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Women in positions of leadership in Church; ie Pastors and Priests - Page 3

post #41 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

Ok, just to get things back on track here. While I expected differing views on the subject of women in church leadership roles I didnt really start the thread for it to be turned into a debate about the authenticity of certain books of the bible. Thats taking this discussion onto areas that arent helpful in understanding a woman's role in church. Perhaps it would have been more helpful if I explained the biblical position I personally come from when I started the thread.

 

I am of the same school of thought as Shami and Smokering regarding biblical interpretation. The more I follow Christ, the closer I am to Him, as time goes on in my own walk and the more I grow the more I am convinced of that pov. I guess Id be considered a 'fundamentalist'. I think the bible, as in the authorised version (kjv) has been preserved for christians in this day and age. I dont believe the doubts about pauline authorship of the disputed books mentioned here. I read those books as if they were Holy Spirit inspired and are of incredible value in totality and I dont think Paul missed the mark at all. I think we misunderstand a thing or two. Ill have more time to discuss what Ive learned recently about the original topic tomorrow morning, probably (my time).

 

But I just wanted to steer the thread back on topic if you guys dont mind.

 

gen

I'm just curious as to why it matters (other than just for the sake of historical accuracy) whether or not those books were written by St. Paul. Would they be considered any less divine to you if they were not?

 

From your POV, are the writings of St. Paul considered to be more holy or authoritative than the Canonical  writings of other Christian saints and sages (St. Mathew, St. Peter, etc.)? If so, why? And if not, why claim that writings that were never, until quite recently in Christian history been attributed to St. Paul, and that, as was mentioned above, have actually been shown to have been written after his death then why continue to claim that they were? What is there to gain by him having written then as opposed to another Christian writer?

post #42 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

Ok, just to get things back on track here. While I expected differing views on the subject of women in church leadership roles I didnt really start the thread for it to be turned into a debate about the authenticity of certain books of the bible. Thats taking this discussion onto areas that arent helpful in understanding a woman's role in church. Perhaps it would have been more helpful if I explained the biblical position I personally come from when I started the thread.

 

I am of the same school of thought as Shami and Smokering regarding biblical interpretation. The more I follow Christ, the closer I am to Him, as time goes on in my own walk and the more I grow the more I am convinced of that pov. I guess Id be considered a 'fundamentalist'. I think the bible, as in the authorised version (kjv) has been preserved for christians in this day and age. I dont believe the doubts about pauline authorship of the disputed books mentioned here. I read those books as if they were Holy Spirit inspired and are of incredible value in totality and I dont think Paul missed the mark at all. I think we misunderstand a thing or two. Ill have more time to discuss what Ive learned recently about the original topic tomorrow morning, probably (my time).

 

But I just wanted to steer the thread back on topic if you guys dont mind.

 

gen

 

Why do you believe the bolded part?  If you don't mind me asking, that is.


 


I'm curious about this too.  I really love the KJV, but that is on the basis of recognizing it as a translation and a beautiful bit of literature.  Why would you think it was especially preserved?  Especially from a fundamentalist, I can't see any Scriptural basis for such a claim?

post #43 of 132
I"m wondering about what's so particularly important about the KJV, too. The KJV was translated by a committee of Anglican clergymen and scholars early in the reign of James I. The translators were given explicit guidelines about HOW to translate, in order to ensure that the resulting translation suited the Jacobean religious agenda. It was an era when James was balancing a whole variety of influences-- the Anglican clergy who wanted to preserve the ecclesiastical language of the older translations, in order to support the continuation of the practices that derived from Roman Catholic tradition, and the Separatist and Puritan clergy, who wanted a translation that supported their own agenda for religious reform. James I's instructions included specific directions to choose language that downplayed the Puritan influence, for instance. The whole history of the KJV is so complicated, and so full of stories of the text being altered to suit the political and religious establishment. Newer translations, too, benefit from their translators having had access to manuscripts not used by the Anglican clergy in the 17th century. I myself consider it one of the more doubtful translations, honestly. It is a beautiful text, but one whose creation was overshadowed by goals that were more political than spiritual. Furthermore, it uses a number of word choices that create misunderstanding in modern readers, because of changes in word-meanings in English since 1611.

