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Featured Women Priests.

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

  1. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Fair enough.



    I suppose this is a remnant of when the church and governance were inseperable. We don't have those kinds of restrictions here, with secular checks only being mandated when working with vulnerable populations. Though the existence of legal hurdles doesn't alter the fundamental point, since secular restrictions can't be helped.



    Yeah, again I'm not arguing against offices in general or orginizational issues, but restrictions on sacred elements.



    Everyone in good standing, yes. Though the very idea of formal confession with the church granting absolution is something I rather balk at. Presiding over the Eucharist, though? Yes, anyone in good standing with the church should be eligible.



    Ordination literally comes from achieving a higher rank in the Roman caste system, with Ordo Senatorum being the highest caste and plebian being the lowest. When you achieve a higher ordination, you are being elevated in class/rank and being given access to broader privileges not afforded the general population. It's inherently divisional among the body.
     
  2. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    Why would that be a better solution?
     
  3. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Not at all. It's a fairly recent thing, and a reaction to gross failures by the church. That said, every single church includes vulnerable people, so I would think it a good practice whether required by secular government or not.

    That is the custom in some churches, but not in mine, and I'm comfortable with the reasons for that. Even so, there are whole cans of worms about things like what being "in good standing" means, and (for example) what a minimum age might be, and so on.

    That is not what ordination is, in the church.
     
  4. sparow

    sparow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Biblical way is always better.
     
  5. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    That was a good one, but there is another translation issue in 1 Tim 2:12 that is also significantly in play.

    The word for "woman" in 2:11 and 2:12, and the word for "man" in 2:12, are the same words translated husband and wife in Ephesians 5:23.

    In 1 Timothy 2:12 there is a more significant translation issue in play.

    The word for "woman" in 2:11 and 2:12, and the word for "man" in 2:12, are the same words translated husband and wife in Ephesians 5:23,25. Thus several translators and commentators translate that passage as one relating to the demostic issue of a marital relationship and nothing to do with women priests or pastors.

    So for instance the Common English Bible translates the passage thusly:

    11 A wife should learn quietly with complete submission. 12 I don’t allow a wife to teach or to control her husband. Instead, she should be a quiet listener. (CEB)

    Here is the CEB Study Bible giving an explanation of their translation choice:


    Why the CEB prefers wife to women

    Although Paul's instructions could refer to women's roles in a church service, the language of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 fits specific practices in the home much better. The Greek term gynë (used throughout this section) could simply refer to "a woman" but it's often used more specifically to refer to "a woman who is married"- that is, "a wife.' The best translation is indicated by the context, usually by the mention of a man, her husband (in Paul, see 1 Cor 5:1;7:2,3, 4, 10, 11, 12,14,16,33; 9:5; Eph 5:23, 28, 31, 33). The context in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 indicates that Paul is referring to "a wife" (and husband).

    First, Paul's language refers to an individual woman (singular) and an individual man. In the Greco-Roman world, such language wouldn't be appropriate in references to persons outside of close family members.

    Second, this text involves specific directions regarding the instruction of a woman in the faith, which is the responsibility of her husband in the home (see 1 Cor 14:35).

    Third, Paul's instruction is supported by a reference to the classic passage concerning marriage, Genesis 2:18-24.

    Fourth, this text ends with a focus on childbirth, which is clearly a domestic issue.

    Finally, the letter as a whole indicates that false teaching among women was being discussed in the day-to-day activities of the home. Through private storytelling, myths, genealogies, gossip, and slander, false teaching was spreading from house to house (1 Tim 3:11;4:7; 5:13 cf. 1 Tim 1:4). In part, this false teaching attacked marriage and marital relations (1 Tim 4:3; 5:14). Moreover, 2 Timothy 3:6-7 indicates that men who were false teachers in Ephesus were targeting women in their homes. In contrast, women aren’t singled out for violations in public teaching in either 1 Timothy or 2 Timothy.

