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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    That may be true of some atheistic approaches to theology of the Christian faith and praxis and their 'understanding' of scripture, but almost all of them rely upon a literally fundamentalist interpretation of the scriptures in order to measure the 'God' they have thus created and find it wanting.

    WO is not an issue that has been subject to critique by atheist, anti-fundamentalist God detractors though. That sort are not interested in petty squabbling among traditionalists and reformers within a religion that is despised by them anyway. They dismiss both reformers and traditionalist dinosaurs as mere religious cranks.

    Women’s Ordination is supported by Christian believers who love Truth more than antiquated tradition or conservative fundamentalist interpretations, of ancient texts. Anyhow Ordination itself was once a new-fangled idea in the Church of Jesus Christ.

    No one, male OR female was 'Ordained' by a 'Bishop' on the Day of Pentecost, but both men and women were present when the Holy Spirit descended upon them all in the place they were gathered at Christ's command, both males and females alike. They were ALL therefore technically Apostles, (i.e. Sent out), and endowed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, to preach, teach and perform mighty works.

    Women also were witnesses to the resurrection, and attendees at the gathering on the Day of Pentecost, therefore also commanded by Christ to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.

    Read the text carefully, you will not find anything implying that the women who witnessed Christ after the resurrection were forbidden by him to preach. There may have been hundreds of them. Rather it is implied that ALL those who were witnessess were commanded by Him to preach Christ to the people regardless of gender. There were more than 500 brothers, implying that the additional unknown number were women and/or children who were not counted, though yet still witnesses. Peter is not just referring to the men, he is referring to ALL THOSE who witnessed Christ after the resurrection, many of whom were women.
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    :hmm:Is ordination an unscriptural, unnecessary formality created through errant concepts in the fledgling church?

    If so, why are women so hot to get ordained? And why bother with strenuously advocating such a silly formality?

    Why are you in a denomination that has historically conducted men-only ordination? Are you in Anglicanism (rather than in some other denomination) mainly so you can change it into your image of what the church should look like?
     
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    And no Christian denomination has ordained women period. It’s solely a modern phenomenon. It is not a Christian phenomenon, historically speaking. And just like all the Monothelites and Marcionites of the prior centuries, all those who have recently ordained women, every single one, have withered on the vine and died. I posted about this earlier:

    The Lord is against you. Why are you even trying? To inject the gospel of feminism into us too, before you disappear?
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
  4. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member Anglican

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    I've never understood people who say that marriage is totally meaningless: a mere formality designed by the evil "white men." Interestingly, they then try and take over marriage by expanding it to be between homosexuals and who knows what else down the line (slippery slope although a logical fallacy is hardly ever incorrect).
    The same could be said with ordination. They believe ordination is just a formality with no real purpose, but now they want to take it over and change it totally! If I encountered a "church" that ordained women, I simply would not go to that "church," but wokesters seem to love subverting churches that they have major disagreements with rather than making their own "church".

    Totally agree.
    They should certainly should and drop the name "Anglican."
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    That is, what in a court of law would be termed, a leading question, and therefore deemed our of order.

    Ordination: h4390. מָלֵא mâlê’; or מָלָא malae (Esth. 7:5), maw-law«; a primitive root, to fill or (intransitively) be full of, in a wide application (literally and figuratively): — accomplish, confirm, + consecrate, be at an end, be expired, be fenced, fill, fulfil, (be, become, x draw, give in, go) full(-ly, -ly set, tale), (over-)flow, fulness, furnish, gather (selves, together), presume, replenish, satisfy, set, space, take a (hand-)full, + have wholly.
    AV (249) - fill 107, full 48, fulfil 28, consecrate 15, accomplish 7, replenish 7, wholly 6, set 6, expired 3, fully 2, gather 2, overflow 2, satisfy 2, misc 14; to fill, be full(Qal)to be fullfulness, abundance (participle)to be full, be accomplished, be ended, to consecrate, fill the hand. (Niphal) to be filled, be armed, be satisfied, to be accomplished, be ended. (Piel) to fill, to satisfy, to fulfil, accomplish, complete, to confirm. (Pual) to be filled. (Hithpael) to mass themselves against.

