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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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    Agreed. And this is why we need structures to try to work against that.

    But your entire contention in this thread seems to be that because the relationships are distorted, we should abandon the offices.

    And to the extent that that happens, it is wrong. The answer, though, is not amputation of the office but healing the sickness in it.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with submission. Nobody is required to be "in submission" to me. :sick: The service I'm talking about is non-Eucharistic, but that's part of the point; it is perfectly fine and good to have services which don't require a clergy presence.
     
  2. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    No disagreement there.



    Re-structure, not abandon. Remove privileges of the office in sacred spheres, primarily.


    The sickness in the office is the unequal sharing of sacred duties which gives air to class distinctions.


    So it's a lesser service, lacking in the fullness of sacred ordinances. Your parishoners are required to be in submission to you, especially in a service like confession since they are to divulge their sins and secrets which is an intimate one-sided relationship. I notice you didn't answer the question about who you confess to.
     
  3. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    I disagree. There is nothing inherently wrong with assigning particular duties to particular roles. The issue comes when we value some duties or roles above others.

    Here is the problem. I don't see it as "lesser." I see it as a valuable and important part of the diversity and strength of worship in the parish. Your value judgement is that it is lesser, but that is exactly articulating a distorted value system!

    No, they really aren't.

    Given that confession is an entirely optional thing (the Anglican line about private confession is that "all may, many do, some should, but none must") there is no requirement either to make use of confession, or to divulge anything other than what a person wishes to. The intimacy - and confidentiality - is there if and when it is helpful.

    I am not in the habit of regular private confession for myself. However, I have a supervisor (a lay person), a spiritual director (a lay person), and my bishop, all of whom provide me with structures of oversight and accountability.
     
  4. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Sure, though some tasks do in themselves convey a sacredness. This becomes even more so when these task privileges are exclusive without mitigating exclusivity. Are there any tasks within the church a lay person may do which a member of the clergy may not? Any exclusive domain of the laity?


    It's lacking in a fundamental aspect of communal worship. It isn't a complete service.



    They should be, just as you should be in submission to them.


    In the Anglican church is there a distinction between formal confession and private confession?


    I'm not sure if there's duplicitousness in your answer, they may all take your formal confession? If not, why are you conflating formal confession which I asked about with accountability?
     
  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Yes. Property and money management are particular domains of the laity. I have no access to, and no control over, the parish's use of money, for example. Also, there are other roles in governance particularly reserved to laity (such as a diocesan registrar; the director of professional standards; the diocesan advocate and so on).

    That is not our understanding of it. Communion is not the be-all and end-all of communal worship. Anglicanism has a long and rich history of non-Eucharistic services; and in fact for most of history, many Anglicans might have communed as infrequently as four times a year, while being in church weekly or more often for non-Eucharistic services which were considered an essential part of the Church's worship.

    I'm not sure what you mean here by submission, but on the face of it, I don't agree. I don't tell them how to think and what to do, and nor do they tell me that. All of us together inhabit the agreed structures of our church.

    I'm not quite sure what you're asking here. There is a form of confession built into our worship services ("general confession") which is considered adequate for everyone. Private confession (where one person comes to confess in confidence to a priest) is what I am explaining is completely optional, though available for those who find it helpful.

    I'm not being duplicitous. I am pointing out that though I have no regular confessor, I have chosen people to whom I make myself spiritually accountable, including lay people.
     
  6. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    So to them the secular, and to you the sacred.


    Not the be-all, end-all sure but the distinction marks it off as having a missing element. Again, this is a "separate but equal" sort of reasoning where the distinction itself creates an inequality.


    I have in mind Ephesians 5:21. As Christians, we are to submit to one another. They to you, and you too them. Not autonomously governed, but neither hierarchically.


    You mentioned earlier formal confession being reserved to priests. What does that entail? What relationship does it have to Catholic confession and the rites of penance and absolution?


    Ah, alright. So there's not someone you are responsible to as a matter of office who alone is allowed to hear your confession within the church? I'm being sincere with my question, not meant to convey any kind of suspicion.
     
  7. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Again, not a distinction I would make. When we use church funds to stock the parish food bank, that is not in the slightest bit less sacred than what we receive in communion. God's work is not so neatly divided up into categories of different value.

    No. A service of morning prayer, or evening prayer, or prayer and praise, or whatever else, is complete and meaningful in itself. It is not missing an element, it is simply a different form of service.

    You are claiming there is an inequality where I see none, and you're claiming I'm the one with the distorted system?

    I don't disagree with that, in the abstract, but I don't extrapolate that to say that we can't have particular church roles with particular duties.