    If instructions for men to "pray everywhere in 1 Timothy 2:8 shouldn't be limited to public worship services, and if the instructions concerning women's dress wouldn't have been limited to worship services, then Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 would be best read as the apostle's attempt to deal with false teaching that was being spread (more privately) among women from home to home. As in Corinth (1 Cor 14:35), it was necessary for wives to receive instruction about the Christian faith in the home in order to solve these problems. (1 Corinthians 2:11-15 CEB Study Bible)
     
  6. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Yes, but ordination and teaching restrictions within the church go well beyond simply doing criminal background checks and other risk assessments.



    Sure, the good standing question can certainly become an issue in a church especially with clique formation but it's less open for abuse than enshrined positions with rites that are too sacred for the average member to be allowed.


    So ordination is not about being allowed the privilege of overseeing the Eucharist and formal confession, with higher rankings in the ordination process like going from parish priest to bishop increasing the sphere of influence and privileges at the higher levels?
     
  7. Gregorikos

    Gregorikos Ordinary Mystic

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    Well agreed, but the Biblical way is that the pastor/priest not be married at all.


    To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. 1 Corinthians 7:8,32-35

    There aren't any Biblical prohibitions against women as pastors, but we have that passage above exalting single life.

    So I'm not seeing any merit to your claim that married priests would quell the pedophile problem better than female priests.
     
  8. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Sure. But it's all part of a process of ensuring that the person who takes on a role is a fit and suitable person, whom the church can entrust with it.

    But it's not "too sacred"! That's just not what it's about. It's not the issue. And having been in some very, very badly done services where some random, untrained, person presided very very badly (I recall an occasion where the person presiding compared the death of Jesus to the recent death of her beloved pet), I don't agree that it's "less open for abuse" that way at all.

    No. That's not what it's about. Reading the exhortations from ordination services would help make that clear.
     
  9. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Because it's too sacred to trust with ordinary believers?


    Your mentioning of a lack of decorum demonstrates that the reason it's off limits is the sacredness of the rite, with only the select few who have been ordained being sacred enough to properly conduct it.


    Exhortations aside, the practical implications are that those ordained are of a higher order than the laity. Whether you believe that's the intention or not, the etymology of the words involved speak to class distinction as do the practical functions of the offices given their exclusive accesses.
     
  10. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    That's not the way I see it. It's more about the safety (and the sacredness) of all the believers. The pulpit (or any other place of church authority) is no place for bullies, abusers, narcissists, or the like.

    No. You are attributing to my words a meaning which is not there. Wanting to ensure that something is done properly is not about the people who do it being "sacred enough."

    To the extent that anyone actually believes this, it is wrong, a distortion of what the offices are about. And in our teaching, our behaviour, our style of leadership, and so on, we need to continuously demonstrate that.

    That is not an argument against church offices; it is only an argument that we should inhabit them well.
     
  11. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Sure, yet ordination doesn't prevent those very things. The whole notion of a pulpit puts the cart before the horse, though, since it assumes a designated teacher in a modern style worship service with the expert holy man expounding on what all can read for themselves. In times when few could read, such a service was necessary. Yet now I wonder if it is in literate countries with easy access to information.



    And the Holy Spirit alone is not sufficient to ensure it's done properly? It must be done according to human traditions?



    So the etymological history and actual history of how these offices came to be are mistaken, instead the manner you choose to view them is the correct one? The whole notion of church ordination has its roots in monastic orders, which then bled into the episcopacy as the clerics began identifying more with the "holy" life of strict orders.

    Not meant to be against offices in general, but in designating sacred rights to offices. Governmental matters require authority, and there must be some governance. It's when the sacred is withheld from a class that it becomes problematic, because in doing so the message is that some are sacred enough to handle those sacred objects and institutions while others are not. It creates class division based on access to what is sacred.
     
  12. sparow

    sparow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It is your prerogative to call Paul's epistles the Bible.

