Author Topic: Beyond Order  (Read 2421 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: Beyond Order
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2021, 05:15:09 PM »
My question was in regard to spiritual differences.  In what way are do boys and girls differ spiritually?  How do adult men and adult women differ spiritually?  IOW, what does the Bible teach us about how God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to man and woman?

I don't think that anyone would claim that men and women are essentially different in terms of their spirituality.  We are all sinners.  We are all saved by grace through faith.  We all have the same standing before God in Christ our righteousness.

I realize that you believe the idea of "order" with regard to the genders and work in the church is contrary to biblical witness, but the differing roles of men and women, especially that of the pastoral ministry, makes most sense to me in terms of order.  Based on Eph. 5 I also further believe that this order makes most sense in terms of its reflection of Christ and the church.  But I know we have all gone round and round on this and I'm not trying to change your perception.  And I know there is an ongoing debate on the idea of 'headship,' and I'm not trying to resurrect that either.  It all simply makes more sense to me in the sense of order, which underneath has the further idea of service, not rank or superiority, or power. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Beyond Order
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2021, 05:31:16 PM »
I think that there is a usually overlooked issue here of Christian anthropology. God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, relates to us not just as souls temporarily connect to fleshly bodies, but as His creations, created to be souls incarnated in bodies. Our maleness and femaleness is not just incidental to who we are but part of it. God created us that way.

Orders of creation and orders of the fall can be discussed and debated. Exegesis can be debated concerning the passages that have traditionally be held to preclude women from being ordained. But for some of us, we hold that while God holds each of us, male or female, equally in His love, and cares equally for each of us no matter what our body may be like, God has determined that some roles in the church are supposed to restricted to one gender rather than the other.

And, inevitably given the ubiquity of sin, we will take his ordering, mess it up and use it as another venue for sinning against each other.
Pr. Daniel Fienen


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Re: Beyond Order
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2021, 05:38:16 PM »
It is worthwhile to note the implications of St. John Chrysostom’s words here on 1 Timothy 2:

Man was first formed; and elsewhere he shows their superiority. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man. 1 Corinthians 11:9 Why then does he say this? He wishes the man to have the preeminence in every way; both for the reason given above, he means, let him have precedence, and on account of what occurred afterwards. For the woman taught the man once, and made him guilty of disobedience, and wrought our ruin. Therefore because she made a bad use of her power over the man, or rather her equality with him, God made her subject to her husband.

St. John did not see the subjection of woman to men in the office of teaching in light of creation; but rather in light of the Fall. He clearly sees that subjection as enduring into the time of redemption in some way (at least as regards teaching, for he goes on to say: “The woman taught once, and ruined all. On this account therefore he says, let her not teach.”)

But the idea that woman was from her creation subject to man is not one that he seems to grant, unless I am misreading his words here. I haven’t looked at them in the original. FWIW.


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Re: Beyond Order
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2021, 10:18:39 PM »
In practically every culture, part of becoming a man is distinguishing yourself from women. Our culture doesn't encourage that or allow that, so we end up with toxic masculinity or else neutered people.

But not every culture, which indicates that it is a cultural determination rather than inbred.

I find it ironic that you speak against profiling people by races/color of skin, but you are more than eager to profile people by their biology.
That's because biological/sex difference are real. Races/skin color is an arbitrary, artificial distinction. What culture do you know of in which becoming a man did not involve distinguishing oneself from women? And why would we find it surprising that even in something as innate as sex differences there might be the rare, exceptional culture in which something innate had become perverted or expressed in ways that other cultures do not see it?

The biological/sex differences are real. Gender identity is an arbitrary, artificial distinction. Genitalia are created by certain chromosomes we are born with. Sexual orientation and gender identity take place in the brain, not genitalia. They are influenced by many different factors: possibly genes, possibly hormones, possibly environment, and more likely, a combination of things.
Yes, and when I speak of men and women I am talking about real sex differences and a male-female binary, not perceived placement on a spectrum of gender differences.

Being born with a penis (or vagina) says nothing about what that person is able to do or likes to do, except produce sperm (or produce eggs and carry a child in a womb). It doesn't say who will be a better hunter or nurturer or mathematician or welder, etc.
Actually it says quite a lot. Not infallibly, of course, but hormones do a lot more than form genitalia. Studies even of infants show strong male/female differences in many things, and those differences persist into childhood.

And these differences are????

Marie Meyer
Is that a genuine question? You sincerely wonder whether hormones such as testosterone make any lasting difference beyond the formation of genitalia?

Even as infants girls respond more to human faces and boys respond more to moving objects. Girls develop faster, have better fine motor skills sooner, have a much more developed sense of smell, can discern shades of color better, can read people's moods better, and have better verbal skills. In general they simply talk more than boys. Countless studies confirm major differences in brain development based on the presence of male or female hormones.

Testosterone makes a person more aggressive, competitive, and willing to take risks. Women are more risk-averse than men. Studies back this up. One study demonstrated that a young boy gains status in the eyes of his peers by doing something physically dangerous for no reason, say, by taking a dare to jump off a roof onto a dumpster below, but a girl loses status in the eyes of her peers by doing the same thing. Men dominate the corridors of power-- the senate and the corporate board room-- for the same reason they dominate the prisons. They play for higher stakes than women, moving to the extremes of positive and negative while girls and women gravitate to the middle.

There is a reason people who think they can change from male to female or vice versa don't just surgically alter their genitals. They have hormone therapy because male and female hormones make profound, lasting differences.

The question was sincere. No question, hormones do contribute to certain differences between men and woman. At the same time some of the differences mentioned are not true for all girls/women and all boys/men. 

My question was in regard to spiritual differences.  In what way are do boys and girls differ spiritually?  How do adult men and adult women differ spiritually?  IOW, what does the Bible teach us about how God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to man and woman?

Marie Meyer
Very little holds true in every single instance. But hormones presumably do not affect spiritual development. The closest they can come to doing that is offering a clue to a person's vocations. Throughout the OT various commandments of God depended on biological sex. The firstborn male was singled out, for example, in ways that would not be possible if there were no way of telling whether the firstborn was male or not. And if we accept that there is a clear distinction between males and females, and that God uses that distinction at times to determine whom He calls to what role, then I think we can say that God uses the work of hormones in development in ways that help us discern His vocations. That doesn't mean he infuses different kinds of souls into males and females.