on Wednesday, 17 May 2006 at 7.34 pm by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Church of England
In addition to their frosty response to AffCath/Watch, Forward in Faith has published TEA – the theological response. This complements the legal response previously published.
I generally try to stay out of the ordination of women debates because my enemies would argue that I enter out of self interest. So my disclaimer for this posting is that my personal role is not to become entangled within the bureacracy of any particular denomination or faith, so that I am able to act as an “independent” advisor to all. A core element to the opposition to women is based on an arbitrary decision to continue the precedent that Jesus only had male apostles and therefore women are to be excluded from teaching roles. However, the biblical God… Read more »
Oh for goodness sake.
If we want to have priests and bishops who exactly mirror Jesus, they should be male [of course!] circumcised [OK] Jews [problem?] who speak Aramaic [really?] and read Hebrew [OK?] and possibly Greek [with me so far?]and seem not to have married [oops for some!] much less be divorced and remarried [BIG no no] … seems like the idea is that to be a priest or bishop – for some at least – you don’t really need to BE like Jesus, as listed above. You just need to be male and … pee like Jesus.
If FiF’s response is “frosty” what is then AffCath/WATCH’s liberal and revisionist non-negotiable statement? Naive and arrogant?
Cheryl, This is not “opposition to women”, and those on the other side of the argument to you are not misogynistic. The argument against women occupying the role of a bishop is not based on the precedent of Jesus calling male apostles , but on the clear teaching of the apostles in scripture. 1 Timothy 2v12: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” 1 Corinthians 14v34-35: “Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded… Read more »
From FIF: Our difficulty is not that female bishops are women; but that we doubt they are bishops in the historic episcopate. The question, in consequence, is not ‘how can I be shielded from the ministry of ordained women?’, but rather ‘where can I find that unimpaired collegiality of bishops, priests, deacons and faithful laity to which, as a Catholic Christian, I seek to belong? (That just happens not to have any women fouling it up? Ah, have you thought about just going back to Rome? By the way, FIF, who taught you this clever strategy of writing female on… Read more »
Andy I note that all your justifications come from the apostle Paul’s writings. Now Paul was one of my favourite apostles – he had vision and the courage to go into the unknown. But he also did this obsessively to the exclusion of having a family or “normal” life. That was required at that time to ensure that Jesus’ teachings were not lost and that the new paradigms were given a chance to consolidate into humanity’s consciousness. But that does not mean that he was the only or unique definitive word on God or the bible. I often comment to… Read more »
Cheryl: “But that does not mean that he [Paul] was the only or unique definitive word on God or the bible.” God is the definitive word on God, and in the bible verses I quoted, we see God speaking through Paul. God clearly spoke through Paul on this specific issue. If it was not unique or definitive, what exactly are you using as your other sources of the word of God on this issue? Does God contradict Himself? Cheryl: “If one reads the whole bible, one sees a huge range of personalities in the souls that God raises up for… Read more »
Sola scriptura was historically used to: (1) read how Ptolemaic Cosmology was written into the scriptures; (2) prohibit autopsies or anatomy studies of the human body; (3) posit a immediate, personal deity who pulls all the strings to make all natural events happen through moments of divine willing of this or that real-time event in nature; (4) read how the subservience or inferiority of people of color was written into scripture; (5) read justifications in scripture for the institutions of ‘benevolent’ masterhood/ownership and slavery; (6) raise deep doubts or reservations about girls or women entering education, up to and including… Read more »
drdanfee wrote: “Anglican Communion views have never, ever been limited to Sola scriptura – except perhaps during transient periods of Puritan dominance.” Dear drdanfee, Sola Scriptura may have been a somewhat politicised slogan in history, but it does capture one serious issue… that the Bible contains the most authentic and authoritative Christian writings. The Anglican Communion has always held until very recently, and since only changes in a few countries, that the priests/presbyters and bishops are male-only roles – based on what Scripture and Tradition teach. This is still what ALL the other historical-catholic churches do! Now, while I personally… Read more »
Thanks drdanfee Some of Paul’s writings were not commands but recommendations. For example, if possible be celibate but if you find your sex drive too high take a wife e.g. 1 Corinthians 7. I also have to say that Paul, like the prophets of the Old Testament was only human, and therefore his writings should be read as such. One pattern in Paul’s writngs was that he generally put faith in Christ before the letter of the law, except where it came to sexuality (maybe he was too frustrated and should have taken a spouse?). Nor was sexuality an impediment… Read more »
drdanfee: “The literal, plain reading of particular texts which prohibits women from full participation in all levels of our faith communities is clear (so far as it goes);”
Then we agree. God has spoken on this issue in a clear way.
drdanfee: “but the goodness, ethical probity, and justness of the prohibitions is not clear.”
Who are you to judge the goodness, ethical probity or justness of God’s commands?
drdanfee: “Exactly what is the evil against which we are shutting our doors?”
