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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    I was rather thinking on the statement of Our Lord that Satan was always a liar and the father of it, a murderer from the beginning. John 8:44. That rather indicate to me that angel or no angel Satan was incapable of understanding the difference between truth and lies. Lies are in his nature and he therefore cannot understand the Spirit of God, which is Truth with a capitol 'T'.
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  2. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So if God prevents the Holy Spirit from enlightening someone, they will be unable to have the right understanding. That's what you're saying. In other words God can enable, or prevent, someone from understanding, based on whether he provides the Holy Spirit. If someone does not have the Holy Spirit, then they (according to you) will not understand, and therefore, they cannot be held liable for not understanding.

    The only way in which someone can be held liable for not understanding is if they had everything necessary, but failed to perform their duty.

    We see God blaming and rebuking Satan, which means that Satan had the capacity but reneged on it. We see Our Lord blaming and rebuking the Pharisees, which means that they had the capacity but reneged on it. From this we can conclude that one does not require something extra, or special, to understand the Holy Scriptures. They are a light to our feet, and a sure path for anyone to follow, with everyone having the capacity to understand them (and be liable if they don't). A person simply needs to interpret it correctly, as Christ taught the fellows on the road to Emmaus.

    From this it follows that what we read in the Scriptures can be taken at face value: what it teaches us on Gender, what it teaches us about Holy Orders. It's all there, and we can all read the text to understand what God's teaching is on all those points. You seem to agree with us, that on face value, the Scripture supports our view. This is why you bring in extra inspiration, hidden and obscure knowledge, to add something to the visible words of Scripture.

    There is no need for hidden/obscure knowledge to understand God's word, for that would be gnosticism, a condemned heresy from the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Except (supposedly) if it's prophecy. :facepalm:

    But that's a different thread.... :rolleyes:
     
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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    That is not a logical process of reasoning on your behalf. God does not prevent or disempower anyone from learning or understanding the truth. What would be the point of that? God is not responsible for anyone not having The Holy Spirit. God's Holy Spirit is freely available to everyone who is willing to receive.

    Satan however is the one who prevents human beings from ascertaining 'The Truth'. John 12:37-43. Matt 13:19. Rom.11:7, 2 Cor. 3:14, 2 Cor 4:4, 1 John 2:10-11. Need I go on or are you going to refute all scripture which places full responsibility for human ignorance squarely upon Satan and his unconscious, involuntary or voluntary human vassals, i.e. those who refuse God's gifts of grace and the infilling of The Holy Spirit.

    So your contention is that I, with my misunderstanding of scripture, twist it to my own and other's destruction, yet you are exempt from any such tendency? Presumably because you understand it better than I do and you are backed up by 2000 years of male expository tradition emanating from human reason without any assistance whatever from The Holy Spirit.

    I think maybe your interpretation of scripture may be viewed through a lense of tradition and social conditioning rather than the inspiration of The Holy Spirit, whom you claim, is an unnecessary adjunct to your understanding of the scriptures and made no contribution whatever to your infalible comprehension.

    Might it be that you and I are at loggerheads over a misunderstanding or miscommunication of some sort? Perhaps I have misunderstood you or even, perish the thought, (impossible as it may seem), you may have misunderstood me. :duel: :book: :disgust: :confused:
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  5. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Your exegesis does not follow from the text. Satan fell, from the beginning; he was created good; God cannot create evil because evil by its very nature is uncreatable; it is a destruction resulting from the rejection of divine love. And God would not create Satan for the purpose of being evil, as this is contrary to his infinite love.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Or Parables (OT & NT), poems, songs, (Particularly Song of Songs :hmm:), apocalyptic, mythic, stories, plays, contextually dated, riddles, dichotomies or fables.

    Most of Paul's letters can be taken quite literally, at face value except for the occasional riddle or joke/sarcasm/exaggeration etc. (Gal.5:12 for instance). History is usually intended to be taken literally at face value. The rest requires discernment and discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
     
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  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You are welcome. On this point however I would lament that I had to explain from the beginning Chalcedonian and Nicene Christology, and I would urge you to please use standard theological terminology. When people start talking about the persons of the Trinity as “manifestations”, it becomes extremely confusing.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Nothing was created evil. From the beginning God declared eveything "Good", Gen.1:31.

    Nevertheless Satan must have been 'evil' before even 'the fall' because it was he who tempted Adam and Eve to sin. So FROM THE BEGINNING seems to be the way we should understand Satan's opposition to God. There has never been a time, since the creation of the heavens and the earth, when Satan has ever been TRUTHFUL and not a murderer.

    I prefer to believe what I am told plainly by Jesus Christ in the scriptures. Satan has, from the beginning, always been a liar and a murderer. That statement seems to me to be definative and has the authority of Christ himself behind its veracity.