    It does not appear in the New Testament corpus. The equivalent word used in the New Testament is the word appointed:

    appointed: g5500. χειροτονέω cheirotoneō; from a comparative of 5495 and τείνω teinō (to stretch); to be a hand-reacher or voter (by raising the hand), i.e. (generally) to select or appoint: — choose, ordain.
    AV (4) - ordain 3, choose 1; to vote by stretching out the hand, to create or appoint by vote: one to have charge of some office or duty, to elect, create, appoint.
    Your words, not mine. Why are men 'so hot' to get ordained. To answer your own question: Because that is the way The Church of England now authorises the orders of bishops, priests and deacons to perform their duties, just as it has always done since it came into existence.
    I am in the Anglican Denomination because I was baptised into it 76 years ago and I believe God told me to remain in it when I once asked him which denomination I should be in, after some deep consideration. When did you decide to join the Anglican communion, (assuming you actually have joined a church that is in the Anglican Communion), that is. Are you so in favour of a male only priesthood because the Anglican church once had one or have you joined a church which holds similar notions of male headship to those you espouse yourself, perhaps having 'imported' those convictions from another denomination altogether?
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    Last edited: Mar 27, 2022
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Dinosaur thinking reigns again. According to this form of thought management no Christian church or denomination can order its affairs in such a way as to contradict the Biblical interpretation of literal fundamentalists. It they do, they render themselves no longer 'Christian' and become something other than that defined by Literal Biblical Fundamentalists as 'Christians'. And yet Literal Fundamentalists believe their own denominations to be living in the 'freedom' of The Holy Spirit because they so adequately and assiduously, keep all the rules of their denomination, as if written in a book.
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  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    76 years, eh? Okay, so you're an Anglican because of inertia (a body at rest tends to stay at rest, in the same location)! :D

    Me? Having been in the RCC for roughly as many years as in various Protestant churches (the latter had male and female pastors, btw, but no priests of any sex), and now in an ACNA parish for a few years, I've seen and sat under teaching regarding both sides of the issue. (Just saying that to answer your question.)

    When we get to our age, inertia just keeps increasing, doesn't it? That, and gravity. :laugh:
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;


    It occurs to me, this passage would at one time have been seen as an absolute barrier to WO: "If a man..." and "the husband..." Nowadays in today's society, women need only identify as male to qualify as such! Moreover, lesbians now can get (legally!) married... and the 'butch' member of the relationship may even be referred to as "the husband" of the other! :jawdrop::biglaugh:

    We live in a warped world.
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I should join the Daughters of the Holy Cross. Equality, you know? :rofl:
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    At my age those are by no means the only things which don't work as expected. That's why I hope there is no resurrection of the body. I need a totally new creation, the old one's wearing out fast. :laugh:
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Would you say that was written by a man or a woman? And how many Bishops in the all male priesthood, RC church, can lay claim to having at least one wife. :laugh: Not any, unless they joined it already with one or want to be quickly defrocked. :wicked:

    If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:1. (but God help any woman that sins, only men have an advocate), I suppose. Men only ever wrote about men in those days, didn't you know. Women simply didn't exist outside the kitchen. :no: Q. How many women's thoughts or words appear in the Bible or how many selected any of the writings that went into it? A. Hardly any, and it shows.
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  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It might be illustrative to quote St. Paul’s own words as to what the various “offices”/functions in the Church actually were at that time:

    1 Corinthians 12:4–11 (NRSV): Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

    1 Corinthians 12:27–31 (NRSV): Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

    There is no mention of “bishops, priests, and deacons” here (probably because that was a later development). There is no mention of “ordination” (which means framing the issue as one of women’s ordination is an anachronistic misnomer). There is no mention of any of those functions or offices being limited to particular genders. Throughout the letter Paul is concerned with asserting the need for proper order and decorum, as was the norm throughout all the churches he founded. The “women keeping silent” part is obviously referring to the need for order, rather than being an instance of Paul contradicting himself (the preceding passages are clear that men and women alike “prophecy”, “interpret”, and have “tongues”). The situation apparently was that people were proclaiming prophecies to the congregation and a group of women (perhaps the prophets’ wives?) were interrupting them (akin to cross-examination according to the NIGTC commentary), thereby disrupting the orderliness and decorum of whatever the liturgy was then. This was contrary to what had been set down for every other church and Paul told them to stop. With a little patience and common sense (and reliance on scholars who can read and understand the original Greek), the meaning of the passage is fairly straightforward and is woven together quite masterfully. One can only imagine what the effect on the congregation must have been of hearing this letter read aloud for the very first time. It is also entirely understandable how later generations, no longer having direct access to the unique first century context, and accustomed to a different ecclesiastical structure and very different social environment (beginning with the death of Emperor Titus and especially after the death of Emperor Commodus), could have misunderstood the intended purpose of passages such as this. But the longevity of an error is no reason to continue preserving it.
     
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  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I’m sorry but you’re entirely off in your analysis. In those passages St Paul is not describing the 3 orders of ministry, but rather various functions of the apostolic work. As Lancelot Andrewes argues, the Anglican understanding of the 3 orders is instead taken from the groups of people explicitly and exclusively commissioned to do the work of the ministry. That is first and foremost the Apostles, which would become the bishops; then the Seventy Two, which are the presbyters. And the remaining others, who are deacons. If we are going to speak about this on an Anglican forum, we should look at the classic Anglican sources.


    Where is the text describing the criteria of how the Apostles were ordained? And yet is there any doubt that this was an exclusive group of people with particular admission requirements?

    Again, there is no objection to women acting in a prophetic role. Many have, before and since. That role is open to women. But a prophetic role and spiritual rule are two different things. What you’re forgetting is that ordained ministry is not one of giving suggestions — these are people whom Christ has chosen to lord and rule over our hearts and souls. They’re not fuddy-duddies full of helpful tips, in fancy clothes. An implacable authority, jurisdiction, spiritual rule, that is placed in their hands.

    And if that’s how we understand ordained ministry, then it is obvious that under no condition would St Paul allow women to have spiritual rule, for all the eschatological and typological reasons I explained earlier. And of course his master Jesus Christ never allowed women to have spiritual rule. And the entire people of God preceding them never allowed women to have spiritual rule. And the entire people of God after then never allowed women to have spiritual rule. It’s a complete circle, a universal case.

    Under no valid theology of the Church is it possible to believe that the Church was in error for 5000 years until non-Christian ethics finally taught it what is right in the world. To believe that is to no longer espouse the Anglican understanding of the Church.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    What a bizarre response to my ad fontes plea. I'm not going to deal with every bare assertion here, but a few of the highlights are worthy of some rebuttal.
    And Andrewes - assuming you've interpreted him correctly here - knew this how, exactly? Do you have any quotations from Andrewes where he actually lays out his argument(s) for this position, and why his position and not someone else's should be decisive and therefore remove the need for any further discussion of the subject? That would certainly be helpful. With respect, otherwise, you're just doing the very same thing you're (wrongly) accusing me of doing, viz., we were in the dark about this until [Andrewes] came along 1 1/2 millennia later to set us straight. That is what you're saying in effect: for, as you've argued so forcefully here before (and on this you and I are in perfect agreement), the medieval understanding of the ordained ministry in the West was something akin to proto-presbyterianism without real bishops. And that was the official view of the Church. I don't see how you can protest indignantly at the suggestion that people who didn't live in the first century might not have known enough about the first century context of Paul's writings to interpret everything he wrote with 100% accuracy, and yet make the claim that the Church's own self-understanding with regard to its own ministry was fatally flawed for about 1,000 years, give or take a century. That's "straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel".
    I couldn't agree more. And I can think of no greater "classic Anglican source" than the New Testament itself. And the analysis isn't mine; it is that of trained experts in the biblical languages. I've read from a variety of well regarded commentary series and individual scholarly works of differing theological stances. Some interpret the "keep silence" passage quite broadly, others in a more limited fashion, and some see it as an interpolation that is not part of the original text at all. Have you investigated the range of scholarly work on the topic, and examined the various arguments for and against each possible interpretation? If not, then how do you know that the arguments you are producing haven't already been stated by someone else in their strongest form and refuted?
    Straw man. No one is making the claim that "the Church" was "in error" on this subject for 5,000 years(?!), and none of this - as I've pointed out over and over again - has ever been the subject of any dogmatic definition by the Church. If you think that is incorrect, by all means, cite the dogmatic definition, who produced it, and when. Furthermore, I am not aware of any commitment to ecclesiastical infallibility in official Anglicanism, so I'm not sure why this would even be an issue, aside from the fact that the premise is in fact false.

