Author Topic: The Ordination of Women  (Read 28686 times)

JEdwards

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2010, 08:29:13 AM »
Is it not the case that in Rome, the issue of the ordination of women to the presbyterate is a matter of canonical discipline, and not dictrinal or dogmatic, in that there has never been a declaration by the whole council of bishops and/or the magisterium against it ?   The current policy is based on accepted tradition, not Tradition, as in 'we always done it this way' to put it into the vernacular.

Even Cardinal Ratzinger's statement of JP2's policy is at the level of canonical discipline.
Well... did you mean this statement by Cardinal Ratzinger?

http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_df95os.htm

True, this specific document is at the level of a declaration of a Vatican congregation, although it seems unlikely it would have been approved by then-pope JP2 if it mis-stated the pope's intentions.  Furthermore, the document invokes the ordinary universal magisterium, which is also said to be infallible.  From a RC perspective, "we've always done it this way" cannot make a doctrine, but "we've always taught and believed this way" most certainly can.

Jon

Charles_Austin

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2010, 09:11:05 AM »
Jeremy Loesch writes:
Charles, does your loyal and active friend have an alternative for what her church should do?  If she doesn't believe the reason for the male priesthood is a good one, that doesn't mean she's right. 

I correct:
I did not say she does not "believe the reason for the male priesthood is a good idea." She supports the church's teaching because she supports her church. She does not say she supports ordination for women. She just says she doesn't understand the reasons for an all-male priesthood. That is quite different.

The deaconess writes:
I think we have plenty of proof where it has led in other denominations, pointing to what Rev. McCain said.  Have there been any denominations that haven't gone the route of ordaining homosexuals after doing so with women?
I comment:
     And, zip! bang! wham! we are back to The Issue!!!! For heaven's sake! Is there any way in God's (as yet) green earth that a discussion can go on over a topic without The Issue intruding?
But for the record, ptmccain is wrong on two counts. First, some Baptist denominations ordain women and do not ordain partnered gays and lesbians. Ditto for some Pentecostal groups.
     But.... There is no logic in saying "we won't do this (if we think this is the right thing to do) because other people who have done this have done that and we believe that is wrong." If one believes it is the right thing to do, it must be done despite the consequences or the suspicion that some people may take it further than intended.

JEdwards

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2010, 09:19:16 AM »
I'm unaware of any argument made in support of the ordination of women that can not, and has not been, easily used to defend and promote the ordination of actively homosexual persons.



How about, "Scripture provides examples of women in leadership and teaching roles in the Church"?  I know you may challenge the argument, but at least you are now aware of it.

Jon

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2010, 09:36:49 AM »
Jon, where in the New Testament do we read of a woman presbyter, appointed to oversee a flock?

Matt Staneck

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2010, 09:39:50 AM »
This is something I definitely struggled a great deal with while at Valpo.  It was a combination of things between hermeneutical practices by people I did (and still do) respect, and the general interaction with women who were in the pre-seminary program heading for an ELCA school that would eventually ordain them.  

Before I came to the seminary I reconciled that I could not reconcile the ordination of women to the Office of the Holy Ministry.  I'm still not so sure I fully buy into the "orders of creation" argument, at least as it has been argued by the LCMS officially.  But actually reading Bonhoeffer's Creation and Fall, and his emphasis of creation operating within its own "groove," this past quarter helped re-enforce my belief. Perhaps ironically, the evangelical and catholic emphasis at Valpo may have served to work in opposite favor to me with regards to this issue.  And of course, no small influence, my Atlantic District upbringing with its evangelical and catholic emphasis played a large role.  I was never once confused by women reading the lessons, or women in albs as deacons.  There is a clear distinction between who the pastor is and who is serving in other capacities.

So I resolved that the ordination of women to the OHM is not the scriptural position nor is it the confessional one.  Arguments from church history help corroborate the scriptural record which has led me to realize it is simply one thing the Holy Spirit has not ordained for the sake of good order in the church.  I speak with non-Christians and Christians alike who struggle with the issue.  Though I much prefer speaking with Christians who do because they are coming at it theologically, or are at least trying to.  