    It's similar to Catholic confession except, as I noted, it is not obligatory. It is an opportunity for people to unburden themselves, receive counsel, and assurance of forgiveness, in a totally confidential setting.

    I'm still not quite sure what you're getting at. If I wanted a regular confessor, I could choose any priest. It does not need to be someone with whom I otherwise have any relationship of accountability, and in fact often it's recommended not to choose someone like your bishop!
     
  8. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    Perhaps, though I'm not sure that's in line with ordinary perception because property management is not something unique to the church, exclusively available through the church whereas sacred ordinances are.


    Those largely depend on circumstances, but if a service contains all of the elements of an ordinary gathering(singing of hymns, a reading, exhortation) but lacks in a distinctive fashion then that service is inherently deficient.

    I'm not sure I see the profundity of us having different perspectives.



    Neither do I, I am simply opposed to offices that convey an inherent relationship of authority outside of those specific tasks which ordination often implies.


    The third in the list is the questionable aspect. Catholic confession vests in the priest the right to offer absolution on behalf of the church by prescribing penitentiary acts. Combined with this, it is my understanding that Catholics teach that such absolution is the sole possession of the church and cannot be achieved apart from the church. Are you saying the Anglicans endorse this same absolutionary theology? If so, how is it in any way optional?


    It breaks down on what is meant by "formal confession" because the issue in confession is not primarily accountability, but absolution. Confession, as a rite, is much more than just private counseling and unburdening but a very specific religious act. If it's as you imply, what difference is there between confessing to a close friend who is a Christian and confessing to a priest? What marks the exclusivity?
     
  9. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    But this whole argument is about "ordinary perception." Just because people might have a distorted "ordinary perception" of something doesn't mean it is, in itself, wrong.

    But why are you assuming that communion is the default, and everything else is deficient?

    "Authority" probably needs some unpacking there, but I would argue that ordination does not convey that.

    I am not sure that you have correctly characterised the Catholic understanding, but setting that aside, it is certainly not exactly the Anglican understanding. In pronouncing absolution, we are not doing something cannot be achieved apart from the Church, but we are articulating what we understand is available to every believer from God. It's simply that for some people, and often when dealing with a particularly grievous burden of guilt, it can be helpful to have someone listen to that, know the weight of it, and still be able to assure the penitent that they are forgiven.

    So no one must seek confession in that form, but if it is pastorally helpful to do so, it is available.

    Well, I probably can't trust my friend to keep it confidential, for a start. :sorry:

    Seriously, though, the main difference is that the priest is the person who is entrusted to be available to the faithful for this reason; adequately trained and equipped to offer wise counsel; and authorised by the church to offer an assurance of forgiveness which can be heard as having the weight of the church behind it. (Ie. It's not just the priest's personal opinion that you are forgiven, but the agreed understanding of the church that God forgives you).
     
  10. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you think they like women all that much?
     
  11. sparow

    sparow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is probably a culture change required, a morality code established and standard required.
     
  12. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The male-dominated priesthood seems to like little boys more than little girls. I doubt if heterosexual marriage is the solution.
     
  13. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I think a lot of these things came about as a matter of scale. The church grew exponentially after Pentecost. What did they do? They elected deacons to help. And so it began. The church continued to grow and so did the leadership needs. The larger the church, the more division between leadership and laity. And the more absolute the power, the more temptation to abuse it. But we can't make the case that the division causes the abuse of power. The checks and balances are there to prevent it.

    We should get back on topic.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 6:10 AM
  14. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I think women in church leadership is more of a cultural/social issue. The culture found scripture to defend its position. (not allowing women in leadership roles) As the culture at large changed, those interpretations came into question. When the new interpretations were accepted, we began to see women allowed into leadership roles. There are still some who hold to the earlier interpretations, claiming it is unbiblical for women to be in leadership. But in reality it is their church culture that is holding them in that place, since there is a better option. IMHO
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021 at 8:17 AM
  15. Fervent

    Fervent Active Member

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    If more have the "distorted" ordinary perception, then there is something in the actions giving that perception. And with the exclusive realms, this perception is two-fold because often worldly affairs are considered not only mundane but possibly even dirty, especially dealing with money, so there is the possibility in isolating priests from money matters there is an added element of them being too sacred to handle such a tainted matter.


    It's not so much that it's the default, but look at your own language. Services are divided into Eucharistic and non-Eucharistic. As I've leveled several times, it's the same logic as "separate but equal" to claim they are equal because in such divisions there is an inherent inequality.