    The rest is just bare assertion and has been addressed before. I'm not going to repeat all that here. What I am going to repeat is the plea that we simply read the text with an open mind and try honestly to determine what St. Paul was actually saying and why, rather than rely on slogans and ad hominem arguments. It is not possible for women to both "prophecy with their head covered" (1. Cor. 11:5), and to "keep silent" in the Church, if we interpret the latter overly broadly. So, either:
    • Paul wrote both verses, and contradicted himself; or
    • Paul wrote one of them, but not the other; or
    • The "keep silent" passage has a more limited meaning, that only the context can give us some clues about.
    Furthermore, there is no mention here of anything we know of now as "ordained office". If we went back in time to the church at Corinth in AD 55, what we would see and hear there would be disorienting in the extreme and almost completely unfamiliar to us in terms of our own experience, and would defy virtually every presupposition we have about what ecclesiastical structure, discipline, and liturgy should look like. Using Paul's "body" analogy, there is a hierarchy among the gifts, but not among those who possess them. The passage does not supply equivalents to the terms "ordination" or "holy orders". To attempt to read the passage otherwise is eisegesis. So, without reading anything into the text that isn't there, and assuming that the passage is genuine, what did St. Paul mean? That is the only question that matters here. And if a well-reasoned, good-faith conclusion that takes all the known facts, arguments, and counter-arguments turns out to differ from "the tradition", then so much for the tradition. That is a perfectly Anglican approach.
     
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  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is where I picked up the view from Andrewes: https://www.anglican.net/works/lanc...three-epistles-of-peter-moulin-answered-1647/

    I could be wrong in understanding him, so please correct me if I misread him. He is arguing against a French protestant who tried to link the orders of the church to those lists of church roles listed in St Paul. But Andrewes seems to be arguing for a widely different and a uniquely Anglican perspective.

    The same can be said for Thomas Bilson's book. Now this one is a long one so I've only dipped here and there where I had time, but he seems to be making the same argument. And the scholarship he presents is incredibly detailed and comprehensive: https://www.anglican.net/works/thomas-bilson-the-perpetual-government-of-christs-church-1593/

    I've read the same argument in other Anglican divines, but I can't remember who just at this moment. I guess it is helpful to present Thomas Cranmer's phraseology in the 1550 Ordinal:

    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1549/Deacons_1549.htm
    "It is evident unto all men, diligently readinge holye scripture, and auncient aucthours, that from the Apostles tyme, there hathe bene these orders of Ministers in Christes church, Bisshoppes, Priestes, and Deacons"

    All that Andrewes and others add to this is they help provide specificity to this claim: precisely who and where in the scriptures fit into each of those 3 orders. That's what Andrewes (and others) lays out with the Apostles (ie. bishops), the Seventy Two (ie. presbyters), and the others (ie. deacons).

    The medievals definitely denigrated the office of bishop, but that was because of the Papacy. In the papal view, there could only be one true bishop, namely the Pope himself. So yes by that measure, all the other bishops were relegated to just legal fictions, but the basic theology of the 3 orders was retained (in a distorted form) from what we received from the early Church.

    As to the theology of the Early Church, it is so clear on this point, that the Anglican position is vindicated against everyone:
    -those who argue that the Orders of the Church should be derived from St. Paul's lists (evangelicals & liberal protestants)
    -those who argue that the Orders of the Church did not include "Bishop". (Presbyterians and Romanists)

    Just the epistles of Ignatius are enough: "Where is the Bishop, there is the Church". The church history of Eusebius which is heavy on the bishops, and tracing their lineage directly to the apostles. St. Augustine, Ambrose, Chrysostom.

