Author Topic: The Ordination of Women  (Read 28728 times)

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #270 on: December 20, 2010, 02:45:14 PM »
Life would sure be a lot simpler if analogies were proof.

It is an accurate statement to say, "Sugar is like honey, as both are sweet". It is also an accurate statement to say, "Sugar is not like honey, as sugar is granulated crystals and honey is a sticky fluid". Any statement that says "X is like Y" is only valid when, in context, the similar characteristics of X and Y are what is being discussed. Even if the Apostle Paul writes it down in an Epistle, the comparisons are only as accurate as they really are.

The relationship between Jesus and His church is similar to many other relationships. Those similar relationships are valuable as illustrations of aspects of that relationship, but they are not identical. Christ is indeed like a bridegroom to His church in some ways. That doesn't mean Christ is responsible for mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, or holding the TV remote. Christ is like a shepherd to His church. That doesn't mean he literally uses a wooden crook to pull us out of places.

There is only one thing less useful than attempting to stretch analogies far beyond their breaking points. That is pedantic, sophist nitpicking at the obvious aspects of the analogies that do not apply. Such questions should be expected from high school kids in the 10th grade, or college students in their second year of study. Graduates of seminary should be above such sophomoric rhetoric.
 

You illustrate a key failing in the attempts to "relativize" the Pauline Epistles, George...  Namely that in an attempt to "relativize" the Epistles, people have attempted to reduce them to analogies, which empties them of their meaning, rather than opening them up. 

The truth is that we don't...maybe can't..know all the intentions of Paul in addressing the Corinthian Church.  All we know is that he commanded women to be silent in the Assembly.  Was it because there were women who were disrupting things?  Who knows?  Was it because Paul was a misogynist and/or a male chauvenist?  Who knows?  And in truth, such speculation is beyond our importance, unless you seek to do away with the Pauline Epostles completely.  And, as Lutherans, where are we if we do that?

What we know is that we have a CLEAR and uncomprimising Word of Scripture regarding the role of women within the Christian assembly.  You can ask "What about Deborah?  What about Junia?"  But Paul's word allows no "What abouts."  And, in keeping with Paul's teachings, I will ask "What about" Hildegard of Bingen, one of the women's movement's favorite characters, who deliberately walled herself off, taking on obedience to Paul's teaching as a mark of her fidelity.  What about Theresa of Avila, who niether sought ordination nor the authority of priests and Popes, but dared to stand toe-to-toe with a Pope and demand, in her lay-religious vocation, that the Pope return to Rome from Avignon?

And, if we are not to take 1 Corinthians at it's face, how then do we decide to take Romans 3 at it's flat, face value?

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS

Voelker

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #271 on: December 20, 2010, 02:48:19 PM »
the women "prophets" of the pentecostal and charismatic groupings of the early 20th Century.

That's just funny.

ptmccain

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #272 on: December 20, 2010, 02:55:03 PM »
There is no profit in such prophets.

 :)

Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #273 on: December 20, 2010, 03:41:28 PM »
Why do people offer examples of women who weren't pastors as proof that women can be pastors?

Made me smile. I think it's because they have no other texts/examples. Gotta have something to justify what one wants to do.

A Catholic Lutheran

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #274 on: December 20, 2010, 04:11:25 PM »
Why do people offer examples of women who weren't pastors as proof that women can be pastors?

Maybe you have hit on something that you didn't mean to, Peter...  (I got the thrust of your comment, but I have been chewing on something else in what you've said...)

So many times we have whittled this argument down to whether or not "women can be pastors."  And hence we get into the example of various women who served in leadership positions, cultural attitudes towards women's abilities, blah, blah, blah...  But as my kindergarden teacher used to remind me, this is not a "can" situation.  CAN a woman successfully fill the duties of the Holy Ministry of Word and Sacrament?  Sure.  Very few would debate the physical and mental attributes of women to preach, lead worship, provide pastoral comfort and care...  (Again, this works only if you reduce the Ministry to its bare functions, which is an ecclesiological issue of a different stripe.)  But that is skewing the issue.  The issue is not, "CAN" women be pastors, but "MAY" women serve in ordained ministry.