This is an incredibly controversial issue, however.

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&&sa=X&ei=KdEITfUeh6CUB-rPvJcB&ved=0CBcQBSgA&q=King+James+only&spell=1&fp=267856ed3ee60de5
post #44 of 132

 http://www.religioustolerance.org/nfe_bibl.htm

 

Quote:
 

The latter epistles contain two mutually exclusive practices:

bullet The promotion of Christ's revolutionary message, in which women and men (and prostitutes, and the hated tax collectors etc) were treated equally.
bullet The rejection of Christ's message, in which women's roles are once more restricted as women were  restored to their former inferior status as seen in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

 

Unless you REALLY just don't want to know, research, think for yourself, and prayerfully discern, you simply can't get around this basic conundrum.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

Ok, just to get things back on track here. While I expected differing views on the subject of women in church leadership roles I didnt really start the thread for it to be turned into a debate about the authenticity of certain books of the bible. Thats taking this discussion onto areas that arent helpful in understanding a woman's role in church. Perhaps it would have been more helpful if I explained the biblical position I personally come from when I started the thread.

 

I am of the same school of thought as Shami and Smokering regarding biblical interpretation. The more I follow Christ, the closer I am to Him, as time goes on in my own walk and the more I grow the more I am convinced of that pov. I guess Id be considered a 'fundamentalist'. I think the bible, as in the authorised version (kjv) has been preserved for christians in this day and age. I dont believe the doubts about pauline authorship of the disputed books mentioned here. I read those books as if they were Holy Spirit inspired and are of incredible value in totality and I dont think Paul missed the mark at all. I think we misunderstand a thing or two. Ill have more time to discuss what Ive learned recently about the original topic tomorrow morning, probably (my time).

 

But I just wanted to steer the thread back on topic if you guys dont mind.

 

gen


But Paul's letters (and/or those attributed to him, falsely or no) have everything to do with church leadership and the role of women, so none of this is really off-topic.  Obviously a fundamentalist Christian is not going to accept that EVERYTHING in Scripture might not be literally true, I get that; but other denominations view the Bible differently and accept changing evidence of authorship, myth/parable/poetry vs actual history (the Bible is not strictly a history book), and so on.

 

If you only wanted a fundamentalist view on this topic, you should have made that clear in the OP.  If I'm not mistaken, you specifically asked for differing faith views, did you not?
 

The KJV is "the authorised version" in fundamentalist denoms, but other mainstream denominations typically regard it as one of the most inaccurate NT translations.  Also, the KJV was not in existence before 1611 - do you accept the Latin Vulgate that was accepted prior to the KJV translation?

 

post #45 of 132
Quote:
I'm just curious as to why it matters (other than just for the sake of historical accuracy) whether or not those books were written by St. Paul. Would they be considered any less divine to you if they were not?
For those religious scholars who believe that it's appropriate to set the Scripture in its social, historical, and cultural context, it matters a great deal. The argument that I've encountered, on this issue, is that the original message of Paul-- which provided for quite a wide range of acceptable roles for women in the Church, was diluted by writers of later Epistles, who wished to make the message of the Church more palatable to the culture of the Roman empire, or to reinstate a cultural status quo by returning women to positions of less power and influence. So we see more stringent requirements for the submission of women, and their silencing, introduced in Epistles that we believe we can date to a later time and attribute to later authors.

For those who do not accept that we must interpret the Scripture, but who instead hold that the words are to be understood literally without using the lenses of culture, society, history, and the local religious conventions of the time-- well, they will find this argument unconvincing. And so we have a roadblock we cannot cross, in the road to achieving consensus on this issue and many others. And I think, OP, that that's why you're finding the discussion frustrating-- that it seems off-topic.
post #46 of 132

For clarity, the OP:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by genifer View Post

I did a search on the topic here and only one thread came up and it was pretty old. I was wondering what christians thought about this subject. Im sure there will be varying interpretations of the verses on this subject. I was curious what others thought.

 

tia.

post #47 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post



Quote:
I'm just curious as to why it matters (other than just for the sake of historical accuracy) whether or not those books were written by St. Paul. Would they be considered any less divine to you if they were not?


