for a cluster of teaching tasks; to speak of an office of elder is a way of conceptualising a cluster of "eldering" tasks, and so on.

    I don't think that's correct, but we may be thinking of not quite the same things. It's very clear in both of those texts that there are distinct roles for elders (and others) with particular responsibilities, in worship as well as outside of it.

    It's very clear, though, that those who presided over the life of the community also presided over its worship. We see that reflected in different ways in different texts. No, it wasn't exactly what one might encounter today, but the idea that it's wrong to have an office with particular responsibilities is not really one I think you can defend even from the NT.

    See, I see it differently; the fact that in my tradition communal resources are handled by a council of clergy and laity together is what seems to me to deny a class distinction. The things that only a priest may do are in part liturgical and in part pastoral, but in both cases I see the reservation of those things to a particular office as being about making sure that when someone claims to speak for the church, they do so under the authority and oversight of the church, and not as loose cannons, as it were.
     
  5. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    It seems to me it is, because when the "uniform" is put on what is important is the office it represents rather than the identity of the individual. If the office doesn't overtake the individual, the uniform becomes a mark of status rather than office.



    A lot of it comes down to the question of what are appropriate offices, and what tasks are appropriate for reservation. With teaching, for example, what's important is not the status of the individual but conformity of message so some time spent learning is going to be a natural aspect of the office.



    A lot of what's in the patristics becomes colored with biases and certain late developed practices are easy to read into them. Fixed offices didn't really become a thing until after dedicated buildings were used, which is a late 2nd-mid 3rd development. What's in the didache and shepherd regarding worship were largely rotating offices rather than ordained ones. It's not until Apostolic tradition that the first wafts of official ordination are seen, and exclusivity came with Augustine(though there was some practical exclusivity prior)



    NT worship is almost uncomparible to modern worship, with most seeming to meet in house churches and the only real identification being those whose house they met in. Large communal sessions like those discussed in 1 Corinthians bear almost no relationship to modern liturgical worship.



    Councilory handling of resources doesn't really play into the class issues, though. The class distinction comes in when there are "holy" ordinances that require a special clearance that only a specific class(clergy) are allowed to operate, because it implies that there is an extra holiness to the clergy that allows them to adminster whatever that holy rite is rather than them being purely servants in charge of adminstrative duties. The whole idea of an institution of "the church" which some have the authority to speak for seems to create a class distinction to me since "the church" includes those who are being denied the right to speak. The church is not an institution, yet ordaining clergy in the fashion they are creates such an institution.
     
  6. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I disagree. If the office overtakes the individual, then I think it becomes about status. But as long as the person matters in the relationships signified, it is less about status.

    And yet any teacher will tell you that the authority of the role is important in the classroom. Sure, we can argue endlessly about tweaking the tasks and functions of particular offices, but that doesn't negate the fact that they are given for the good of the Church.

    I think it's very clear that we're working with distinguishable offices well before that point. There was a degree of diversity and flexibility, definitely, but we can't plausibly argue for an office-less first century church.

    Which is irrelevant to the point I was making. Even in house churches, someone presided, someone taught, there were elders and so on.

    Then why did you raise the handling of communal resources?

    Some people might make that inference (of "extra holiness), but it is not directly implied and it is an incorrect inference. I am not extra-holy compared to the people in my congregation, in any way.

    The church is not merely an institution, but it has an unavoidable institutional aspect. And I would argue that a well-run church doe snot deny anyone the right to speak, but it does create order in appointing particular people to speak on its behalf.

    Think about it; if you ran a business (by way of analogy, not to say that the church is a business), would you want any random employee deciding what tasks they shall undertake, and what they shall do (ostensibly on your behalf), at random, without seeking your input or agreement? Why should the church not want to make sure that those who hold particular roles in it agree to be accountable to the church in what they do and say?

    Role distinction is not the same as class distinction. Not least because what role a person occupies can change, but generally class is fixed.
     
  7. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Are there any women in the New Testament who can be unambiguously called a presbyter?
     
  8. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    No, and not many men either. Most groups of presbuteroi in the NT are unnamed.
     
  9. Lawry

    Lawry New Member

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    This is such a hard issue.

    I dont think woman priests/ministers are a judgement on men.

