How to defend the belief only men should be ordained?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Anglican04, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    1,591
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    My fault for not citing chapter and verse. :blush:

    This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. Gen.5:1-2. KJV

    Don't we just love the KJV though. Those translators knew even back then that Adam meant proto-representatives of humankind, not just the Christian name of a man in an ancient foundational creation story.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
    Rexlion likes this.
  2. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    It happens.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Well then, let's consider this passage in Galatians!

    Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
    Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
    Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
    Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise
    .

    We know that this letter's intent was to dissuade the Galatians from Judaizing and from trying to contribute to their salvation by the keeping of the law. It says we baptized believers are all "one in Christ Jesus," meaning each of us is spiritually reborn in the same way and by equal measure, and we all are united in the redemptive work of the cross, regardless of heritage, sex, or socioeconomic status.

    Does being "all one in Christ" mean we are all equally called to ministry position? No. We know that God calls some to this ministry and some to that; it is as He wills (Eph. 4:11), and He is not bound by the modern concept of "Equal Opportunity employment" that He should make certain 1/2 of His pastors are men and 1/2 are women.

    Was this verse written with the intention of creating a doctrine that women may be ordained as priests? No, of course not. The main thrust of the entire letter has to do with the Galatians' view of Jews versus Greeks, which the Judaizers were creating in their minds by citing OT scriptures concerning God's promises to Israel to convince them of their need to adopt Judaism (get circumcised, obey the whole law like Pharisees, etc.). God inspires Paul to counter these scriptures by citing a different OT promise: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (the Gentiles) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Gal. 3:8-9). In this letter we see Gentiles and circumcision referenced many, many times. But we see "male" and "female" mentioned only this one time in the letter. The message was not about men versus women, it was about living under the law (as Jews) versus living under grace through faith.

    Being in Christ knows no status privilege (slaves or free), no heritage privilege (Jew or Gentile), and no gender privilege (male or female). But there is where the verse stops! The passage provides not the slightest whiff of a hint that being in Christ gives every believer an equal chance to be called to the priesthood (or to any specific ministry). Drawing a piece of a verse out of its context and purpose is not a good way to support a controversial new idea. In other words, this passage is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and Biblical support for WO is still lacking.

    Let us remember that God made Eve to be a helper for Adam; her abilities and gifts were complementary to those of Adam. This is how it is for men and women ever since then and even today: God bestows different abilities and giftings, as well as different duties, based upon gender. This has not been rescinded, revoked, cancelled, or discontinued by God. When a man tries to take over the things women are best at, those things will not get done as well as if a woman did them (childbirth, nurturing, responding, etc). The same is true if a woman tries take over the things men are created best at doing (physical strength, headship, leading, providing, etc). Men and women are equal before God, but a God-ordained hierarchy still exists.

    There is a hierarchy among equals, even within the Holy Trinity. I invite everyone to read this article by the Rt. Rev. John Rodgers, in which he not only reiterates what Stalwart, Carolinian and I have been saying but he also makes several additional observations of value. Frankly, he expresses the entire situation far, far better than I have been able to do so on this forum.
     
    Carolinian likes this.
  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    This article was written more recently by a woman who served as an Episcopal priest for 16 years, and she provides a different perspective on the matter.
     
    Carolinian likes this.
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    No, but the plain meaning of a passage can still have implications that the author didn’t necessarily intend. This happens in the law all the time. It’s really just a question of whether they’re able to exercise the office or not, and whether they should exercise it or not. (Categories like “priesthood” and “ordination” have to be read into the text to give it the meaning you and others seem to ascribe to it.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
    Tiffy and Annie Grace like this.
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    Thanks, I’ll take a look at it.
     
  7. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    242
    Likes Received:
    275
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican (Australia)
    The first post was edited because I sounded a bit snarky and didn't mean it that way. I hope this is less personal.

    Whether or not you think women should vote - isn't really your call is it?

    This kind of thinking IMO, leads to the horror of the Handmaid's Tale story. Women can't vote (as you suggested), they can't hold jobs, they can't have their own finances, they can't be in charge of anything. Ultimately they can't be allowed to read either or they might find out how oppressed they are.

    As a woman, I would be the first one out of there to Canada. Since you are not a woman, perhaps you shouldn't be the one making all the rules for women? Just an idea.