    Anglicans certainly cannot be said to present a new-fangled theory of the Church. If they did, then that would be grounds for its immediate dismissal. I am consistent.

    Our understanding only has claim to merit because it has the most ancient testimony (not just the church fathers, but the New Testament, as well as the extensive theology of the Church in the Old Testament). If our theology was not seen until the 1550s, then it would be ipso facto false and incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2022
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I had forgotten that you had already posted the Andrewes material in another thread some time back. I’m sure I read it then but I will re-read it shortly. Please forgive the oversight.
     
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  17. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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  18. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I saw this meme today that I found thought provoking:

    Screenshot_20220420-205400_DuckDuckGo.jpg

    It reminded me of the quote from Sojourner Truth's 'Ain't I a Woman' speech, where she said:

    "Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him"​

    If God found a woman to be a fitting servant to "present Christ" body and soul to the world, what prohibits women from presenting Our Lord sacramentally?

    For Anglicans, the answer to that question must come primarily from Holy Scripture. At least, that must be the case if the issue rises to a level that it must be "believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation" (AoR VI). So, is getting the issue of WO right a matter necessary for salvation? I believe it is. If a woman is an invalid priest, then any purported sacraments she administered would likewise be invalid, correct? And since the sacraments of Holy Baptism and the Lord's Supper are "necessary to salvation" (See BCP 1928 - Catechism), it would appear that WO is indeed a salvation issue IMHO.

    That being the case, we must ask whether Holy Scripture ever prohibits women from being priests? There are certainly very strong inferences that can be made from various verses in the New Testament; but I must admit there is no express prohibition against it.

    We are all well aware that St. Paul prohibited women from teaching or having authority over men (1Cor. 14:34-38; 1 Tim. 2:1-14) but what about other women? He specifically commands older women to teach younger women what is good (Titus 2:3-4), and allows women to pray and prophecy (or preach) in church (1 Cor. 11:1-16). And there's good evidence that women served as deacons in the New Testament church. So what stops a woman from functioning as a priest to other women?

    For me, the best argument that women should not be priests is the argument of example. The Church grew up in the Greco-Roman world and was therefore aware of priestesses as an option. Jesus, too, showed an uncommonly high regard for women in his ministry. And yet, He named no women Apostles. The New Testament church ordained no women to the priesthood of the episcopate. No church fathers lobbied for WO. In fact, only heretics were known to permit women to the priesthood until the 20th century...

    I have said before and I say again absence of evidence is not evidence of absence...but neither is it evidence.

    Still, the question the meme raises is thought provoking. Thankfully, though, History answers the question. We may not know definitively why the church never allowed women to be priests. We know definitively that the Church, from its beginning, never did. So while I can't say from Holy Scripture that women are prohibited per se from the priesthood, allowing WO is a novel thing. And nothing new is catholic. Thus, for the sake of catholicity, women should not be priests.
     
  19. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    @Lowly Layman when seeking to understand scripture we are to be guided and look to the church fathers and tradition. That is why tradition is part of our 3 legged stool. Reason comes in when it comes to new things that were not addressed then such as things like modern science.
     
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  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    She could, if it wasn’t an instance of spiritual rule which only men can exercise. The problem for these types of arguments is they they take the Roman Catholic obsession with the sacramental act itself, in some virtual isolation consisting of steps and ceremonies, without seeing it in its wider spiritual context. It is not just a mere act of consecration — it is an instance of spiritual rule. God and nature have instituted a patriarchy among human beings. If the Eucharist was some isolated act without any larger context, then women could perform it.

    It is precisely this spiritual patriarchy which liberal churches/theologians have tried to erase out of existence. They have converted our spiritual ministers into androgynous fuddy duddies with harmless platitudes.

    The Blessed Mary never sought to exercise spiritual rule. Her bearing of Jesus in her womb was not an exercise of rule or lordship. She was meek and humble and a helpmeet to her husband to the very end. And he was the head of her household, who offered sacrifices for her and the family at the Temple.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
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