Open rebellion against God’s clearly stated commands.
None of the 3 “proofs” signature “Andy” provides has anything to do with the Apostle Paul. Instead they were written much later by the circle of the Pastoral letters, probably old Polycarp’s boys at Smyrna. This includes 1 Kor 14:34-35, see The New Jerome page 811. The Pastoral letters are dated in the first 50 or 60 years of the 2nd Century. They are considered identical in philosophy, language & c. to the so called Letters of Polycarp (perhaps not by Polycarp himself). Also it would be helpful, if signature “Andy” told us which translation he is using; that is;… Read more »
â€œThe literal, plain reading of particular texts which prohibits women from full participation in all levels of our faith communities is clear (so far as it goes)â€ Oh, now it isnâ€™t! Itâ€™s neither â€œliteralâ€, â€œplainâ€ nor â€œclearâ€, only superficial, shallow and distorting, reading in what isnâ€™t there. The Bible is a pre-modern collection of writings from a pre-modern culture. Patriarchal; limiting the scope of action of womenâ€™s lives, but it is n o t Hierarchical as the Indo-European Philosophy of Alexandria. It does not de-value hierarchically. In the Bible there is certainly an un-called for division into different social roles… Read more »
The Calvinist take on the â€œSola scripturaâ€ of the Reformers, is â€“ as always â€“ quite strange and distorted. NOT sola scriptura.
Sola scriptura in it self means what Dr Hooker wrote in his XXXIX Articles, which is what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 4:6:
Nothing beyond what is written is to be required of anybody.
Which is precisely what is being done today by the anti-modern malcontents.
Dear Dave, WE are the Church Catholic. Much more than Rome who invented strange things in the 1054 Schizm, the 1073 Dictatus papae, the 1139, 1179 adn 1215 Lateran councils, the Corpus iuris canonici and so on…
We are even the Church Catholic more than the Anglican churches, because they accpted the Roman inventions and we did so only in part (no mandatory celibacy, no canonical testament & c.).
We have women priests and lady bishops. And we are proud of them.
Many of Paul’s letters were written to women leaders. There are numerous studies that indicate that women were shunted to one side as the formal church structures developed. (At the same time that the churches being sponsored by the state authority figures?) Also, not all of God’s promises were fulfilled at the time, but the promise of their being fulfilled in the future were reaffirmed by Jesus’ incarnation and atoning sacrifice. For example, it was impossible for the gospel to be available to all the peoples of all the nations because it took time for information to be disseminated (there… Read more »
GÃ¶ran wrote: “Dear Dave, WE are the Church Catholic” (he means the Svenska kyrkan – Church of Sweden)
Dear GÃ¶ran, that is your own opinion. Most churches in the Apostolic Catholic tradition, and most Christians, would disagree if they knew about your church’s beliefs, politics and practices.
As another aside on “sola scripture”. That camp has absolutely no credibility with me. In early 2005 some people on Sydney Anglicans tried to tell me that what I was doing was biblically incorrect. I then quoted some passages to prove that the sharing of private experiences has biblical precedent. There then ensued a remarkable dialogue where several souls started discussing removing the offending passages (at least from being taught in theological lessons)! That line rapidly closed when I posited that if we were to remove the writings of authors who shared visions or dreams we would have to take… Read more »
I disobey in good conscience â€“ and with a grateful good heart, giving thanks to Jesus – these plain readings of anti-women rules or commandments in the New Testament. (Or the Old Testament.) Why? Well I have good common sense reasons for doing so. I do not easily lay upon any woman a definition or a burden that involves denying her a citizenâ€™s access to equal resources and opportunities. Iâ€™m a brother citizen in a modern democracy. That is a blessing of my fate and my calling. I accept democracy as Godâ€™s gift to me an a citizen, and thus… Read more »
GÃ¶ran Koch-Swahne: “None of the 3 “proofs” signature “Andy” provides has anything to do with the Apostle Paul. Instead they were written much later by the circle of the Pastoral letters, probably old Polycarp’s boys at Smyrna.” If you don’t accept Paul’s authorship and the canonicity of 1Corinthians or 1 Timothy, then its not surprising that you view things that are not written about elsewhere in scripture as a matter of liberty. Of course, that does mean you deny at least one of the 39 articles, Article VI: “…In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical… Read more »
drdanfee: “I disobey in good conscience â€“ and with a grateful good heart, giving thanks to Jesus – these plain readings of anti-women rules or commandments in the New Testament. (Or the Old Testament.)” 1John 2v3-4 (ASV 1901): “ And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” There are no “anti-women” commandments in the NT. Prohibiting women from certain roles in the church is no more “anti-women” than prohibiting adultery is “anti-hetrosexual”.… Read more »
