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

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    Neither was I. I was trying to be 'universal' and ubiquitous in my treatment of the abuses of the all male priesthood wherever it appears. Those problems are pretty well spread and by no means restricted to churches that ordain women, though I guess they are probably LESS prevalent where women are concerned. Less prosecutions and jailings certainly.
     
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to quote just a tiny bit from the article written by Rt. Rev. Rodgers:

    Second, in our culture when referred to as roles, these ministries of men and women are likely to be viewed in the terms of superior and inferior, of a dictatorial boss and of cowed subordinates. That is not how the scriptural ministries of headship and support are to be understood. These are complementary ministries of equal importance, carried out by equals united in love, exercised in mutual consultation and care in a common mission. And they are based on the created nature of the two partners. The partners together, united as one, reflect the attributes of God and the mystery of the Trinity. As we read in Scripture the man is to love the wife as Christ loves the Church. It is a sacrificial love that is intended in male headship, both in the family and in the Church....

    Since God by design has made us male and female, we are to understand and rejoice in our created nature as male and female. In the Bible the central and defining aspects of masculinity and femininity are found in the order and ministries of male headship and female support. Whenever this order of creation and these ministries are ignored or denied, equality is defined as interchangeability.

    Competition replaces complementarity. This is evidenced dramatically by the society in which we live. Our culture generally and erroneously asserts a unisex interchangeability of men and women. It tends to deny the difference between men and women with the exception of the erotic sexual aspect and it depersonalizes, commercializes, and exaggerates that. This departure in principle and practice from traditional and biblical norms has proven to be a devastating error, as we can see in the state of things today.​
     
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing 'sacrificial' in the way male headship is practised by most 'heads' who believe in 'headship' in the USA. It is not even regarded as a 'Doctrine', in that way, by the churches in most other worldwide christian communities. It certainly does not have a history with Anglicanism of being elevated to a Doctrinal position and I'd regard it as an unfortunate leftover from a still prevalent 1st Century Jewish misogyny remaining within the church during the Apostolic period, eventually leavening the whole lump for generations yet to come after, for those who wish to interpret the text that way. The verses concerning peaceable living between husbands wives and children within a Christian family setting stand alone in their own right as Godly advice, they do not coalesce to form a doctrine supporting male supremacy American Fundamentalist style.

    What you have there is an American religious, cultural phenomenon, not a Christian Faith, phenomenon and certainly not a distincly Anglican phenomenon.

    What our discussion seems to have revealed though is the fact that the two extremes within the Anglican church of Evangelical vs Anglo-Catholic have two different main objections to women's ministry. For the evangelical wing it is mainly the Headship issue which is seen as under attack. For the Anglo-Catholics it is Tradition which is under attack. The Evangelicals fear loss of male authority, the Catholics fear being further alienated from Rome by WO in the CofE. They see WO as a threat to re-almalgamation with Rome. Anglican Evangelicals see it as threatening further separation from Right Wing Evangelical Protestantism as practiced by Fundamentalist Megga Churches with their large congregations and arrogantly confident certainties of their doctrinal and 'Biblical' purity.

    Speaking as an Anglican I feel tempted to wish a plague on both their houses but that would be just too Shakespearean. :laugh:
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :loopy::loopy: Your examples of "not choosing an American" and "not choosing a Christian during OT times" are absurd impossibilities, but choosing a woman was in no wise impossible. I will concede that choosing a Gentile as one of the Twelve was physically possible, but it would have been absurd for other obvious reasons.

    Choosing a female apostle... well, there we have a prime (dare I say perfect?) specimen suitable for apostleship: Jesus' mother, Mary! Here is a woman so highly thought of in the church, she is deeply revered and prayed to by many. People argue that Jesus would do just about anything for His dear mother. She was so holy and good, God chose her and her alone for the task and privilege of bearing the Incarnation. Despite all of this, Jesus passed her over for apostleship! Why?? :unsure: How could Jesus overlook the obvious choice to be, not just an apostle, but the leader of the Twelve? The plain answer: calling a female to be an apostle would have been just as inappropriate in God's eyes as would have a Gentile apostle.

    Now, I think you know as well as any of us why a Gentile among the Twelve would have been improper in the order of things. We can look at the pattern of God's dealing with His people and see clearly that, while Jesus was carrying out His earthly ministry, He was also an observant Jew who kept the law; He said Himself that He was called first and foremost to reach the Jews with the Gospel; it was only immediately before and after the ascension that God revealed to the apostles that the Gospel was for all mankind in all the world.

    What of WO? We again look at the pattern of God's dealing with His people and we observe that He always-- ALWAYS-- called men, NEVER women, to lead His people. Men were chosen as priests to minister before God on behalf of His chosen people. Men were chosen to be His ambassadors throughout the world. If it were to be otherwise, God would have told His people so either before or after the ascension; He would have said, "Look, fellas, you need to ordain some of these faithful women, starting with My mother!" After all, has there ever been another woman throughout all of history who was better suited and better positioned to be an ordained priest than 'Mary most holy'? Of course not. This would have been the ideal time and the perfect person by which God could have demonstrated His will that women be ordained to the priesthood. But, nope.