And for that answer you MUST look at an outside authority, just as surely as the child needing to use the bathroom must look towards their teacher for approval.  My thinking has moved from the "adiaphora" claimed by the ELCA and her predecessor bodies, back to the "Sola Scriptura" that governed Lutheran thinking for so long.  And not only the bare Sola, but also the unbroken orthodox teaching of the Church.  The issue is not "CAN" women serve, which I will answer with a hearty "YES," but "MAY" they serve, to which I have to answer "NO."  By whose authority did the PCB's of the ELCA make this change?  Not by the authority of Holy Scripture.  Not by the authority of orthodox teaching.  Not by any authority except the shaky authority of "this present time" where suddenly "we see things differently."

And to take seriously the whole "slippery slope" argument; while maybe not every body that has adopted the ordination of women has descended into deeper error...yet... what I will ask is something more subtle.  While it may be "possible" for those bodies to adopt women's ordination and not be sucked into the vortex of the other sexuality issues, I will rest more surely in the fact that the bodies that have NOT slipped on women's ordination have not slipped on the other sexuality issues either.  Call it the "Rocky Ledge" arguement.  Among the Roman Catholics, Orthodox, WELS, LCMS, and other bodies that have held firm on women's ordination, which among them have encountered the confusion that those who have compromised on WO have on sexuality?

Take your chance on the fact that a slippery slope might not slide.  I'd rather stand on the rocky ledge.

Pax Christi;
Pr. Jerry Kliner, STS
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 04:14:19 PM by A Catholic Lutheran »

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #275 on: December 20, 2010, 05:44:39 PM »
The more important question to me is , what about Deborah, Huldah, or Junias? Even Chrysystom refers to the last as apostle in his writings.

Lou

The OHM didn't exist during Deborah's and Huldah's time, while Junia -- whether she is actually termed an apostle or simply well-known among the apostles doesn't matter much -- could easily have been one of a large groups of apostles that were just what the term means.  I.e., sent one.  The early Christian churches (and Jewish synagogues) sent people carrying messages to other churches (and synagogues) in order to communicate with them.  The apostle was essentially a letter-carrier and did not necessarily have any particular authority other than to deliver the letters.  Sorta like an ancient pony express.  ;)


Oooh, jeez, I'm dealing with just Junia here, but this is a hard one I think.  Yes, AND no, not a completely comprehensive answer I think.    ???

I think the oral tradition was enhanced via the letters and writings, which were carried back and forth, and especially while the authors yet lived the carrier (s) would be expected to be able to answer questions about the letters being carried or the authors who spoke/wrote them.  To carry and deliver the written word would also lead to the expectation of being able to answer question about the letters, would it not? Such questions as "what are they referring to when they said..." or, "what was their mood, how happy or upset when they said this here", or just plain old questions about general health and expectations and travel plans etc.   Additionally, it's hard for me to imagine that the letters wouldn't have been read aloud many times, perhaps at every house that had Christians in it when the carrier stopped along the way, so they would be memorized by repetition by the carriers by default even if not by requirement.   So no, I don't think its completely fair to assume the letter carriers were simply pony express carriers.  A simple mail carrier who wouldn't even know what was in the envelopes, a non-Christian wouldn't have been expected to carry the letters, or so I think.  The oral tradition kept the words of the original spoken word alive, the letters were necessary for endurance when the authors began to die off.  So clearly, I'm referring only to very early tradition, but the period of time the Junia should belong to.  

Am I mistaken?  If Junia carried letters regularly I suspect she would by necessity be a source of public knowledge, a.k.a., a teacher of the gospel. I can't prove this, but what do you think, does the material support such an outlook in your opinion?  If so, what does that tell us about Junia?