For those religious scholars who believe that it's appropriate to set the Scripture in its social, historical, and cultural context, it matters a great deal. The argument that I've encountered, on this issue, is that the original message of Paul-- which provided for quite a wide range of acceptable roles for women in the Church, was diluted by writers of later Epistles, who wished to make the message of the Church more palatable to the culture of the Roman empire, or to reinstate a cultural status quo by returning women to positions of less power and influence. So we see more stringent requirements for the submission of women, and their silencing, introduced in Epistles that we believe we can date to a later time and attribute to later authors.

For those who do not accept that we must interpret the Scripture, but who instead hold that the words are to be understood literally without using the lenses of culture, society, history, and the local religious conventions of the time-- well, they will find this argument unconvincing. And so we have a roadblock we cannot cross, in the road to achieving consensus on this issue and many others. And I think, OP, that that's why you're finding the discussion frustrating-- that it seems off-topic.


Yes, this.

post #48 of 132

I agree with you on the interpretation part but the KJV-only position makes no sense whatsoever to me. Maybe we need a thread on that. hide.gif

post #49 of 132
Thread Starter 

Ok, when I get on the computer I usually get, like literally, seconds on it to respond so in that last post I wasnt able to be as to the point/articulate as I wanted to be. I was trying to say that I dont accept any additional texts apart from the ones in the kjv or more modern translations. All of this was an effort to bring the thread back on topic. I tried to make myself more clear but I made things more complicated, lol. And again, I dont even have more then five minutes to say this much bc dh is standing behind me nEEding to save some galaxy on some online game he's got running in the background (he's virtually growling at me and the kids are now in danger of physical harm bc of the 4 1/2 minutes worth of withdrawl he's now suffering from!). Also there's the tv going, kids asking questions, cat puking or whatever going on in the background, all of which makes it impossible to concentrate or formulate an articulate sentence! I just didnt want the thread to go even further off topic.

 

I read niv, I read the good news bible, Heck I even enjoy my kids version of the bible. I was just saying that I personally didnt accept as scripture any additional texts not IN the kjv (or the other more modern translations), and that I consider the books in the protestant bible to be Holy Spirit/God inspired. I dont believe Paul missed the boat at all when he wrote any of it and I dont believe any of it was later additions.

 

Does that clarify anything?

I didnt want this to turn into a debate about whether the scripture dealing with this subject is meant to be in the bible, was added later, etc. I believe it is meant to be there, thats all.

post #50 of 132


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigger View Post

 http://www.religioustolerance.org/nfe_bibl.htm

 

Quote:
 

The latter epistles contain two mutually exclusive practices:

bullet The promotion of Christ's revolutionary message, in which women and men (and prostitutes, and the hated tax collectors etc) were treated equally.
bullet The rejection of Christ's message, in which women's roles are once more restricted as women were  restored to their former inferior status as seen in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

 

Unless you REALLY just don't want to know, research, think for yourself, and prayerfully discern, you simply can't get around this basic conundrum.

There's only a "conundrum" when you're coming at it from a modern liberal viewpoint (which is a huge problem with the religious "tolerance" website).  Treating people equally does not mean treating them the same.  The whole idea of an "inferior role" is completely subjective.  I see absolutely nothing "inferior" about women not being able to hold the priesthood.  It's simply not a function of femaleness.  Men and women are different, down to our very souls.  That has zero to do with our equality before God. 

post #51 of 132

 

Quote:
 There's only a "conundrum" when you're coming at it from a modern liberal viewpoint (which is a huge problem with the religious "tolerance" website).  Treating people equally does not mean treating them the same.  The whole idea of an "inferior role" is completely subjective.  I see absolutely nothing "inferior" about women not being able to hold the priesthood.  It's simply not a function of femaleness.  Men and women are different, down to our very souls.  That has zero to do with our equality before God.  

 clap.gif

post #52 of 132

I think these types of threads where people don't want to hear views outside their beliefs should say something like, "support only from biblical literalists."  Had I known that she only wanted to hear from fellow King James reading literalists, I would never have answered.  I'm Christian and don't take the bible literally and frankly feel completely dismissed and unwelcome by these types of threads. 