    Sometimes an "argument from silence" can speak with thunderous volume.
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It is not. You are confusing equality with equity. That is a known error of progressivism. We're all redeemed to the same degree by Christ, and we are all united in Christ, but we are not all given equal portions of ministry (or of anything else) by Christ.
     
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Now maybe, but not by any means back then.
    Where do you get that idea from? Not scripture, that's for sure. And John 2:4.
    But by their very nature of being arguments from silence, they don't actually tell us anything enlightening. They are silent.
    .
     
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  7. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    The phrase “the particular shape of the Christian Ministry” - and I can’t emphasize this enough - has literally nothing to do with “progressivism” and “equity”. I’m relying on the traditional Protestant Confessions for the distinction.
     
  8. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    There will never be reunion with Rome except on Rome’s terms. From their standpoint, Anglican orders are “invalid”, and their position (as well as that of the Orthodox) is perfectly consistent. Doctrinally, reunion with Rome isn’t desirable, anyway; certainly not now. My own focus is on the questions, “What is a Christian minister supposed to do?”, and “What do the Bible and the historic Confessions have to say about it?” I’m not terribly concerned with concepts like “priesthood” or “ordination” or what’s been done the last 1,900 years. Error always precedes truth historically. Arianism has been around for 1,700 years. Montanism for longer than that. They aren’t more venerable by virtue of being older than the Orthodoxy that replaced them. Imagine being a bishop in the early 4th century. There had never been anything like a universal council before, producing one, globally-binding creed, using non-biblical language, and promulgated by a Roman emperor no less. From the standpoint of tradition, it was the anti-Arian, but still subordinationist, bishops were “in the right”, at least as a matter of history (and that position has been echoed within Anglican before). Given the unreliability of tradition as a sole guide to truth, I’m much more concerned with responsible Biblical exegesis than anything else.
     
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  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I so much agree with that. :thumbsup: But if Rome were to suddenly endorse WO I don't doubt that many ACs in the Anglican church would suddeny change tack on the whole subject without even blinking. Evangelicals are much more independantly minded and less accustomed to doing as they're told by any authority but their understanding of the text of The Bible, let alone the Pope. :laugh:
    .
     
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  10. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    What amazes me is all the ones that immediately go from “women in ministry” to “LGBTQ clerics” - as though there were some connection between the two - and then hold up Rome (of all churches!) as an example to be followed. Talk about “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.”
     
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  11. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Although we aren't Lutherans, I came across something Martin Luther said concerning infant baptism, and it has a broader applicability:

    "Since our baptizing has been thus from the beginning of Christianity and the custom has been to baptize children, and since no one can prove with good reasons that they do not have faith, we should not make changes and build on such weak arguments. For if we are going to change or do away with customs that are traditional, it is necessary to prove convincingly that these are contrary to the Word of God." (Concerning Rebaptism, p 353).

    I think he was providing good advice. If we are to do away with the church's longstanding practice of ordaining men only into the priesthood, it should be incumbent upon the WO advocates to prove convincingly that 'men only' priesthood is contrary to the word of God. Such proof must have its source in the word of God, for one cannot show that the Bible is being contradicted without appealing to that very same source for evidence of the contradiction.

    The presumption of correctness rests with those who lived closest to apostolic times. If some scholars have discovered evidence in their new, expanded understanding and greater availability of Greek, Hebrew, and Latin manuscripts, this evidence must be brought forth and shown how it impacts our understanding of Scripture. Not of social science, and not of cultural mores, but of Scripture.

    Women are not being oppressed, disadvantaged, or discriminated against by the longstanding church practice of ordaining men only. That is a concept rooted in the modern feminist movement, not in Scripture. Nor is it a moral issue, as if men are sinning against women, by their exclusion from priesthood.

    If a few women want to play "priest," let them go and start their own church... a church "of, by, and for" women. While they're at it, maybe they will rewrite the Bible to suit themselves, too. :p
     
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  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I would urge to try not to be so offensive.
     
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  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    LOL. How about Anglicans who want to play “Roman Catholic” (just without a Pope)? Do they get to start their own “church”, too? If so, then what’s the problem?

    Jokes aside, we are not going to agree on this issue, perhaps ever. Your own understanding is not the yardstick that defines “what Scripture means”. It is a public, collaborative effort that grows over time. It is entirely, perfectly normal for old positions in any discipline to be reevaluated in light of new situations, new evidence, or new arguments.

    The simple fact is that none of the Church Fathers were infallible, and the Scriptures did not always mean what an individual Father or even what all the Fathers thought they meant. Anti-Jewish statements persisted in the Liturgy in both East and West for many centuries, giving some cover to more crudely expressed antisemitism among the masses. The Holocaust persuaded the Roman Church, at least, that it was time to do away with such liturgical elements, and that was the right thing to do. I don’t think any core dogmas like the unity of God, the Trinity, or the Incarnation, were in the least bit affected by that. Same goes for having women pastors. The NT doesn’t prohibit it. The Fathers that thought it did were wrong. The Church’s Faith remains the same.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You can say all that, but what's missing is the cogent analysis of the scriptures to show how they support WO. Who has done the theological legwork to show that it needs to be reevaluated in light of new understanding of Scripture? All you allege is "new situations, new evidence, or new arguments," which is not the same thing.

