Women ministers, an exploration

Discussion in 'Sacraments and Holy Orders' started by kestrel, Nov 25, 2012.

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Do you think that women can follow these vocations/roles/whatchamacallits? Click for yea

  1. Choristers / Choir Leaders

    28 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Church Wardens and church council members

    24 vote(s)
    85.7%
  3. Teachers (Sunday school and the like)

    27 vote(s)
    96.4%
  4. Lay Readers

    24 vote(s)
    85.7%
  5. Deaconess

    25 vote(s)
    89.3%
  6. Priests

    10 vote(s)
    35.7%
  7. Bishops

    9 vote(s)
    32.1%
  8. It's complicated (post away)

    2 vote(s)
    7.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. kestrel

    kestrel Member

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    Hello,

    Let me see if we can explore this issue together. I will try to set up a frame that from which everybody can work.

    First, I would like everybody to, simply, post where they are in this issue, in an abbreviate form by stating if you consider that women can follow these vocations/roles/whatchamacallits:

    1. Choristers / Choir Leaders
    2. Church Wardens and church council members
    3. Teachers (Sunday school and the like)
    4. Lay Readers
    5. Deacons
    6. Priests
    7. Bishops
    Please answer the poll first, then state your
     
  2. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I pledge not to get personal, frustrated, or sarcastic in this thread.

    1. Choristers ~ most definitely. The songs of praise to the Lord are never limited to men. Choir masters, not so much - but that is just my opinion, and I have no problem with female directors.

    2. Wardens should be men, but the Council can include women. :)

    3. If with children, women tend to be better teachers. If with adults, I prefer men.

    4. No lay reader women, in my opinion. Let it be what it will be, however.

    5. Deaconesses are suitable since they have no direct administrative or headship function.

    6. If it is truly not against Scripture, women receive Orders as well as any male human persons. Might be acceptable, since presbyters are not heads or rulers, but subject to a bishop...

    7. Women should absolutely not be bishops because the bishop, by his ruling function, mirrors Christ in His function as Head of the Church, and Adam as head of humanity (in a good way). To promote female bishops is to promote androgyny in the Creation as well as the Incarnation.

    By the way, I think women can and should be secretaries, holy widows, and godly mothers. These are incredibly important.
     
  3. kestrel

    kestrel Member

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    Thank you, Consular.
     
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  4. Pirate

    Pirate Member

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    Choristers / Choir Leaders
    Yes and yes.

    Church Wardens and church council members
    Yes and yes

    Teachers (Sunday school and the like)
    Yes

    Lay Readers
    Yes

    Deacons
    Yes

    Priests
    No

    Bishops
    No

    I haven't left the church over women's ordination. It's here to stay in TEC. It might someday take hold in ACNA. I don't think that it invalidates things, but I also don't believe that it is right. I believe that Scripture, Tradition, and the historical understanding of Apostolic Succession require a male priesthood and episcopate.
     
  5. Patrick Sticks

    Patrick Sticks Member

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    Naturally in favour of all, I'm a little concerned that this has that slight RC-esque minefield view of sin: how far can we go before we actually start defying x, y and z?

    I would also like to point out that deaconesses is not a term I'm comfortable with, for there were women who attended only to the women of the church, and thus their role (that of a deaconess, you might say) was distinguishable from the role of the Deacon. Basically I'm just wishing to say I'm in favour of female deacons of identical role to male deacons and find the gender distinction (as with actor/ress) unnecessary and a bit unhelpful.
     
  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Choristers / Choir Leaders
    Yes.

    Church Wardens and church council members
    Yes.

    Teachers (Sunday school and the like)
    Yes.

    Lay Readers
    Yes.

    Deacons
    Yes.

    Priests
    No.

    Bishops
    No.
     
  7. kestrel

    kestrel Member

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    Thank you all,

    I think it is safe to say that the controversy lies on women priests and bishops.
     
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  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes that's pretty much the core question of contention. Nobody really has a problem with women having leadership roles in the secular world, but there's major problems with having spiritual leadership, as contrary to the doctrine of God, and the nature of the Church. God teaches us that while men and women are equal, they're not equivalent. While this, yes, forces us to roll back and unravel several layers of liberal post-modern ideology that's dominated the West for the past 20 years, still I say, let us go with God, not with the mentally pretzelled post-modern professors.
     
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  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It's OK to try to test conservatives for bigotry, sexism, and misogyny, but we really do have only theological objections to two important things. ;)

    Women are the other half of the dignity of humanity, so we must respect their places in the Body of Christ when they believe. The Truth is true for all at all times, however, for "the word of the Lord endureth forever; this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:25). Neither the Gospel changes, nor does the word by which it comes to us.

    We more evangelical conservatives believe that the urge to create women clergy stems from Heidegger, Rahner, Newman, relativism, and various strains of radical philosophy which make truth merely historical, chronological, and developing. We reject these epistemological theories, and believe that all truths remain forever: feminism cannot change the truth about patriarchy and hierarchy in God's Kingdom.
     
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  10. Ryu2000

    Ryu2000 New Member

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    Voted yes for everything except priests and bishops.
     
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  11. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I voted yes for everything.