Dear Andy, As a Lutheran I am not “bound” by the XXXIX articles. Most of them are very good, some of them are far too Calvinist to be considered ;=) Lutherans do not adhere to the Indo-European error of a Sufficiency and Harmony of a Holy Scripture fallen from the skies. The Good Book consists of holy scriptures in the plural: the writs of the holy Prophets, the holy Evangelists and the holy Apostles. “”…In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt… Read more »
Hebrews 9:25-26 Nor did Christ “… enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” I loved dradanfee’s postings because he demonstrates that he seeks to apply the intent of the law through faith and trusting in the grace of God for compassion… Read more »
I doubt that my views are convincing to many conservatives who more or less share Andy’s views. Any more than his proof texting approach convinces me. I am really nonplussed by the ways that conformed, tone-deaf absolutes and fervent, heartfelt conviction is supposed to trump carefulness in our discussion of so many different topics. Saying that the scriptures contain all things we need to get started in following Jesus – a la revered Anglican divine Richard Hooker – is in no way saying that scriptures overtly or even implicitly contain all modern biology, psychology, sociology, or cosmology. (Or else scriptures… Read more »
Dear drdanfee, I think I agree with nearly every statement you made in your last post about things being complex, times having changed,knowledge having advanced etc etc. Despite being in the evangelical wing, and affirming the “divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of Godâ€”fully trustworthy for faith and conduct” I certainly don’t think that “Scripture is verbally God-given and without error or fault”. I hope that all Thinking Anglicans know that both the New and Old Testaments were formed over a period of time, that certain books were included… Read more »
drdanfee I agree with you that we are making absolutely no inroads with the conservatives. Even the Lambeth commitment to listening has no hope of gaining reconciliation; for when these people hear the stories of abuse to homosexuals or women, they hear proof that God is punishing us for our sinfulness. The greater our suffering simply proves how angry their God is with us. I also agree with your last posting that there is misrepresentation of the bible, especially when one claims that all one needs to know can be found in the bible. My favourite refutation example is the… Read more »
Translations, Dave, translations. Take half a dozen of them and compare! Carefully. The 6 NT clobber verses on women (1 Cor 11:4-7, 10, 13-16, 1 Cor 14:34-35, Eph 5:1-20, 24, 31, Col 3:18-4:1, 1 Tim 2:8-3:15, Tit 2:1-10, 1 Peter 2:11-3:9) are both absolutely “univocal” and “consistent” – but they are also 2nd century pseudo-epigrapha, witnessing to the influence of Indo-European philosophy on Alexandrian academics, Heathen or no. The other 6 2nd Millennium clobber verses are consistent and univocal only in some “translations” post 1965. It takes time to “harmonize”. Also, and not least, in their un-manipulated selves they adress… Read more »
Dear Dave, I think we significantly disagree on religious authority. Duh. Forgive me for stating the obvious. I cannot see that scripture is any sort of sole authority, as indispensable as sciprture is. I obviously include empirical data as a second indispensable authority, because the Copernicus Lesson teaches me, not only that the solar system exists, but that I probably cannot find my modern biology, psychology, sociology, and even all possible aspects of my ethics, written exactly and clearly in scripture. Loosely taken, the classic Anglican three-legged stool is a good start, requiring me to read scripture, attend to traditions… Read more »
So, to summarize:
drdanfee agrees that the commandments on women are clear and plain, but he chooses to disobey them.
GÃ¶ran Koch-Swahne, thinks that at least parts of 1Cor, Eph, Col, 1Tim, Tit & 1Pet are “2nd century pseudo-epigrapha, witnessing to the influence of Indo-European philosophy on Alexandrian academics” and hence sees fit to ignore those commandments.
Cheryl says that liberals are extending God’s covenant and so disolving those commandments.
Dave thinks that those commandments can be “interpreted” specifically in relation to the 1st century, but accepts that there are others who interpret them differently.
Andy I am taking Jesus’ teachings to their logical conclusion, and my guilt is no more than Jesus who taught to us look at the intent of the Mosaic law. Nor do I rely on aboslute sciptural authority and then delete books and passages to suit my theological arguments. For example the NIV version has a counting problem and is missing Acts 8:37. And examples of bald statements without reference to the relevant scriptural passages include the bishop in charge of my parish announcing February 2005 that souls who claim to hear words from God through the Holy Spirit are… Read more »
I’ve found myself contemplating the question of passing judgment & questioning God’s fairness. I think Ezekiel must have had to deal with this issue too. See Ezekiel 18 and God’s comment “I will judge you, each one according to his ways” (Eze 18:30).
To extrapolate: if a soul lives by the Law, it is judged by the Law. If a soul lives by faith, it is judged by faith. If a soul judges without compassion it will be judged without compassion. If a soul offers grace and hospitality, a soul will be offered grace and hospitality.
Acts 8:37 is a Byzantine gloss and was removed from the translation here in 1917.
The 2000 translation doesn’t even comment on this, as did the 2 previous ones (1917 and 1981).
I think they should.