I hope this discussion can be had in a most edifying way.  I especially pray that is so for the NALC as they struggle with this issue.

M. Staneck
Matt Staneck, Pastor
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

George Erdner

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2010, 09:41:02 AM »
And "Because I said so." is a perfectly fine and valid answer for children of all ages.


"Because I said so" is a cop out used by people who (1) do not know why or (2) lack the skill to articulate the reason or (3) are too self-centered and full of themselves to make the effort to answer.

That is not to say that the fact that the person one asks doesn't know, or can't put it into words, or just doesn't care proves anything. If something is so, then there is an answer to "why?" out there, or at least a better pointing to where the truly authoritative source said so.


Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2010, 09:41:10 AM »
11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Timothy 2:12-15 (ESV)

What do you people take of the first person singular epitrpo?  Stands out strangely or uniquely to me.  I want to say something of the modeling argument and its weaknesses when I get to a proper keyboard.  But for the moment again in this text we have the odd phrasing which is true only on one level and not on the more pervasive and more omportant one "Adam was not deceived.". Oh?  Harvey Mozolak
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ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2010, 09:42:31 AM »
The finest collection of documents on the ordination of women, from a confessional Lutheran perspective, is contained in Women Pastors: The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in studying this issue in depth and is not afraid to be challenged to their very core on this issue.

The ordination of women was adopted with very little careful theological reflection. The movement for the ordination of women in the Lutheran Church was a result of societal changes and assumptions, feminism being chief among them.


ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2010, 09:43:44 AM »
As for the North American Lutheran Church and its "study" of the issue. It was clear to me watching the proceedings that the NALC has no intention of studying the issue with a view toward abandoning this unapostolic and anti-catholic practice, but rather to bolster the practice by studies that are more theologically oriented. I think that is a key point to make.

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2010, 09:56:42 AM »
11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Timothy 2:12-15 (ESV)

What do you people take of the first person singular epitrpo?  Stands out strangely or uniquely to me.

If that's all we had, then it would be possible to view this as "only" Paul's opinion (though would a church that claims to be apostolic really want to go against apostolic teaching and practice?).  However, he goes on to make a theological argument rooted in the created order.  That takes it from the realm of "opinion" to "doctrine."  Again, only if folks want take seriously what it means to be part of the "one holy catholic and apostolic church."

But for the moment again in this text we have the odd phrasing which is true only on one level and not on the more pervasive and more omportant one "Adam was not deceived.". Oh?

Oh?

First, are you saying that Paul gets the Genesis story wrong?  ???

Second, why isn't it a legitimate position to read Gen. 3 as Adam not being deceived, perhaps even knowingly and willfully sinning?  After all, Adam was "with her" throughout the dialog with the serpent, and he didn't correct Eve's misrepresentations of the command that God had given to Adam before Eve was formed (i.e., Eve said that God forbade even touching the tree; not true).  Maybe if he had corrected Eve's mistake in repeating God's command...  Maybe if he had prevented Eve from breaking the command...  Maybe if...

But in any case, the point Paul makes is regarding the order in which humanity was created and links that order to the deception of the woman who, after all, did not hear God's command firsthand.  God apparently decided to speak that command only to the man and have him tell his wife.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 09:58:47 AM by Scott Yakimow »

kls

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2010, 10:02:40 AM »
The deaconess writes:
I think we have plenty of proof where it has led in other denominations, pointing to what Rev. McCain said.  Have there been any denominations that haven't gone the route of ordaining homosexuals after doing so with women?
I comment:
     And, zip! bang! wham! we are back to The Issue!!!! For heaven's sake! Is there any way in God's (as yet) green earth that a discussion can go on over a topic without The Issue intruding?
But for the record, ptmccain is wrong on two counts. First, some Baptist denominations ordain women and do not ordain partnered gays and lesbians. Ditto for some Pentecostal groups.
     But.... There is no logic in saying "we won't do this (if we think this is the right thing to do) because other people who have done this have done that and we believe that is wrong." If one believes it is the right thing to do, it must be done despite the consequences or the suspicion that some people may take it further than intended.