    And yes, you do sound very much like you support fundamentalism - the same stuff that makes up the Handmaid's Tale.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
  8. AnglicanAgnostic

    AnglicanAgnostic Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    297
    Country:
    New Zealand
    Religion:
    none
    deleted my post
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
  9. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member Anglican

    Posts:
    172
    Likes Received:
    174
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian
    It seems like we have arrived at some areas of agreement:

    1) The OT takes a hardline stance against WO.
    2) The Church did not practice WO for 1,900 years (more if you include the OT).
    3) The only way one can understand Gal 3:28 as teaching WO is by adopting a Wilsonian "living constitution" legal theory and applying it to Biblical interpretation, this then allows one to develop a "living Bible" theory that gives one the power to prove things from scripture at variance with the intent of the inspired author and the clear meaning of the text in context.
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  10. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    498
    Likes Received:
    476
    Country:
    Australia
    Religion:
    Anglican
    Well I don't know about the only way. To be honest none of us should give a stuff about the intent of the inspired author. We should be giving a stuff about the intent of the one doing the inspiring. Paul's words connect with us in our modern experiences today in ways he never could have conceived of, let alone intended. That's not coincidence, that's by design. What did God intend?
     
    Rexlion likes this.
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    As I wrote above:
    Nothing short of an example “from the first 1,900 years” will ever be treated as relevant by such people. It simply does not matter to them that the civil and social emancipation of women wasn’t even a thing more than two centuries ago. Nor does it matter (to them) that it actually is the “traditional” position that scriptural interpretation should change with science (cf. Augustine, et al), and that this includes by implication the social sciences. This is purely about defending a crude fundamentalism for the sake of the culture wars.

    These straw men have been knocked down, over and over again. The argument from the OT is irrelevant (the Christian Ministry is not a sacrificing priesthood), and the argument from the NT (at least the one you raised) is an argument from silence. What we have here is a contemporary set of (questionable) political convictions, masquerading as religion. There is thus a lot more concern with what the biblical text isn’t saying than with what it is saying or could be saying. The meaning has been predetermined; that’s not exegesis. And one doesn’t have to be an adherent of “living constitution” theories to recognize the mundane truth that a passage’s plain meaning can have implications that its author didn’t intend.
     
    Annie Grace and Tiffy like this.
  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    1,591
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    Not a perspective, it seems, that I would find much agreement with as far as her final conclusions are concerned. That's not to say that in the USA she has not highlighted some very salient points on how the introduction and application of women's entering the priesthood in the Episcopal church in the USA may have been badly handled and subversively influenced. The fitness of females to enter the Anglican priesthood should be no less stringently overseen by the church than the entry of males to the Anglican priesthood should continue to be. It would seem that most of her objections are really procedural rather than theological.

    Supposedly Ten 'reasonable' objections to women in the priesthood?

    1. The Church is not a democratic body.
    Neither, according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, should it be a hierarchy ruled by men on earth who alone reserve the right to interpret the scriptures. (There is no evidence that men have ever actually been better at it than women). Luke 24:32, Luke 24:45.

    2. Women's ordination is linked to homosexual activism.
    (There have always been abusers among the priesthood on earth). Male only priesthood has recently been found to be rife with homosexuality and pedophilia, particularly among the celibate priesthood. (This is not a valid reason however to abolish male or female priesthoods. Only to weed out the 'bad apples' and keep them out.)

    3. Women's ordination is rooted in Feminist thought.
    'Exclusively' male priesthood, within the Christian Church, is rooted in misogyny and imaginations of male supremacy over women.

    4. Women priests perpetuate confusion about gender.
    Exclusively male clergy perpetuate confusion about ability, intelligence and sanctification, (i.e only men can actually have them).

    5. Women priests represent rejection of the authority of Scripture and Tradition.
    Jesus was not so impressed with the traditions of men and was generally dismissive of them. Scripture HAS no authority, all authority in the church is invested in Jesus Christ. Matt. 7:29, John 5:26-27. It is HIS church, not the Bible's. The Bible is a guide to understanding the mind of Christ, the guidance of The Holy Spirit, not the Church's MASTER and a book of rules. The Church's MASTER is Christ Himself, HE is The WORD of God, not the Bible.

    6. Women priests cause confusion about the Eucharist.
    There has always BEEN confusion about the Eucharist and Women's Ordination is incapable of significantly adding to the 'confusion' that already exists. From parading of Monstrances to Transubstantiation and ideas concerning the Real Presence of Christ at the Communion Table, WO is a quantally insignificant ADDITIONAL cause of the substantially perennial confusion.

    7. Women priests represent a denial of the Fathers' teaching.
    May we see what you regard as 'teaching' directly from the Father, that female priests under the New Covenant are 'denied' to the church by Him? Chapter and verse please!