    I read somewhere that, 'way back when', the Montanists ordained women. That's a great recommendation for the practice!

    You're right, we aren't going to reach agreement. I'll never support WO without clear support from scripture, and you'll never oppose WO despite the lack of support from scripture. That's what it boils down to. I'll let the readers of this thread decide for themselves on that basis.

    Tomorrow is Sunday. Let us worship the Lord in spirit and in truth.
     
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  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    How about Anglicans who want to 'play' Souther Baptist but with 'priests'? ;)
    If, as St Paul envisioned and wrote: "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." Then the issue is not anything to do with feminism per se. The issue becomes one of prejudice within the church perpetuated by those who claim 'difference' to be a reason for division, division of any kind within the 'body of Christ'. The arguing point then turns around the issue "Does the imposition or exclusion of certain roles for male or female etc, (such as the priesthood), by the church, in the church, upon grounds of gender, ethnic identity or social status, constitute division, as Paul would have seen 'divisiveness'.

    If one group of believers reserve positions of honour or roles of 'ministry' for themselves, (i.e. men excluding non men from the priesthood), on the grounds of sex, race or social status, then Gal.3:28 has some bearing upon the issue of Women's Ministry and WO.

    Clearly there has been at least 1900 years of demarcation of the kind St Paul mentioned in Gal.3:28, and clearly St Paul considered it detrimental to the wellbeing of the whole church, not just to Jews/Greeks, - Slaves/White Conservative Southern Baptists :wicked:, - Men/Women. St Paul did not see these 'divisions' within the church as 'a woke anti-racist agenda', 'an emancipation revolt by slaves' or 'a feminist movement'. He clearly saw them as Anti-Christ behaviour exhibited by pseudo-Christians devoid of the Spirit of Christ. Devoid of the mind of Christ, because such divisive coercion, demanding recognition of 'such differences', would not be exhibited by anyone truly, 'one in Jesus Christ'.

    This is why, I for one, wish WO to continue to enrich the Church of England's ministry and be significantly benficial to Christ's church on earth. Because, in our age, St Paul would clearly approve of male/female, Greek/Jew, Slave/Free being equally yoked in service to God, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.
    .
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you feel that way. I believe the great body of Biblical evidence indicates that God does not call women to the priesthood. Therefore, your gripe is with God.

    Complain to Him that He is prejudiced, and see how far that gets you.
     
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It seems to me that this is the issue, at the end of the day…

    Modern man has found for himself a new ethics, by which the Christian tradition (and its God) are measured as insufficient…

    In order for Christianity to not embarrass him, he tries mightily to contort it to the ethic flavor of the day… first it was egalitarianism, then feminism, then critical race theory, then get marriage, then Trans children, and now Ukraine…. Whatever his masters up in high towers tell him to believe today, he will wear that flag, and he’ll keep changing Christianity toward it
     
  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    As always, a watertight causal analysis.
    /s
     
  19. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    Straw man of what the majority of people, let alone the majority of Christians believe aside - human understanding has always developed and evolved over time, finding the ideas of those who came before wanting. Our understanding of the sciences, our understanding of ourselves, our understanding of what is right and wrong have always changed year on year (usually for the better, although not always). The modern man of every period of history has found the old interpretations of scripture insufficient in some way, and gone about gradual reform, year on year, since time immemorial. That's not a reform of the intrinsic truths in scripture, but rather a reform of the imperfect conclusions man draws from them. The most traditional church of today would be completely foreign, and probably to some large degree discomforting to any of the early church fathers. And likewise for ourselves if we were to travel back in time to see how they practiced their faith. This is to be expected.

    As Saint Augustine put it, when talking about Christians who refuse to reassess their understanding of scripture as man's understanding grows:
    "It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that [a non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are."
    It is to follow the traditional habits of the 2000 year old church to slowly and conservatively reform the Catholic practice after much debate and argument. Women's working liberation movements started in the late nineteenth century, but arguments about WO in the Anglican Church date back to at least the English Civil War, perhaps even to the Reformation - I'm not certain. By the end of WW2 women being seen in jobs previously thought to be the exclusive domain of men was completely normalised. By the 1970s the Australian feminist Germaine Greer remarked the war over access to "men's work" had been won. Despite that claim, the Anglican church would not permit female priests in the majority of her provinces for a further 20 years, and has yet to fully embrace the change. These seems consistent with the slow, cautious, conservative reform we've seen for most of history.

    Of course the reform we've seen with respect to WO in the past 2-3 decades (5 decades for the US) would have taken at least a century in the past, so there's something new about the reformation of the times we live in. But likewise social issues are developing, being discussed, and then a dominant belief winning out in the public at a far more rapid rate, so some acceleration of reform relative to the middle ages is to be expected.
     
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Surprising the number of men that try pulling that 'trump' card. The excuse, I suppose, is that they really believe themselves. :laugh: So it's not actually dishonest.

    I have no gripe with God. One day we may both be convinced of that.
    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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