To "The Charles" I respond (you seem to have a habit of removing my personhood when you go on the offensive, which is OK by me as long as you don't mind me doing the same in return):

When you remove one part of the teaching/admonishment found within the Holy Scriptures, then everything else is fair game--the proverbial slippery slope.  It's fair game to bring it up for that reason.  And I am not clear what you are saying in your last statement to even respond.  Any way, back to the topic at hand.


RayToy

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2010, 10:11:19 AM »
If the Word of God does not provide good enough reason for anybody, male or female, then I wonder what the purpose is of even believing much else that's found within it.  I think we have plenty of proof where it has led in other denominations, pointing to what Rev. McCain said.  Have there been any denominations that haven't gone the route of ordaining homosexuals after doing so with women?

Yes.  Among them would include the Church of the Nazarene, the Assemblies of God, and the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).  In the case of the Church of the Nazarene, they ordained women from the onset of their denomination in 1909.  The ordination of gays and lesbians is not on the radar screen for them.

The Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) have a similar ecclesiology.  They have three levels of pastors (Bishop, Elder, and Exhorter).  All three levels use the title "Pastor" in spoken parlance.  However, women are oradained only to the level of Exhorter.  Normally, they would hold positions such as "Women's pastor" or Pastor for children's ministries."  Again, in both cases, ordination of gays and lesbians is not on the radar screen.

Ray
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Harvey_Mozolak

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2010, 10:19:41 AM »
One last thought on the 1 Tim 2 text:  Adam did not sin first… but Eve did… what is that supposed to mean?  Does it give any solace to men, any special guilt to women?  Who would go there today and what would it say to our theology of sin to go there?  And yet it is quite the point that Paul is making.  Weakness is another word used often here, in what way?  Hand to hand combat in the military or in battle with Satan, want to go there?  And if, as St. Paul says, there is no distinction when it comes to grace, why then in the matter of sin?     

The models of ministry, pastoral and otherwise, get used against WO by recalling that there were 12 plus St. Paul men, mostly Jewish but we discount that as a model of course.  And for the centuries since then until most recently the tradition has been only male ordination to the pastoral office.  Of course that does say nothing about Esther or Hannah, Deborah or the BVM teaching our Lord whatever she taught him, like walking, talking, the Torah, Psalms and Prophets, how to pray maybe some of those things….  The women who first witnessed and proclaimed the resurrection are only lay-tellers not apostolic in any manner.  Does not God raise up Judges for times of need?  Well, modeling as theology.

Then there is model of submission.  While the 1 Timothy 2 text does speak of the submission of a wife to a husband only the Wisconsin Synod has the age of boy to man down to a number (I think).  And the models of submission are not given in any sort of Table of Duties in the New Testament; however, we have plenty of models of what submission has meant in households in the past where men were Lords but not sacrificial ones at all. 

I know the writer who felt uncomfortable with seeing a woman in vestments undoubtedly had theological objections before what her eyes could find objectionable but I recall the first time I saw an Almy dummy (headless but breasted) wearing alb and stole at the Springfield Sem on display.  No way!   Or my daughter as child seeing a woman in alb and stole distributing the sacrament at a pan-Lutheran gathering saying she can’t be a pastor, why?  She has earrings… of course, that also predates men with earrings and she hadn’t even seen lay women as communion assistants as yet.  But the model was new, odd and different. 

Can a woman be submissive to her husband (in whatever is the best scriptural sense) and yet be a pastor in a parish where the other men are not under such a relationship of submission with her as a woman, obviously not as a wife?