    8. Ordination of women to the priesthood undermines women's ministries.
    All other ministries of both men and women are only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit distributes gifts severally without fear or favour. Rom. 12:5-13, 1 Cor. 12:11. I can't see how a gender generalised priesthood affects the exercising of any other ministry in the church. Can you?

    9. The feminization of the clergy discourages men's participation in the church.
    The inclusion of women in the leadership of the church encourages women and men to work together to bring in the Kingdom of God on earth. If the truth of the resurrection was first trusted to WOMEN, and the men did not believe them, that is the men's fault, not the women's. John 4:41-42, Mark 16:13. It is not women in ministry which discourage men from attending church, it is their misogynistic, disbelieving, masculine, macho, sin which discourages some men.

    10. A female at the altar blurs the biblical distinction between life and death.
    ??????? "Speaking from the perspective of Biblical Anthropology, the priesthood of the Church stands in continuity with the Hebrew priesthood that was known to Abraham and his ancestors."

    Utter Tosh. False premise. The Christian priesthood has no connection whatever with the Aaronic priesthood and its repetitive, bloody sacrifices. Heb. 10:4. The ALL MALE Aaronic priesthood was, in New Testament terms, utterly ineffective in taking away sins.
    .
     
  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    1,591
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    But its all male priesthood was also utterly ineffective at taking away sin.
    But that same Church brutally and genocidally murdered thousands that DID practice it, believing themselves to be the Church.
    But without the possibility that scripture can ever be a guide to praxis and a 'lamp to our feet', in This Very Day that the Lord has made, scripture becomes nothing but an ancient, outdated book of rules applicable only to another age, promoting very different understandings of reality and very different assumptions of what is normal and good for mankind. The tacit acceptance, if not approval of slavery, as a normal tool of a nation's economy, being only one of those erronious 'Biblical' assumptions.
    .
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    How about giving us a thorough, point-by-point refutation of Rodgers' article, if you are able? I think you all are ignoring it because his reasoning is too devastating to your position. :hmm:

    The fact that women have become "emancipated" in the past 200 years is absolutely, unequivocally irrelevant to the church's theology and beliefs. Recall that homosexuals have become emancipated in the last 50 years also; is this why the acceptance of open, practicing gays is being accepted in the ranks of clergy in your denomination? Recall also what happened another time that there was a noteworthy emancipation of homosexuals historically, in Sodom and Gomorrah, and how that turned out for the communities which harbored and accepted the abominable behavior? TEC and COE are courting the wrath of God, thanks to this misbegotton notion that the church must evolve its beliefs in accord with changing society. The former Episcopal priest nailed it when she pointed out the tight nexus between WO and the ordination of unrepentant homosexuals; those who support the one usually support the other.

    There's going to be one heck of a bonfire at the end of this age. :preach:
     
  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    I was, somehow, only aware of the other Virtue Online piece you posted (by the former Episcopal priest). I will read it as soon as I have time.

    If women’s emancipation is somehow irrelevant to the Church, then the Church is also irrelevant to women’s emancipation. Sounds pretty Leftist to me.

    Women’s emancipation matters. The abolition of slavery matters. The Holocaust matters. The Church’s primary function in the world is to speak. If it refuses to speak with the language and knowledge of the society it is duty-bound to reach, it may as well not exist.

    You still seem to be preoccupied with a topic the rest of us aren’t actually talking about. And I tend to take a very dim view of book burning.
     
    Annie Grace likes this.
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Yes, I agree, the church speaks to those issues. But the church does not change in reaction to them. The church must remain constant in faithfulness to its enduring principles; otherwise the message it speaks will change, too.

    I can see how you missed the Rodgers link at your first look; it was buried in the final paragraph of a long post (currently #303).
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    1,591
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    4,182
    Likes Received:
    2,113
    Country:
    USA
    Religion:
    Christian attending ACNA
    Well, we're not talking about the Roman church at the moment... ;)

    This takes nothing away from what Alice Linsley said:
    The first woman "canonically" ordained to the priesthood in the United States was a lesbian who served as Integrity's first co-president. Other lesbians had been among the Philadelphia Eleven. In the United States, the ordination of women and homosexuals was so intertwined from the beginning that it is difficult to treat these as separate questions. Both have been framed as "equal rights" issues, revealing a profound misunderstanding of the priesthood. The priesthood is not a right, and it is not a reward to be bestowed upon those who will advance a body's agenda...

    Historically, a clear link exists between the push for women priests and homosexual activism. In 1974, the same year that Louie Crew founded the homosexual activist organization Integrity eleven women, including known lesbians, were ordained in Philadelphia.