    For me this direct statement from our Master trumps any man made theological theories concerning Satans 'fall', which are all interpretation and most of them problematic. (Consider for instance how it can be that Satan is still roaming hither and thither on earth and posing wagers with God in the courts of heaven, long after Adam and Eve were mythic historical figures way back in Job's distant past. Job chapter one and Job chapter two.)

    Also the passage you think tells you of Satans fall from heaven may be merely a prophetic critique of the earthly king of Babylon, not actually Satan at all. It's all a question of human traditional interpretation of alegory.
     
  9. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Indeed. I don’t think @Tiffy is Gnostic however.

    Some allege Gnosticism did have female clergy in some sects, and perhaps it did, but in other sects it was shockingly misogynistic; the Nicolaitans, who were founded by Nicolas the Deacon, one of the original seven along with St. Stephen the Protomartyr to be ordained in Acts, practiced liturgical wife swapping, among other doctrines so vile our Lord condemned them directly in the Apocalypse of St. John.

    And the Gospel of Thomas, which I believe is corrupted but could have been a legitimate list of sayings of our Lord used among Coptic or Syriac Christians before the Diatessaron of Tatian (who himself later became Gnostic) is also impressively misogynistic.

    There is presently a neo-Gnostic church run by an eccentric Austrian Episcopi Vagante, Bishop Stephen Hoeller, out of a mansion connected with the occult in Los Angeles, which provides fairly excellent resources on the heresy on their website gnosis.org, but by and large, their own form of Gnosticism is sugar coated and idealized, and if you actually look at the real texts it becomes vile.
     
  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Here we agree.

    I am talking about the fall of Satan and the angels who sided with him, and not the fall of man (which seems from our temporal perspective to be a subsequent event; it looks to me that angels, unlike God, are subject to time, at least to some extent, and to causality).

    The only way you can make that argument work is to make the devil atemporal, like God, and I don’t believe that to be the case, because it would imply at a minimum, diabolical omniscience and possibly, immutability, intractability and preordained incorrigibility. I reject the Calvinist perspective that people are foreordained to damnation, and I believe in free will, and it was the devil’s choice to be the devil, and to seek to corrupt humanity.

    Just as it was the choice of Adam and Eve to fall for Satan.

    I don’t disagree with the statement, but it must be clarified that Satan was not created to be a liar or murderer but rather chose contrary to the will of God to lie and murder.

    The Orthodox doctrine is that God permits Satan to test us, in order to refine and purify our faith in this respect, but God will limit and bind the devil and protect us from it if we ask him with faith.

    The Orthodox disagree and I believe traditional Anglicanism disagrees as well. Contrary to popular belief, there are no devil-like figures before Satan with his attributes. It is not until Daniel and some of the Old Testament deuterocanonical and tritocanonical books (1 Enoch, for instance, canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox church but nowhere else) that we encounter this particular figure. He is nothing like Angra Mainyu, the evil god in the dualistic Zoroastrian religion.

    However, some Gnostic sects perversely make the devil out to be good, the imparter of secret knowledge, and blasphemously identify him with our Lord. The Ophites fall into this category. I suspect the Yazidis, who worship the Peacock Angel, are descended from the Ophites and other related schools of Syrian gnosticism.

    The Gnostic religion really is a house of horrors. There is one Gnostic apocryphon, The Second Treatise of the Great Seth, which blasphemes our Lord by stating the view St. Irenaeus attributed as originating with Basilides, the wicked rival of Valentinus, who was himself an elitist snob, that our Lord switched bodies or appearances with St. Simon of Cyrene and that it was therefore St. Simon who was crucified and suffered, while our Lord is alleged to have laughed at him. And the disgusting Infancy Gospel of Thomas, which should not have survived and which by its mere existence justifies the practice of the early Church of destroying heretical documents, depicts our Lord as a child killing people who annoyed him for the pleasure of it. It is sickening blasphemy.

    So I think the most compelling reason not to have a female priesthood is the support given to Gnosticism by feminist theologians and the alleged female priesthood in some Gnostic sects. I think we can say that Gnosticism is vile to the point that what comes from it should be rejected by default.
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Far from being a 'compelling' reason, I would consider that notion, 'clutching at straws' in drowning man fashion, if it is an attempt to justify a male only priesthood. To attempt to say that Gnosticism is specifically a 'feminine' heresy or that a female priesthood is necessarily synonymous with heresy because there were 'female' heretics would completely ignore the fact that at least as many Gnostics were male. Gnosticism was by no means restricted to only women, and 'feminist theologians' are not at all the same thing as 'feminine theologians'. Being theologically wrong is not a trait limited only to women, and some orthodox female theologians and mystics have historically been venerated in the church for their wisdom and piety. Mother Julian of Norwich and St. Hildegard of Bingen being only the most well known, not unique by any means. Proving that merely being female does not make a heretic, however much some men would like the church to think it.