    The new covenant is made with the lost sheep of Israel AND THEIR DESCENDANTS, so women are supposed to have babies.

    Matthew 22:30 (NKJV)
    30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.

    Paedophile is fornication or adultery, the best deterrent would be pier pressure .
     
  13. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    One could certainly make an argument that our liturgical forms have not kept pace with the social changes affecting our congregations. That has nothing to do with whether or not there should be church offices, though.

    In my experience, no.

    I don't see church traditions as a purely human construct, though, but as something which has developed under God's leading and guidance.

    It's not the "manner I choose" to view them. There is a whole systematic theology of ministry behind all of this.

    Besides, this is from the online etymology dictionary:

    order (n.)

    c. 1200, "body of persons living under a religious discipline," from Old French ordre "position, estate; rule, regulation; religious order" (11c.), from earlier ordene, from Latin ordinem (nominative ordo) "row, line, rank; series, pattern, arrangement, routine," originally "a row of threads in a loom," from Proto-Italic *ordn- "row, order" (source also of ordiri "to begin to weave;" compare primordial), which is of uncertain origin. Watkins suggests it is a variant of PIE root *ar- "to fit together," and De Vaan finds this "semantically attractive."

    This idea of persons accepting a particular discipline, or indeed of fitting together in community, has nothing to do with gradations of holiness.

    But I would argue that the sacred is not withheld from any "class." It belongs to us all, together, corporately.
     
  14. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Again, I am not arguing against offices in general but against sacred offices rather than administrative offices.



    So you have more faith in men than God?



    As I'm sure the scribes saw their "oral law" as God's leading and guidance.



    Granted. Though most of that theology is post-fact justification and ignores much of the realities of the situations.

    You conveniently ignored the most significant of the mentions in the etymology with regard to church orders, which is rank(which can be restated as class) since the notion of holy orders comes directly from Roman census ranks. Ordination is about segregating the church into its proper ranking, which can only be assumed to be according to holiness since no other criteria makes sense for such segregation.



    Except only a given class can administer it. It's like Plecy vs Fergusons separate but equal ruling, such distinctions are inherently unequal.
     
  15. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    That seems a pretty meaningless distinction.

    I have extremely little faith in people claiming adherence to God while not operating within any system of oversight and accountability.

    Or rather, reflects the fact that ministry (and the Church in which ministries operate, and the societies within which the Church exists) are constantly developing and changing.

    No, ordination is not about segregation or ranking. That is a false claim, and repeating it doesn't make it so.

    Again, orders (or roles) are not a "class." This reminds me of St. Paul's writing:

    If the foot were to say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear were to say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body’, that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’
     
  16. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    It's quite significant, because it's the difference between having authority to make decisions for the church in secular matters and the other is having authority to make decisions for the church in spiritual matters. The church requires administrative offices to ensure its material resources are used well, it does not need individuals who are final authorities on interpretations or any other sort of magisteria.



    And God is incapable of providing that accountability without the help of human structures?



    That's not what I was getting at. Most of the theology is used to enshrine a tradition and give it the trappings of Biblical authority, when these are institutions that developed over time and were largely because of secular power struggles.


    It's not simply a claim, your own etymology mentioned it indirectly. The nomencloture comes almost directly from Roman census ranks which were designated as orders from Ordo senatorum, ordo equestrian, etc. Notice the other common thread there with the etymology(Latin:Ordo). Late justifications are simply revisionist history, the institution of ordination is pre-medeival innovation to make sense of the pseudo-governmental role the church took on under Constantine and other imperials.



    You keep simply insisting that it's a matter of role, when its not a matter of horizontal offices but a vertical structuring where there are at least two classes, one being the provider and the other being the consumer.
     
  17. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I would argue that ordination - whether diaconal, priestly, or episcopal - is not primarily about having authority to make decisions, either secular or spiritual. Decision making is shared between clergy and laity at every level in my church. It's why we have parish councils and synods.