    However I also dont believe scripture allows for it, if someone can categorically explain Pauls statements on the matter, while remaining true to scripture, I will be gladly educated.

    If scripture is eternal truth, and scripture cannot be broken, then while I find it harsh and hard, but prohibited. As modern Christians we dont like uncomfortable things like absolute truth, because its offensive and uncomfortable, we are slowly watering down the faith in so many ways, but on the point of absolute truth and abiding in it no matter how inconvenient, I take comfort from the scene where Jesus has just lost the bulk of his followers after a statement on communion which brings about the response "this is a hard teaching- who can accept it" and says to his 12, will you also go? and Peter says "where else will we go, no one else has the words of life".

    Its not a salvation point, but if scripture is true and to be relied up, then it speaks for itself.

    If its to be ignored as redundant, then the whole thing is best in the fireplace...and "we amongst all men are to be most pitied".
     
  10. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well it all depends on whether you want a biblical church or one that is willing to make some compromises for the sake of culture.

    The bible is unambiguous though indirect in saying that only men are allowed in the offices of the church (bishop/pastor, deacon)

    1 Timothy 2:11-12
    King James Version

    11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

    12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    1 Timothy 3
    King James Version

    1. This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

    2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;


    1 Timothy 3:8-12
    King James Version

    8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

    9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

    10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

    11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

    12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.


    all these passages are in the giving of instructions to Timothy for the proper functioning of local assemblies.

    The question one must ask is that are these just temporary commands for the church to obey or were they inspired by god and then placed into the bible for the church to obey until He comes?

    1. If it is the bible then we should obey for these instructions come from God.

    2. I fit was cultural, then how can we discern when others do things we would say are wrong defend our position? If we allow this clear edict as only temporary or cultural then , as I used as an example in another thread here, how can we stop a married lesbian woman from being a pastor.

    3. where does one draw the line as to which edicts in the NT to obey and how do they know where they draw their line (individual or church wide) is from god or their own latent bias? This becomes a very slippery slope as we have seen with the emerging church philosophy that has taken over many evangelical churches.
     
  11. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well if He was writing under the INspiration of the Spirit then we should accept His writings as coming from God!

    Thgough we have abolished slavery (at least superficially) there is no edict against it! You will not find one verse that shows God condemns slavery. Peter also told slaves to serve their masters well. If we jettison these as not being inspired, then we have a real problem when others wish to jettison things that we hold to be divinely inspired. We have lost most of the solid ground to defend one part of the Bible if we rejejct other parts of the bible.
     
  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I suppose that depends on what you mean by "unambiguously". The role of women in leadership is pretty clear.

    Biblical Examples of Women in Ministry
    Old Testament history includes accounts of strong female leadership in many roles. The following are striking examples: Miriam was a prophet to Israel during the Exodus, alongside her brothers Moses and Aaron (Exodus 15:20). Deborah, both a prophet and a judge, directed Barak to lead the army of Israel into successful combat against Israel’s oppressors (Judges 4 to 5). Huldah, also a prophet, authenticated the scroll of the Law found in the temple and helped spark religious reform in the days of Josiah (2 Kings 22:14–20; 2 Chronicles 34:22–28).

    The New Testament also shows that women filled important ministry roles in the Early Church. Tabitha (Dorcas) initiated an effective benevolence ministry (Acts 9:36). Philip’s four unmarried daughters were recognized prophets (Acts 21:8,9). Paul singled out two women, Euodia and Syntyche, as “women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers” (Philippians 4:2,3). Priscilla was another of Paul’s exemplary “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3,4). In Romans 16, Paul greets numerous ministry colleagues, a large number of them women. In these greetings, the word Paul uses to speak of the work (kopiao), or labor, of Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Persis (Romans 16:6,12) is one he uses extensively for the labor of ministry (1 Corinthians 16:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17).

    Phoebe, a leader in the church at Cenchrea, was highly commended to the church at Rome by Paul (Romans 16:1,2). Unfortunately, translation biases have often obscured Phoebe’s position of leadership, calling her a “servant” (NIV, NASB, ESV). Yet Phoebe was diakonos of the church at Cenchrea. Paul regularly used this term for a minister or leader of a congregation and applied it specifically to Jesus Christ, Tychicus, Epaphras, Timothy, and to his own ministry. Depending on the context, diakonos is usually translated “deacon” or “minister.” Though some translators have chosen the word deaconess (e.g., RSV, because Phoebe was female), the Greek diakonos is a masculine noun. Therefore, it seems likely that diakonos was the designation for an official leadership position in the Early Church and the proper translation for Phoebe’s role is “deacon” (TNIV, NLT, NRSV) or “minister.”