    This issue has nothing to do with liberalism versus conservatism. Holiness churches have been ordaining women for nearly a century, and the Quakers from their beginnings gave women spiritual equality with men.

    I would characterize myself as moderate-conservative overall and very conservative on moral and ethical issues, and I support full equality of women and men in the church, including ordained ministry.

    Here is an interesting article:
    http://www.cbeinternational.org/?q=content/i-believe-male-headship

    Also, here is a conservative Anglican church which ordains women as bishops: http://allnationschristianchurchinternational.org/index.html
     
  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Celtic1, this is not about liberalism or conservatism, but truth. It's very interesting that liberals tend to make this about political platforms (which are relative to place and time, and can change), while 'conservatives' make it about absolute eternal norms in creation. It's demeaning to have this reduced to mere politics.

    This is not about equality, because man and woman are already equal in God's eyes - the only eyes that matter. Feminists have made this into a race to gain more acceptance and credit in the eyes of the world. Biblical Christians despise the attention of the world and focus on what pleases the glorious Father. Please don't make this whole thing out to be a FOX Opinion Panel.

    The only way pro-feminist elements can get their side to 'win' is if they demonize the opposition. Must feminism invade everything, even the divine revelation? This is perversion. Oh, and any Church which tries to ordain women is not conservative, no matter what else it believes - because it has taken away the first and most important foundation: the created order.
     
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  13. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Again, the issue is not the equality of women and men, but the equivalence of women and men. That is the real doctrine, and unlike equality it is not taught anywhere in the Word of God, or in nature. In fact, God taught us to oppose it in every way possible. Instead, it is a gospel of atheist liberalism. People only advocate it because the secular atheist world pushes for it; it is not defensible from any valid sources, from Scripture, or from Nature, or from Reason.

    So, it is not possible to be conservative and at the same time in favor of a doctrine so deleterious to religion, and to the future of the human race. If we pick it because of public pressure, worse, if we pick it because of atheist public pressure, and with it we violate the Word of God rather than defending it, we are worse than the Pharisees and all the ancient heresies, for in their time, an unapologetic Christian stood to oppose them and advance the doctrine of God. Who will be that person in our time?
     
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  14. Patrick Sticks

    Patrick Sticks Member

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    I have a very simple question.

    Why can the opponents of WO not accept that their opponents positions may in fact be inspired by their faith and not from a purely secular wisdom?

    Does it disturb you to think that people genuinely believe this is God's will?

    In truth, I believe that the 'conservative' position is in part inspired by a sociological angst over the 'crisis of masculinity', the loss of hegemonic status in society produces an anxiety that is reformulated into religious categories of thought and thus interpreted as an overthrowal of God's will. Indeed, most highly conservative and fundamentalist christians are largely the result of general anxiety over modernity, unable to reconcile there communal worldview with the onslaught of prevailing thought that seemingly contradicts them, they have two possibilities- adapt or turn inward. They opted for the latter and took a sectarian attitude that was also anti-intellectualist, once again enshrined in the groups by being associated with the highest principle, God himself. The sad irony being of course they deliberately cut themselves off from the learning that reveals their tactics as being both commonplace and tragically predictable, particularly their endeavours to draw certain 'lines in the sand' over which any who wish to be insders must conform to, and turning these issues, once never discussed into the very litmus test of orthodoxy.

    Conservative Christians are basically inspired by secular knowledge, only they act as the 'shadow' or photo negative. Their reactionary approach is in fact novel in Christian history and entirely historically conditioned.

    However, I do not think that there is something less than a genuinely honest faith mixed in those roots, a desire to do good by God. And I hope you can see how I wish only the same. Only we have taken two different paths- the conservative one represented on this forum is divergent from society, suspicious of all learning. Liberals tend to be 'convergent' sometimes even subliminating theological discourse beneath secular philosophies. I prefer to understand the Catholic position, with which I identify myself as essentially 'dialectical'; we engage with modern thought but only utilise that which conforms to a theological orthodoxy discerned through living tradition- mediation without accomodation. For some Catholics WO is too far from this Tradition, whereas others of us highlight the discontinuities inherant in the Christian genesis and believe we are theologically and prayerfully equipped to adapt comfortably and without self-contradiction to the context of a society where men and women are legally equal, with a full equality of the sexes being an ideal of these societies, even as it is not realized currently in practice.
     
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  15. Ryu2000

    Ryu2000 New Member

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    That's a lot of generalizations and assumptions about theologically conservative Christians.
     
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  16. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That is my impression as well.
     
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  17. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Conservative denominations which have been ordaining women for a hundred years or more would disagree with that.
     
  18. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    What you have said is not only completely false but offensive, as well.
     
  19. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That's exactly what we said of your comments... so I guess we've got a bit of an impasse here. :p

    Which denominations have been ordaining women for "more than a hundred years"? A few Quakers do not count as a church with apostolic succession. Also, simply because they have conservative political positions, does not guarantee their theological conservatism (which is all that matters). :)
     
  20. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    Nothing I've said was false. Further, I did not impugn the position of those against women's ordination with broadly false and personally offensive remarks.

    As I said, holiness denominations, which are theologically conservative, have been ordaining women from their beginnings.

    Believe it or not, there are Christian churches which do not see the necessity of apostolic succession and have carried on their ministry quite ably without it.
     
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