    In September 1975, more lesbians were ordained in Washington D.C. Here is the account in Louie Crew's words: "More 'irregular' ordinations of women took place... after our convention. In Washington at the time, on a missionary journey to our new chapters in the east, Jim Wickliff and I yielded to the counsel of friends who advised that our visibility at the ordination might put in jeopardy lesbians among all early ordinands."

    In 1976 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church affirmed homosexual behavior when it passed the "we are children of God" resolution.​

    In Anglican circles, we observe from recent history that the church's acceptance of open, flaunted homosexual behavior coincided closely with the church's acceptance and ordination of both "proud to be" gays and "proud to be" feminists. The Bible is clear on the matter of homosexual behavior: it is sinful, and like any other sin, unrepentant practitioners are condemned, not elevated as leaders and examples of Christlike behavior. The fact that the hierarchy failed in their duty to preserve truth in this regard casts a dark cloud upon the other matter, WO, because obviously their spiritual judgment was impaired during that time.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2022
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    3,289
    Likes Received:
    1,591
    Country:
    UK
    Religion:
    CofE
    nowhere in Scripture do we read of a woman being either a priest in the Old Testament or an elder in the New Testament.

    nowhere in Scripture do we read of a Christian, male or female, being either a priest in the Old Testament or a priest in the New Testament, but does that prove anything? The church had no need of Old Testament style 'priests', it didn't work then and they no longer have any function now, the Church had One Great High Priest, Jesus Christ and that was enough to start off with.

    In the New Testament no woman was chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve apostles.

    Neither was an American, a Gentile or a Chinaman. You could say that was because America didn't yet exist, Gentiles wouldn't have been accepted in a Jewish Church and China was simply too far away at the time.

    However, America (the USA) does now exist and so does the Church of Jesus Christ and so does Jesus Christ, so there is no good reason that Jesus Christ could or would not chose an American today to lead his church in America.

    Also Jesus Christ did not chose a Gentile to be one of the twelve apostles. This would not simply have been that one was not available at the time like the American or the Chinaman, they were. Gentiles were available to him but Jesus Christ did not consider it an appropriate choice at the time because of irrational Jewish racial and religious prejudice and because he had not trained a Gentile in the Way that he should go, as He had trained his Jewish disciples. (It took St Paul's teaching and a vision of St Peter to deal with that issue and the Galatians were still kicking up a fuss over it years later, prompting the necessity for Paul to write to them about it.) That though is obviously not so today, Gentiles are OK by God to be in positions of leadership, because here you are - The Rt. Rev. John Rodgers, - A GENTILE. Women were, at that time, also ( -like yourself - an unchoosably Gentile person -), available to Jesus Christ to choose from among his disciples, but like you, at the time they would have been unchoosable, and because of similar irrational Jewish and Christian, masculine prejudice, would remain so for 1900 years or so, even within Christ's Church. The reason given, i.e. Jesus never chose a woman as an Apostle, should logically strip you of your position of leadership in the church, - Rt. Rev. John Rodgers, - if we were to apply the whacky 'logic' to it that you seem to think should apply to women not being chosen as apostles.

    Jesus could have chosen one of the women who accompanied him, prepared her along with the other apostles-in-training, and after the resurrection appointed her an apostle had he felt that to be appropriate.

    Jesus obviously didn't though but no more could Jesus have done that than he could have chosen a Gentile man to order Jews about in his new model church. But he might be able to now, after nearly 2000 years of male dominance and abuse of privilege is beginning to be pushed back, though I think if a Gentile man were appointed priest over a church full of Messianic Jews even today there would be complaints and maybe even people walking out of communion. Prejudiced opinion is not yet dead.

    Gosh - this is going to take forever.
     
    Annie Grace likes this.
  20. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

    Posts:
    2,649
    Likes Received:
    1,463
    Country:
    United States
    Religion:
    Episcopalian
    But, if the particular shape of the Christian Ministry is adiaphora, then the Church hasn’t really “changed”, has it?

    I suggest consulting a good commentary that focuses on the original biblical languages, like the NIGTC. It’s not at all clear that any of the commonly cited passages mean what hardcore partisans (on either side) assert they mean, and in the exposition it’s noteworthy when certain Fathers come up as examples of how not to do proper exegesis. Or, read RPC Hanson’s The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God (it’s about the Arian controversy). The Latin Fathers in general didn’t know Greek, and neither the Greek nor Latin (for the most part) knew Hebrew. Up against the modern scholar, with all the tools at his (or her) disposal, it’s really no contest. And that knowledge does change over time, meaning that biblical interpretation changes along with it, just as it would for any other book.