 

I feel like there's an implication that everyone's the same kind of Christian and that those of us who belong to mainline denominations and read the bible contextually aren't welcome. I think since MDC has a diverse readership, it would be prudent to address your audience and remember that there are many kinds of Christians.


Edited by freestylemama - 12/15/10 at 9:58am
post #53 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

I have to say that I'm really bothered that all of this wasn't put in your original post.  If you would have said something like, "support only from biblical literalists" I would never have answered.  I'm Christian and don't take the bible literally and frankly feel completely unwelcome by these types of threads.  I thought MDC was open for everyone but I feel like there's an implication that everyone's the same kind of Christian and that those of us who belong to mainline denominations and read the bible contextually aren't welcome. 


I think maybe gennifer was suprised to find out that there are Christians with that kind of understanding of Scripture.  I don't think she is only looking for a fundamentalist or literalist POV - an orthodox understanding isn't either of those things and is always contextual but it also isn't the kind of liberal theological understanding some posters are describing.  (I hate using the word "liberal" in this context but I can't think of another one at the moment.)  While I am sure she's interested to know what everyone thinks, getting into a debate about whether that is a plausible way to read Scripture might derail the thread significantly.

post #54 of 132
I guess I never actually stated my views on the actual topic. I'm sorry for that. In my (admittedly progressive, liberal, and justice-focused) religious tradition, we look to Scripture for guidance, but also beyond Scripture to other sources-- the Light within, which is the medium of the Spirit's ongoing revelation, the wisdom of the beloved community, and the lens of human reason. So now you know where I'm coming from. And I believe that the prohibitions against women speaking as pastors and preachers do not bind us, today. The Epistles (both those of undisputed Pauline authorship, and the others) speak several times of the requirement that slaves obey their masters. 1 Peter even specifies that servants must submit even to harsh masters. We don't speak of these Scriptures as needing to be followed literally. (Or maybe we do-- I can't be sure I speak for everybody. Would you counsel me, if I was working for an abusive boss, to continue working for him, in submission to his authority? Do we countenance the institution of slavery, because it is Biblical?)

They are to be interpreted in the context of the historical and social world of the authors of these books. Certainly, the Scripture is inspired, but that does not make it infallible. It is a record of Revelation, not Revelation itself-- a record of how specific people living in specific times and places experienced Revelation. And so we must draw on our own human reason, the Revelation we find in prayerful meditation, and the traditions and wisdom of religious community. Which lead many of us to the conclusion that God does not intend women to be kept in silent submission in the Church.
post #55 of 132
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:

I think these types of threads where people don't want to hear views outside their beliefs should say something like, "support only from biblical literalists."  Had I known that she only wanted to hear from fellow King James reading literalists, I would never have answered.  I'm Christian and don't take the bible literally and frankly feel completely dismissed and unwelcome by these types of threads. 

 

I feel like there's an implication that everyone's the same kind of Christian and that those of us who belong to mainline denominations and read the bible contextually aren't welcome. I think since MDC has a diverse readership, it would be prudent to address your audience and remember that there are many kinds of Christians.

 I asked a very very specific question, and I did welcome all kinds of responses... I simply didnt want this to turn into a debate about the issues about whether or not scripture was divinely inspired. I felt the thread was beginning to spin out of control.

 

And frankly, Bluegoat, I think you hit the nail on the head. I am quite surprised that there are christians with that understanding of scripture. Like Shami said earlier upthread, we must be coming from very different worldviews which are worlds apart. And thats cool. My bad for not being more specific. Try not to take it personally, I tried to be polite about it. Fwiw, I take the bible literally, but I read it contextually as well, maybe not in the same way you do tho. I bet there are some parts of the bible you take literally. But not one or the other exclusively. I think the bible is SO deep. There are SO many layers to it and I believe it takes a whole lot of study and prayer to even understand it. But for me I dont take the parts I dont understand and assume they arent meant to be there or that the person got it wrong when they wrote it, or try to explain it away in one way or another. Personally, since becoming a christian Ive never felt comfortable with that... and I tried it from time to time. Thats me, tho.