    Providing final authority on interpretations or the like is simply not a priestly function. I think you are arguing against a form and practice of priesthood which simply is not the reality.

    I have observed that humans are terrible at keeping themselves accountable without such structures. I value the systems of oversight and accountability at every level in my church, and willingly submit to them, as being for the good of the whole body.

    Sure, they developed over time. There's nothing inherently wrong with that. Our task is to make sure our current practice is as healthy and safe as possible, though.

    We might have borrowed a term from that system, but that is not what ordination is, in the church.

    No. It is not a vertical structuring. There are not two classes. There are a multiplicity of people all of whom contribute their gifts and talents and skills and wisdom in different ways. I receive (or "consume," if you want to use that term) as much benefit from the many holy, godly, grace-filled people in my congregation as they do from me, if not more. It is a web of exchange in which each both gives and receives, but which amounts to far more than the sum of its parts (which is ultimately the point).
     
  18. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    At some level, the professional is deferred to even in systems where laity have a voice. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing nor is it meant to be a criticism directly, but if the offices in the church are seen as primarily a spiritual office responsible for spiritual care rather than being seen as maintaining the secular interests of the church such authority is implied.



    I'm not fully cognizant of how it works in Anglicanism, but practically within the churches I've been a part of pastor's word is basically final on matters of interpretation. Often this is done under the auspices of maintaining peace and given the justification that it is the pastor who is ultimately responsible for his flock's doctrine.



    Again, that wasn't the question. Do you not trust God to provide the accountability apart from man made institutions?


    "They teach for doctrine the commandments of men..."


    There's a reason the term was borrowed, because when ordination developed it was for parallel reasons:divying up the new found authority of the church as an official institution.



    When it comes to religious services(which is what the church is seen as the provider of) there are two vertical classes. The laity who comes and absorbs the teaching and has the rites administered to them, and the clergy who do all the religiony stuff. There is an inherent inequality between the two because the clergy is always in a position of authority whether they be teaching, hearing all the juicy secrets of their congregation(which adds another layer to the inequality), or standing in and overseeing the most sacred aspects of the communal life. Very rarely is there any submitting of the clergy to the laity, but there are constant examples of laity submitting to the clergy. And no, ceremonial foot washing doesn't count(I don't know if Anglicans do that).
     
  19. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Ha! That is really not the lived reality of my experience.

    That is not how it works in Anglicanism, and in fact it sounds spiritually abusive to me.

    I don't view the Church as "man-made." But it's not a matter of trusting God. Humans are sinful, and will wilfully ignore God, especially in positions of power and authority. I do not believe the Church is meant to operate without oversight and accountability to other church members.

    That is not my understanding, either of how ordination developed historically or how it functions in a contemporary sense.

    No. This is simply not what the Church is or how it functions. First, Church is far more than services; it is community which has a life well beyond its occasions of formal worship. Secondly, even in the liturgy, this is simply not accurate. For example, there is in my church a fortnightly service, taken by a lay person, where I sit in the pew and am ministered to. And for which I am profoundly grateful.

    Again, I think you have a very, very distorted view of what we're actually talking about here.
     
  20. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    It's been my experience, though of course there are always rabble rousers who stir up opposition and other political games.



    One of the reasons a lot of people distrust institutional religion is that it often is spiritually abusive at some level. Even among well meaning leaders.



    Oversight and accountability, sure. As I've stated multiple times, I'm not against officials but how they often function in the church since often it seems to me the relationships are upside down.



    I'm sure it's not, and simply for the history doesn't mean some degree of authorizations aren't wholly appropriate. My contention rests with that often the way ordination practically functions is to enshrine individuals with an external authority and give them an air of extra-holiness rather than the collegiate holiness Jesus endorsed in the church.


    That service sounds along the lines of what I'm getting at is necessary, but something tells me there's more to the story than you're letting on. Who takes your confession? Who administers the Eucharist in those services? Are you in submission to your congregation to the same extent that your parishoners are required to be in submission to you?
     
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