    Gnosticism, with its perverted moral depravity and perverse spiritual bias but simultaneous licentious sexual carnality would be more appropriately associated with ordained male pedophile priests and heretics than to any ordained females or female theologians in the Church of today.
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  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It is not such an attempt, Insofar That A male priesthood does not require justification, being the Ancient doctrine of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, including the Holy Orthodox Church and the excellent and pious traditional Anglican parishes, dioceses, provinces, and organizations, and the historical and ancient practice of the Anglican Communion, that as regards Holy Orders, only men be ordained to the priesthood and consecrated to the episcopate. Indeed, even the ordination of deaconesses is an innovation within an Anglican context, but it can be justified provided it be understood that the diaconal ministry granted to women in the early Church as a rule differed from that of men, and was limited initially to women of 40 or more years, later of 60 or more years, who were celibate; mostly widows, as the early Church took special care of widows as one of its diaconal functions; the role of the deaconesses was to assist in the baptism of women, for in that era, the baptismal robe was not used and was not yet practical, especially given the very large numbers of women ordained in rivers or in dedicated baptistries, particularly after the conversion to Christianity of the Kingdom of the City State of Edessa, Kingdom of Armenia, the Roman Empire, the Solomonic Empire of Abyssinia or Ethiopia, the Kingdom of Georgia, and the various Frankish, Germanic, Gothic, Nordic and Slavic lands which were baptized subsequently.

    Indeed so. And I am not asserting that, as many forms of Gnosticism were doctrinally misogynistic, for example, whoever compiled or corrupted the so called “Gospel According to Thomas” (which I think should be referred to with the less sensational phrase “Sayings Attributed to our Lord by Psuedo-Thomas”).

    What I am asserting however is that contemporary neo-Gnosticism, with its high Sophiology and stress on a Divine Feminine principle, is a quasi-feminist heresy which has been embraced by leading proponents of Feminist Theology, Womanist Theology and other heretical movements. Especially books like the Gospel of Mary.

    I would not dare to allege that being female a heretic makes; as a matter of fact not one of the known Gnostic heresies was formed by a woman. Marcos however, a disciple of Valentinus and a magician, did rather like to go after elderly women and their legacies, however; I think he is the first example of a legacy-hunting fraudulent false prophet in Christianity. A sort of second century Rasputin, if you will (the Orthodox church has always regarded Rasputin as a terrible charlatan whose actions contributed to a mass murder of our coreligionists in the former Russian Empire, indeed the bishops repeatedly tried to warn the Imperial family about him without success).

    Indeed, examples of female Orthodox saints of unquestioned Orthodoxy include the Theotokos, St. Anna, St. Elizabeth, Sts. Mary and Martha of Bethany, St. Mary Magdalene and St Theclas equal to the Apostles, St. Nino, who evangelized Georgia, St. Monica the mother of St. Augustine, who had him baptized and helped convert him away from the Manichaean heresy, St. Emillia the mother of Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Macrina, their sister, who converted the family home into a monastery, and St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict.

    Not to mention an incredibly lengthy list of female martyrs, such as St. Lucia and St. Euphemia.

    Actually, you can’t say that in all cases with fairness. For example, the persecuted Mandaeans of Iraq are Gnostics, albeit followers of John the Baptist rather than Jesus Christ. And likening the Yazidis, who are also more likely than not, Gnostic, and probably crypto-Christian, who have had their young women and boys turned into sex slaves by ISIL in Sinjar, Iraq, with all older women and men killed, is a terrible thing to say.

    But the interesting fact remains that a priest who is a paedophile is automatically disqualified under the same ancient canons that disqualify women from the priesthood. And women priests can also be sexually abusive.

    In my youth, I attended a Methodist parish for a time with my grandfather, where the female priest would tell stories to the children. She had a grotesque wart on her person. My grandfather would not permit me to join the other children; at the time I did not understand why, but I later came to understand it was because her overall pattern of behavior was inappropriately familiar, although it was not sexually abusive. And a person with a wart on their finger and on their nose should not enter into close proximity with children due to the risk of viral transmission, as children are at risk of warts. In addition, in middle school, a friend of mine who was a grade ahead of me became subject to inappropriate behavior from one of the female staff members, who was fired over it. Fortunately he was not traumatized by it as far as I am aware (I don’t think he was old enough to understand her behavior as flirtatious).

    The former was an ordained Presbyter in the United Methodist Church, and the latter, a teaching assistant at a Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod parochial school.
     
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  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I feel like I need to return to the underlying point about gnosticism: it has nothing to do with sexual perversions, or women priests, not essentially, and not universally. All those were later developments in the 3rd and 4th century. In the 1st century AD it was a pristine and simple concept, the only point I want to invoke here: the idea that all people are wandering around clueless, and what we all need is special gnosis, special and unique knowledge given only to a few. Without this gnosis, truth is impossible. They even used some verses from Scripture (as Tiffy seems to have done), to buttress their views.