There's so little to work with here, I'm afraid of coming to rock solid answers with so much speculation involved.  :-\

Knowledge of the Gospel and the content of the letters?  Sure.  But I know lots of laypeople of whom the same can be said (praise God!).

Which is to say I like Peter's pithy response (as modified by Jerry): "Why do people offer examples of women who weren't pastors as proof that women can may be pastors?"  As an apostle in the way defined above, Junia simply wasn't a pastor.

Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #276 on: December 20, 2010, 05:46:34 PM »
Some thoughts from one who does still say scripture teaches only some men should be called for the Pastoral Office. Yet we cannot simply base this in human construct and structure that denies the plain description of faithful women's service, such that the scriptural examples are tossed aside.

Saying that the women didn't occupy the OHM doesn't mean that their service is being written off (sorry if the offhand remark about the "pony express" came across wrong; I just meant it as a mild funny).  It does mean that their service is being recognized in the ways that they did serve.

James Gustafson

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #277 on: December 20, 2010, 06:44:44 PM »
Pr. Yakimow, I agree with Pr. Speckhard, there is certainly no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Junia ever administered the sacraments or held any capacity of leadership in observing a religious service of any kind, and I also agree with the observation that Pr. Kliner points out.  I really only wanted to temper the idea that the letter carriers might be irreverent participants.  For the sake or the lurker I thought it important to point out how I think Christian letters spread the gospels and epistles in the very early Church.  The pony express bit was funny, but only funny so long as no one took it too seriously, male or female they served a seriously important and vital role, likely dangerous too.  A letter carrier arriving in town or passing though to other locations probably felt a lot like Christmas morning to a lot of first and second century Christians  :)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 06:47:26 PM by James Gustafson »

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #278 on: December 20, 2010, 10:19:50 PM »
Some thoughts from one who does still say scripture teaches only some men should be called for the Pastoral Office. Yet we cannot simply base this in human construct and structure that denies the plain description of faithful women's service, such that the scriptural examples are tossed aside.

Saying that the women didn't occupy the OHM doesn't mean that their service is being written off .... [IF]  It does mean that their service is being recognized in the ways that they did serve.

That is a good statement that frames things well, I think. To Pr. Speckard's question, it is the framing that is a concern. So one might ask in reply... Why does it seem that some cast off examples of faithful service, to assert a proof of human construction about men and women when discussing the Office? It is as if the argument is diverted too dig a ditch away from the questions.

There are two points of focus that surround this. It is why I note, "2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left."

The first is to the encouragement of all the people of God in response to His gifts. 1 Thess 5: "1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well .... 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. ... 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ...

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all;"


       Secondly, There is concern for those who retreat to a false security and hope, that is not connected to the very work of the Office, but a type of division of human theory. God speaks clearly on His ways.

"12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. ..."

I don't worry too much about the first, the women (and laymen) who respond to God's love. A. They can do nothing else but ...  Acts 4:“Which is right in God’s eyes... You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” ... and B. They find the ways God opens for them if they listen to His voice. LCMS deaconesses et al, are very good at this. They are not prevented by the men's concerns.

The second does concern me, that men place faith in a structure, apart from the very work of the Office. It is like having "faith in faith," instead of faith in Christ.

Quote
(sorry if the offhand remark about the "pony express" came across wrong; I just meant it as a mild funny). 

Not a problem, in that it was received as you intended. I would ask to examine it in light of the above though.

TV
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 10:32:34 PM by TVerinus »
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Sandra

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #279 on: December 20, 2010, 10:29:28 PM »
The first is to the encouragement of all the people of God in response to His gifts. 1 Thess 5: "1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well .... 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. ... 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ...
"12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. ..."


Why do you add the words "and sisters" to the text?

I have no problem being a brother in Christ, since we have all been adopted as sons of God in Baptism (Gal. 4:6). :)
Sandra (Ostapowich) Madden
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Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #280 on: December 20, 2010, 10:31:58 PM »
Some thoughts from one who does still say scripture teaches only some men should be called for the Pastoral Office. Yet we cannot simply base this in human construct and structure that denies the plain description of faithful women's service, such that the scriptural examples are tossed aside.