 

*DISCLAIMER*:  When I say that, I mean no offense to you or anyone else who has a different understanding of the bible then I do. Its great fun to agree to disagree.

 

 

Quote:
While I am sure she's interested to know what everyone thinks, getting into a debate about whether that is a plausible way to read Scripture might derail the thread significantly.

 

I just went back and reread what Bluegoat said and that, quoted up there, is exactly what I was trying to say. I often dont even bother posting here much bc of this sort of misunderstanding. I also feel like I have to wriggle my way thru some of the discussions here, and Im sure none of us want each other to feel this way.

 

I really am sorry for this little misunderstanding. I did try to politely clear it all up tho. Now, I do belong to other forums that are strictly what some here might consider 'fundamentalist, literalist' protestant type denoms, but honestly, I really do like to discuss these things with other 'kinds' of christians. I just didnt want this to turn into a debate about whats the right way to interpret scripture, ironically, for the very reasons freestylemama stated... I wanted others opinions on the question I asked without turning it into an 'US' and 'THEM' sort of thread, picking apart each others worldview. I think its possible. We are all christians here. ... in this thread I mean.

 

 

 

Quote:
They are to be interpreted in the context of the historical and social world of the authors of these books. Certainly, the Scripture is inspired, but that does not make it infallible. It is a record of Revelation, not Revelation itself-- a record of how specific people living in specific times and places experienced Revelation. And so we must draw on our own human reason, the Revelation we find in prayerful meditation, and the traditions and wisdom of religious community. Which lead many of us to the conclusion that God does not intend women to be kept in silent submission in the Church.

Lyra, you do bring up some very good points. I think considering we do come from such different understanding of things, it would simply require a lot of openness, openmindedness and a LOT of patience if we were to explore these topics. It becomes difficult with time differences and constraints. I have views on the issues you brought up but it would require a little bit of time to be able to put it into words here. If I have a go just now, Im afraid Ill be misunderstood. Ill try... Ill say a few things, and see where it goes from here...

 

I believe it was never God's intention for any of us to be slaves. Its never God's intention for a wife to be in an abusive marriage. If I can be frank.. Sh*t happens, bc of sin... and sometimes its God's will for us to take action and sometimes its His will for us to wait things out. Please dont take what I just said about a woman in an abusive marriage and get all up in arms and run with it. I would NEVER council a woman to stay in a situation like that. I would actually seriously try to convince her to leave and do all in my power to to convince her to do so. So, if I can let that issue rest for now Ill move on...

 

Im personally beginning to understand things where 'Women's roles in Church' are concerned... but struggle to put it into words here. See, I honestly believe that we arent meant to use our human reasoning when interpreting scripture or God. This is becoming more of a firm understanding of mine the more I walk and talk with God, the more Im willing to 'hear Him out'. The verse that goes something like 'My ways are not your ways. As high as the heavens are above the earth are my ways above yours', God speaking to (who, I cant remember specifically) man, I think thats psalms somewhere, really becomes more and more evident to me. Its,uuum, radical, and can be difficult bc I want to work hard at understanding the world around me. I think I have the answers, by my so-called God given reason. The more I decide to take God seriously, the more I realise that my reasoning is so freaking useless. It doesnt always make me feel comfortable, either, its not usually easy to swallow, Im being serious.

 

Women in leadership roles where she is in an authoritative position over a man, as per a literal/not contextual interpretation of those verses:

 

I just cant answer that now. My dd wants to get on the computer. I am beginning to understand it tho. I hope to get back on tomorrow morning (my time, Im in england) and say what Ive learned.

 

Have a great day, evening, whatever gals. Hugs In Christ!!

gen


Edited by genifer - 12/15/10 at 10:56am
post #56 of 132

 

Quote:
The Epistles (both those of undisputed Pauline authorship, and the others) speak several times of the requirement that slaves obey their masters. 1 Peter even specifies that servants must submit even to harsh masters. We don't speak of these Scriptures as needing to be followed literally. (Or maybe we do-- I can't be sure I speak for everybody. Would you counsel me, if I was working for an abusive boss, to continue working for him, in submission to his authority? Do we countenance the institution of slavery, because it is Biblical?)