    I'd imagine you would, but ordination is about vesting the authority of the church in an individual which creates an imbalance in any priest-laity relationship.


    I'm basing my assessment on their catechism on penance. I agree that confession of sins is an important aspect of the Christian life, but what difference does a priest assuring the penitent they are forgiven have from an individual who is learned in the Scriptures but not ordained making the same pronouncement? If the priest is not mediating the absolution and merely pronouncing an established sentence, why is such confession reserved to them?


    I assume you're making a joke with the first line, but I have several accountability partners I make regular confession to, and none of them have divulged any of the salacious things I've confessed to them.

    Now, what is this assurance of forgiveness based on? If it is apart from the church's active role in the forgiveness of sins, why can't anyone learned in church doctrine make the same statement with equal weight? Would basing the pronouncement on the authority of Scripture not be just as devoid of being mere personal opinion?

    Partly, but the biggest influences on church leadership were Constantine's declaration of Christianity as the official religion of the empire granting the church prestige and a controversy with the Donatists over whether the church should re-admit recanters during a martyrdom episode being addressed by vesting baptismal and Eucharistic rites with those the bishop ordained instead of belonging to the believers at large.

    As for whether we're on topic, I'd say the question of whether there should be priests at all is just as relevant to whether there should be women who can serve in such leadership positions when the question is whether there should be women priests.
     
  16. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    Ok, no problem. I think it is not necessary to think are women good to be priests.

    I think the problem with priesthood is generally this:

    For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad, enlarge the fringes of their garments, and love the place of honor at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, the salutations in the marketplaces, and to be called 'Rabbi, Rabbi' by men. But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers. Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
    Mat. 23:4-12

    If we are truly disciple of Jesus (“Christian”), we have one teacher and we are siblings and want to be loyal to Jesus and live as he taught. Being priest is not necessary in that and it may be wrong, because it is often seeking high position to person himself and I think it is not work for Jesus. If the goal is to work for Jesus and to do good, being a priest is not needed.
     
  17. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    All though I agree with that, I think it is good to notice that it is not necessary so in all cases. And this can easily lead to fruitless debate on matter that is not the main point. After all, if the real goal is to have conservative person, we can bypass the gender issue and focus on is the person going to be loyal to Jesus and keep his teachings or not. If there is really a woman that would be conservative and loyal to Jesus, then I think it is not a problem what the gender is. That could be difficult to say, but I think the main point should be on what values person has, also in case of men. A man who is not loyal to Jesus is not any better in the role of priest.
     
  18. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    Conservatism in a theological sense seeks to preserve what has come before us instead of dismantling it for a new and novel direction. If it is a tendency of Churches which accept female pastors to be more liberal (both politically and theologically), why should any conservative Church consider allowing women to become clergy when we know what eventually is going to happen? They will undermine the teaching of that Church and introduce Ideas which had not been tolerated beforehand.

    Much in the same way the Church of England has drastically departed from what it was at the time of Newman or C.S Lewis. Who knows what the Church of England will look like tomorrow. When I compare this to a more conservative institution like my own Orthodox Church, with it's insistence of reverencing those teachers and fathers and mothers of our past. We haven't departed nearly as much as many mainstream protestant Churches have.

    To put it simply, I think Luther might have some choice words for the ECLA and Lutheranism in general.

    I would go further, with regards to the bold and say most men are unfit to be priests.
     
  19. Jay Sea

    Jay Sea ................ Ke ĉiuj vivu

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    Why should gender anywhere along a spectrum determine who can serve or Shepard the "Church". Why do we place so much emphasis on translated texts where in many case the pastor will say well the Greek word actually means something not quite what English says. I have a copy of the Good News bible where quotes in the New Testament are compared to Old Testament original and they do not quite match. It is obvious that many things change with time. Like having more than one wife: like having concubines; like having slaves etc. God seems to permit and condone change.

    In Love
    Jay Sea
     
  20. nolidad

    nolidad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1 Peter 2:18
    Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.



    Well servants in the new when (oiketes) are the same as slaves. Even Christians had slaves! Like Philemon. They are not paid other than room and board. Many are indebtured servants and some simply slaves that were gouht for a purpose.

    But concerning women priests.

    This is all part and parcel of the emerging church philosophy, the seeker sensitive movement and the purpose driven movement.

    Doctrine and SCripture itself are downplayed and experience and reason are the highlighted thing.

    Men like Rick Warren, Rob bell, Bruce McClaren, Tony Campolo, Max Lucado, have introduced many destructiv eheresies in to teh body of Christ.

    Some of the se men are saved and some may not be.
     
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