    Let me make this clear: if we do not repudiate gnosticism (in the simple form outlined above), then we cannot appeal to Scripture in this discussion on gender and holy orders. We can't appeal to Scripture on any topic. People who already have the 'special knowledge of the Holy Ghost' (ie. gnosis) will already know everything they need to know; and those who don't have it will never arrive to it on their own. There will be, and cannot be a logical propositional discussion on any topic, if gnosticism is allowed to rear its ugly head, after its suppression by the early Church.
     
  14. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Indeed so. I believe @Tiffy did morally repudiate Gnosticism and is not a Gnostic; your concern was purely about a statement made which referred to “Special knowledge of the Holy Ghost” which I would assume was an error made by Tiffy in good faith, rather than an attempt at Gnostic promulgation.

    However, Gnosticism is an elephant in the room; because modern neo-Gnostic feminists like Karen King and Elaine Pagels want us to ordain women, this is reason enough to refuse to do it, since they epitomize the rejection of Christian values.
     
  15. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    If so, I will happily drop this and we can move on. Tiffy, would you endorse the following proposition: "Every person in the world, apart from differing knowledge & intelligence, has the same innate capacity to understand the Scriptures."
     
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  16. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Quick answer, = yes, but not for the reason you assume it to be so.

    Understanding scripture is not a question of 'hidden or gnostic knowledge'. Scripture is not a book of magic spells closed to the uninitiated. It is a revelation of the will of God for mankind and God therefore has no intention of preventing our understanding of it.

    It is our dullness of spirit and hardness of heart that is the problem, not God's unwillingness for us to understand.

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

    And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not. And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    Matt.13:14-15.

    Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

    How was it that they did not understand, do you think? How do you explain this fact, if unaided by God, everone can understand everything they read in the scriptures 'innately'?

    Could Luke 24:45 have some bearing on this perhaps? Not according to your theory that EVERYONE understands the scriptures regardless of whether Christ, (through the Holy Spirit) "Opens their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures".

    According to you, this never happens. Everybody already understands. Scripture seems to disagree with your over optimistic view of human understanding though. Understanding scripture is enabled by Christ, not by our own innate ability. Your positive response to the written word and your positive response to the Gospel are evidence of God's Grace to you-ward, not a righteous or wise act on your behalf. That is why salvation is "All from God".

    Just to recap though. It is not God who has drawn a veil over the eyes of our understanding. It is our own hardness of heart and lack of insight. John 8:43.

    These are the words of Christ on the matter, so here I will leave it to rest.
    .
     
  17. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You are correct, but, @Stalwart never said any of that.

    His objection was rather to the idea that only a chosen few are blessed by the Holy Spirit and thus are able to obtain from Scripture salvific knowledge.
     
  18. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Then his objection, though true, was not relevant to the statements I had made, so therefore inappropriate in this discussion, since I had not intimated that the scriptures were in any way 'secret knowledge'. That was merely the conclusion that @Stalwart so athletically and enthusiastically 'jumped' to. What I had implied was that the scriptures can only be correctly interpreted if properly understood, and proper understanding comes from the Holy Spirit, and not from the unregenerate mind of man.

    Salvation and 'salvific knowledge' comes from both hearing and reading the Gospel. It is entirely by God's Grace and an operation of The Holy Spirit. It is entirely of God, and mankind can take no credit at all for 'any knowledge' or for its own state of salvation. That is all entirely attributable to Jesus Christ, his atoning sacrifice and the ministry of His Spirit.
    .
     
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Quite so, you are more well versed in female saints than I, so I take your word for it.

    To be fair, it is not the conduct which constitutes the heresy. It is heretical to persecute, even to persecute heretics. Conduct unbecoming to members of the True Faith is merely symptomatic of uninspired understanding, i.e. living in the flesh rather than living in the spirit. If our understanding is of Christ then so should our walk be. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" is what He said.

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    I do hope that you are not trying to draw a parallel or similarity here between your aversion to women performing any sacerdotal function per se and pedophile male priests, by lumping them together and censuring both under the same supposed 'legislation'. If that was what you inteded by what you have written then I fear we will find ourselves in a state of considerable disagreement over this issue.

    Personal anecdotes can be informative in debate, but are rarely relevant for the formulation of doctrine or a full understanding of the scriptures. Whether a leader has warts or not is hardly a theological justification of debarring certain people from a priestly profession, though I can assure you such things are taken into account when candidates to the priesthood or leadership positions in the Church of England put themselves forward for selection.
    .
     
  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Okay then, and will you allow that all people receive the required inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so that every person in the world is exactly capable of having this understanding?
     
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