If you worked for an abusive boss, I would follow Paul's example in telling you to get out of that situation if you could - he does tell slaves to obtain their freedom if they can. If, for some reason, you couldn't get out of the situation - say you had an unjust but iron-clad contract, or there were absolutely no other jobs in the area, so quitting would mean your children starved - then would it benefit Christ or your spiritual life to be sulky, lazy or rude to your boss at work? Of course not. The way to glorify Christ in that situation would be to be a flawless employee, to repay evil with good, to do nothing that could bring shame on the name of Christ. There's a chance your behavior might force your boss to the grudging conclusion that Christians are worth hiring because they're good workers; there's even a slim chance your behavior could result in his conversion. But even if his soul remained unchanged, yours wouldn't - you'd be practicing forbearance, humility and a host of other virtues, and those would be counted to you as righteousness.

 

Honestly, I don't quite know what you mean about taking this passage "literally". The phrase "take the Bible literally" annoys me no end, because nobody actually does that - pretty much every Christian recognises that the poetic portions of the Bible can't be read in the same way as the prose portions, for instance. I have yet to meet a fundamentalist who thought that when Jesus said "You brood of vipers!" he was speaking to actual snakes. I take the Bible seriously, and try to understand it according to hermeneutical principles. I certainly believe there are specifics in the Bible which are no longer culturally applicable - the prohibition against short hair for women, for instance, as short hair simply does not signify "prostitute" any more. But that doesn't mean I just toss out the entire passage as irrelevant - the principle behind the culturally-specific prohibition is, I believe, still binding, and thus I try to dress in a way that would not bring disrespect on God or my husband. Similarly, I recognise that the authorship of Hebrews is debated, but I nevertheless believe it to be divinely inspired. I don't know what kind of viewpoint you'd call mine - I've been called a fundamentalist before, but I'm not sure it's accurate - but my point is, a blanket statement like "taking the Bible literally" confuses distinctions like this. Having a high view of the inerrancy of Scripture doesn't mean woodenly ignoring the cultural conditions in which it was written, or refusing to acknowledge literary conventions such as parable and metaphor. Y'know?

post #57 of 132
Thread Starter 

I was actually trying to say a lot of what Smokering said so very eloquently... as usual.

post #58 of 132

Smokering said what I wanted to say, but better.  I do not understand reading the Bible literally.  I also view it as historical, metaphorical, analogical, etc.  But I follow the principles in the Bible. 

For example, Love thy neighbor.

What if your neighbor was in financial trouble and asked for a loan.  Some may feel Spirit led that loaning money would be a loving thing to do.  Others may feel Spirit led that loaning money would not help this person.  Maybe this person needs to grow up spiritually and emotionally and loaning money would hinder his growth, which would not be the loving thing to do.

 

If I read the Bible literally I would go and hug and kiss my neighbor to show them love???? 

 

I guess this is still off topic.

 

And I hate being called a fundamentalist although I have classified myself this for the sake of online discussions to know my general background. 

 

I think it's time to agree to disagree because I will not budge regarding the Bible's infallibility.

post #59 of 132
Quote:
I think it's time to agree to disagree because I will not budge regarding the Bible's infallibility.
I think we're likely to wind up there, on a great many issues. So we agree on what we can agree on, I suppose, and trust God. "what else does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God." We can agree on that, I'm sure.
post #60 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

 

Quote:
 There's only a "conundrum" when you're coming at it from a modern liberal viewpoint (which is a huge problem with the religious "tolerance" website).  Treating people equally does not mean treating them the same.  The whole idea of an "inferior role" is completely subjective.  I see absolutely nothing "inferior" about women not being able to hold the priesthood.  It's simply not a function of femaleness.  Men and women are different, down to our very souls.  That has zero to do with our equality before God.  

 clap.gif



Was the priesthood set up to be a ceremonial position or an authoritarian position?   I ask because while overall I don't see a problem with gendered ceremonial roles, with regard to positions of authority I think "equality before god" is rather irrelevant to an inability for women to access power structures that directly impact their agency here on earth.

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