    Moreover, a number of translations reflect similar biases by referring to Phoebe as having been a “great help” (NIV) or “helper” (NASB) of many, including Paul himself (Romans 16:2). The Greek term here is prostatis, better translated by the NRSV as “benefactor” with its overtones of equality and leadership.

    Junia was identified by Paul as an apostle (Romans 16:7). Beginning in the thirteenth century, a number of scholars and translators masculinized her name to Junias, apparently unwilling to admit that there was a female apostle. However, the name Junia is found more than 250 times in Rome alone, while the masculine form Junias is unknown in any Greco-Roman source. Paul clearly was a strong advocate of women in ministry.

    These instances of women filling leadership roles in the Bible should be taken as a divinely approved pattern, not as exceptions to divine decrees. Even a limited number of women with scripturally commended leadership roles affirm that God does indeed call women to spiritual leadership.

    Assemblies of God (USA) Official Web Site | The Role of Women in Ministry
     
  13. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well several here who support women priest cited often that the Orthodox churches hail Junia as an Apostle, but those very same orthodox churches do not allow women into the ministry !

    The list of sects of Christianity that allow women is indeed very small.

    These Are The Religious Denominations That Ordain Women.

    Sadly Huff Post does not list many of the Baptist denominations. For the Bulk of the varied Baptist sects do not.
     
  14. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well teh issue is not what sects are allowing or forbidding women into the office of Pastor or deacon, but what does Gods Word say?

    And you know that a deacon and bishop must be a man per the instructions laid out in Gods Word.

    Given American colloquial use of the word "bull", I find it ironically delicious that that term is used when a teaching bends or contradicts clear teachings of Scripture.
     
  15. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Paul never made such a remark either. He said that a woman should be peaceable. Several verses before that verse (in verse 2) the exact same word was translated as peaceable but in v 12 for some strange reason the translation used "silent". Some say "quiet".
     
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  16. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    1 Timothy 2:2
    For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable (hēsyxios) life in all godliness and honesty.

    ἡσύχιον (ēsuchion) Strongs 2272:

    2272/hēsyxios ("calmly quiet") describes being "appropriately tranquil" by not misusing (or overusing) words that would stir up needless friction (destructive commotion).​

    Cognate: 2271 hēsyxía (from hēsyxos, "quiet, stillness") – quietness, implying calm; for the believer, 2271 (hēsyxía) is used of their God-produced calm which includes an inner tranquility that supports appropriate action. This term "does not mean speechlessness, which is more directly indicated by 4602 (sigḗ) (J. Thayer). See 2272 (hēsyxios).​

    Unfortunately, the same word was translated in the KJV as peaceable in v 2 but then as silence in v 12. Paul did not say "silence", he said "hēsyxía", which refers to a God produced calm with includes an inner tranquility that supports appropriate action.

    It is likely that the cultural bias where such things were automatically assumed was at play in the KJV translators' word choices here, but saying that PAUL told women to be silent is not saying the truth.
     
  17. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well as they are two different forms and in verse 2 it is an adjective and in verse 12 it is a noun- they carry a differing sense or strength for each.
     
  18. Endeavourer

    Endeavourer Well-Known Member

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    Let's assume you are correct - in either case or strength the word doesn't mean silence.

    Here is Strong's definition of the word in v.12, and, interestingly it points out that Paul would have used sige rather than hesyxia if he would have meant silence:

    Cognate: 2271 hēsyxía (from hēsyxos, "quiet, stillness") – quietness, implying calm; for the believer, 2271 (hēsyxía) is used of their God-produced calm which includes an inner tranquility that supports appropriate action. This term "does not mean speechlessness, which is more directly indicated by 4602 (sigḗ) (J. Thayer). See 2272 (hēsyxios).​
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  19. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Women priests might quell the pedophile problem........ Just a thought.
     
  20. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Any woman presbyters in the second century?
     
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