Saying that the women didn't occupy the OHM doesn't mean that their service is being written off .... [IF]  It does mean that their service is being recognized in the ways that they did serve.

That is a good statement that frames things well, I think. To Pr. Speckard's question, it is the framing that is a concern. So one might ask in reply... Why does it seem that some cast off examples of faithful service, to assert a proof of human construction about men and women when discussing the Office? It is as if the argument is diverted too dig a ditch away from the questions.

There are two points of focus that surround this. It is why I note, "2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left."

The first is to the encouragement of all the people of God in response to His gifts. 1 Thess 5: "1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well .... 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. ... 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ...

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all;"


       Secondly, There is concern for those who retreat to a false security and hope, that is not connected to the very work of the Office, but a type of division of human theory. God speaks clearly on His ways.

"12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. ..."

I don't worry too much about the first, the women (and laymen) who respond to God's love. A. They can do nothing else but ...  Acts 4:“Which is right in God’s eyes... You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” ... and B. They find the ways God opens for them if they listen to His voice. LCMS deaconesses et al, are very good at this. They are not prevented by the men's concerns.

The second does concern me, that men place faith in a structure, apart from the very work of the Office. It is like having "faith in faith," instead of faith in Christ.

Quote
(sorry if the offhand remark about the "pony express" came across wrong; I just meant it as a mild funny). 

Not a problem, in that it was received as you intended. I would ask to examine it in light of the above though.

TV

I'm sorry, but I don't follow what you're saying.  And "sisters" is not in the text -- it's been added by someone feeling sparky (i.e., all it says is "ἀδελφοί").

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #281 on: December 20, 2010, 10:39:31 PM »
I simply pulled from the NIV, and footnotes continued in ESV for adelphoi or brethren, and as Sandra notes. Change it to brethren if that keeps you from hearing the rest.

Quote
"I'm sorry, but I don't follow what you're saying."

 ;) And that is what I'm saying... what you just did, is fence building. No?

TV
« Last Edit: December 20, 2010, 10:42:47 PM by TVerinus »
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Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #282 on: December 20, 2010, 10:45:13 PM »
;) And that is what I'm saying... what you just did, is fence building. No?

TV

Before I respond, what exactly is wrong with "fence building"?  I'm thinking that if lemmings had stronger fences there'd be quite a few more of the critters...

Timotheus Verinus

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #283 on: December 20, 2010, 10:47:48 PM »
I simply pulled from the NIV, and footnotes continued in ESV for adelphoi or brethren, and as Sandra notes. Change it to brethren if that keeps you from hearing the rest.

Quote
"I'm sorry, but I don't follow what you're saying."

 ;) And that is what I'm saying... what you just did, is fence building. No?

TV

The scripture is clear concerning the Office, and those who should be called. It is sufficient to say so. When we strip women out of adelphoi it is sometimes something else we are trying to say. In that regard.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, ... Do not quench the Spirit."

TV

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Scott6

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Re: The Ordination of Women
« Reply #284 on: December 20, 2010, 10:56:20 PM »
I simply pulled from the NIV, and footnotes continued in ESV for adelphoi or brethren, and as Sandra notes. Change it to brethren if that keeps you from hearing the rest.

Quote
"I'm sorry, but I don't follow what you're saying."

 ;) And that is what I'm saying... what you just did, is fence building. No?

TV

The scripture is clear concerning the Office, and those who should be called. It is sufficient to say so. When we strip women out of adelphoi it is sometimes something else we are trying to say. In that regard.

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, ... Do not quench the Spirit."

TV

You underlined a word that's not in the text.  That's all.  I have no issue with considering women as "adelphoi" for the reason Sandra makes clear.  But to underline it and thereby make an argument on a word not in the text is, well, confusing to say the least.  And while I think I might now get your point re: adelphoi, I still have no idea what point you're making in general and so cannot respond.  I'm sorry.