If a LCMS pastor (sorry to pick on you for this example) is gay and secretly has a relationship with another gay person and he preaches and celebrates HC…  cannot the sermon share Law and Gospel and his hidden life not ruin the communicants reception?  I am saying nothing about whether he is sinning or whether his church body would be sinning if they knew and permitted him to be a pastor.  So what if a Lutheran woman pastor comes and preaches and celebrates HC and an LCMS person listens to the sermon and partakes of the sacrament, can it be a proper sermon, a Holy Communion that shares Christ’s body and blood?  Again I am not saying whether or not that LCMS person should be in that church, listen or partake… but if one did….  We know that an unbelieving preacher and celebrant does not vitiate the means of grace, don’t we?  What of a woman who believes?

Is it possible that God is not wild about ordained women, but will use them in the church?  He may not be wild about pastors who are not good at Greek or who do not find evangelism to be their most important work but will he still use them in the church?


Harvey Mozolak
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kls

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2010, 10:23:55 AM »
Thanks for the info., Ray.  I'll do some exploring of the issues within those denominations.

I know what the LCMS puts forth about women's ordination, so I thought I'd explore and share language used by other church bodies that do not ordain women here and there as I have the time.  I like this verbiage from the WELS:

We belong to a synod that is often accused of clinging to an outmoded and out-of-touch view of the roles of men and women. While many Christian denominations have changed their doctrine and proudly opened the door to the ordination of women, WELS has not done so. We have, with the help of God, maintained that God in his love and wisdom has clearly reserved the role of pastor and the exercise of authority in the church to men. To be sure, it’s every congregation’s responsibility to give women opportunities to serve in meaningful and important ways. But we do that always maintaining our desire to follow the guidelines that God himself has given us in his Word.

Our beliefs will seldom find approval in the culture in which we live. More often than not, the values that we defend will be challenged, questioned, or ridiculed. In the face of that onslaught from a godless culture, it’s important for us to remember not just what we are against but what we are for. Cherish those values. Defend them. Hold on to them. Not because those values are traditional but because they are biblical.


http://www.wels.org/news-events/forward-in-christ/november-2008/a-synod-that-upholds-biblical-values?page=0,1

mariemeyer

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2010, 10:32:53 AM »
Paul: Slippery slop theology masks a lazy way to avoid a reasoned Biblical discussion of the various ways the LCMS defends a male pastorate.

Scott: Forgive me if I am off base, but I note a bit if testiness in the following comments…

“Oh.  Ok.  Didn't know that responding to that point was a requirement for participation in the discussion.  But alright...

 “And to be honest, I can't ever remember singing about an all-male pastorate."

My original post resulted in a rehash of past discussions on this Forum. Rather than continue endlessly in what has proven less than fruitful, I will attempt to clarify the approach I am suggesting in a discussion the ordination of women to the pastoral office. I do so in the context of how the LCMS has and continues to defend a male only pastorate. 

 I submit that the texts chosen as normative, their translation, interpretation and application, are all based on presuppositions about unity, order and authority. The first presupposition I selected for consideration has to do with unity and order in the home and the church. The LCMS begins with the presupposition that unity and order in the home and church are dependent upon a divinely mandated immutable structure. The presupposition is defended with the claim that unity and order in relationships require that someone or some category of persons has to be in authority and someone or some category of persons has to be under authority. IOW, someone has to have the last word. Without the structure there is disorder and a break down of relationship.

I submit that this presupposition must be examined within the context of what  the entire Scripture reveals about unity and order within the Trinity. John 17 is one of several texts that I considerable relative to this discussion. I also think that the work of the Holy Spirit in uniting the One Body of Christ through Word and Sacrament is relevant.

My study of Scripture and the Confession, my participation in the historic liturgy of the Church and my singing of our Lutheran hymnody has led me to ask whether the concept of order and unity being dependent upon an external structure is consistent with natural human reason rather than what Scripture reveals about the nature and character of the God in whose image Man, male and female was created.     

Marie