Women in positions of leadership in Church; ie Pastors and Priests - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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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.

 

Not to belabor the point - But no one on this thread has "assumed" anything of the sort.  This information comes from theologians and Scripture scholars, we don't just pull it out of our butts.  Some Epistles have been scientifically proven to have been written decades after Paul was dead.  Don't believe it, if it makes you uncomfortable, but it still remains a matter of fact.

 

There are several books of Christian Scripture whose authorship is now in question.  I find it quite fascinating to study this stuff, as new revelations are made!  In the end, it doesn't affect my relationship with God anyway.

 

CherryBomb - there is a clear dichotomy between Jesus' teaching and the teachings found in some Epistles.  Obviously you can live with that, but it's still there.

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#62 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Gen, Shami, et al - What say you about Phoebe?


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

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#63 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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My point is that debating you about the divine truths in the Bible will be impossible because you have been convinced that the Bible has been mistranslated and misinterpreted.    It's like trying to convince an atheist that there is a God by using scripture. No matter what I say, you can easily reply with an answer like Paul is all wrong about it and therefore, debate over.  Fellowship requires an openness from both parties.  I am open to hear your points if you can back it up with scripture or even inferences in the scriptures.  

 

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 Paul wrote 14 of the books in the Bible.  If you don't believe in what he wrote then how can we even converse about it?

 

 

I can quote a lot of verses, but many will be from Paul's writings, which you have doubts about.

 

Are you aware that prominent Christian theologians now dispute this (specifically, Ephesians, Colossians, 2nd Thessalonians, 1st & 2nd Timothy, and Titus)?  Hebrews is generally considered an anonymous  letter, and only attributed to Paul by some.  Only seven letters are not disputed, and universally accepted as Pauline writings: Romans, 1st & 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1st Thessalonians, and Philemon.

 

No, I have not heard this, nor do I believe it.  I guess with this aspect, I am not open to consider if the Bible is wrong.  I am open to discuss the verses and what they might mean, but not open to say that the Holy Bible is wrong.  I trust in the Bible and I can't imagine it any other way.   I am curious who these prominent theologians are and what their agenda is.

 

Timothy 1 & 2 and Titus are now considered by most Scripture scholars to be works falsely attributed to Paul by another author.

 

 

http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Paul-Disputed.htm

 

 

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 1 Timothy,  2 Timothy, Titus (a.k.a. The Pastoral Epistles) were most likely written late in the first century by some member(s) of the "Pauline School" who wanted to adapt his teachings to changing circumstances.
 

 

 

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 The so-called Epistle to the Hebrews is definitely not written by Paul, and is not even explicitly attributed to him.


From what I understand this is one person, Dr. Felix Just, and his research, that is causing you to doubt so much of the New Testament?  Is this Dr. well respected in the
RCC?    Anyone who causes me to doubt the validity of the Bible is suspect, and I'd steer clear or my faith may be shaken and damaged.  I say this in love, beware.

 

No Shami, it's not just one guy (pun intended).  This is current, widely-accepted, and even scientifically proven theology (as in, some of these letters can now be dated after Paul's death).

 

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_ntb3.htm

 

http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/corinthians/deutero.stm

 


I read the religious tolerance article.  Then I went to the home page to read their belief statement and who they are.  They aren't even all believers.  Of course they are going to have all kinds of reasons to oppose the Bible and the principles in the Bible.  They have an atheist and a Buddhist on their panel.  Being so 'open minded' does not make you a more tolerant Christian.  It does open you up to all kinds of philosophies that are in direct conflict with God and the Bible.  Nothing against Buddhist and Atheists, but why would you consider them to be a good resource regarding the Bible? 

 

At the end of this article, they have some how proved, I'm not really sure how, that all of the Paul's epistles except for Corinthians should not be in the Bible, and therefore, women should have equality in the priesthood/pastorship.   Ah, the agenda, to prove that women should be priests. 


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#64 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Gen, Shami, et al - What say you about Phoebe?


Phoebe was a deaconess, as you know.  The Greek word for deacon meaning serving one.  She served the believers.  The Overseers are the elders and the deacons are the serving ones.  According to the New Testament, these are the only two 'offices' in the early church.  This does not mean that Phoebe was a church elder.  Huge difference. 

 

As a sister, I may be serving in my local church, but I am under the headship of the elders.  I am in full coordination/prayer/fellowship with the elders to carry out a particular service, but I am not a leading one, nor do I assert authority over the brothers.  I let them take the lead, even though I may express my feeling or opinion in a matter.  Sometime they ask me how I feel about something.   If they feel differently, I drop my way and take the way of the leading brothers.

 

Romans 16:1

1 I 1commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a adeaconess of the 2church which is in bCenchrea,

 

Philippians 1:1

1 Paul and Timothy, aslaves of Christ Jesus, to all the bsaints in Christ Jesus who are in 1cPhilippi, 2with the 3doverseers and 4edeacons:

 

1 Timothy 3:8

8 1aDeacons must similarly be grave, 2not double-tongued, 3not baddicted to much wine, 4not cgreedy for base gain;

 

1 Timothy 3:11

11 1Women similarly must be grave, 2not aslanderers, 3btemperate, 4faithful in all things.


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#65 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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Back to your question, Genifer.

 

 

 

I do believe that there was a principle established in the beginning when Eve was deceived by the serpent.  Later in the NT Paul expounds on the marriage life and the headship and I believe this principle of headship was violated in the beginning with Eve.  Adam should have taken the lead to not be deceived, but instead he followed his wife right into that deception.

 

Was there a literal snake speaking to Eve?  I don't think so, but that is beside the point.  If there was a literal snake, I'd be okay with that, too.  Who really knows how God did it?  What I really believe is that there was a principle being established.  That principle is that God set in order an arrangement for our protection and covering.  God>>Christ>>man>>women.  I see it as an umbrella covering me. 

 

I will say something that will get people upset here, but anyway remember I am speaking in principle.  Men and women are made differently, both physically and emotionally.  Typically men are linear thinkers.  They are task oriented.  They don't tend to dwell on issues for a long time.  They are  a little better equipped at placing things in a category and leaving it alone when it needs to be left alone.  Readdressing as needed.  They are more objective and less emotional.  Less talk, more action types.  They don't need a lot of conversation and working out feelings in order to take care of a problem.  But they aren't equipped to really nurture the church.  They are equipped to lead the church.

 

Women generally speaking are the nurturing types who want to make sure every one is okay before taking care of a task.  We want to know how is everyone?  So, we ask about people and we let everyone know when so and so is sick, etc.  We probably pray way more for people because we talk more and know more about people.  But, we are more emotional in a good way, this is why we nurture.  We can become very subjective, which isn't good leadership trait.  Women are more circular thinkers, which is why we can multi task and our husbands cannot.  We can take care of the past, present and plan the future.  This makes my hubby's head spin. 

 

Some of you are probably hating what I said, but my views are usually unpopular.  We are members of the body of Christ.  My lungs do the breathing for me and my pinky finger can scratch inside my ear.  It is OK to have different functions.  The Bible talks about this, too.  We are to hold the weaker members in higher honor than ourselves.  Actually the majority of us males and females are  weaker members LOL  Anyway, when the elders decide to do something to lead us a certain way, I do my best to be one with them and not have an opposite opinion.  When my opinion is that they are not carrying out something efficiently, I pray to the Lord until I have peace and no hidden offenses.  Hidden offenses are like a spiritual poison that kills us, kills the oneness, and causes division in the body,

 

This isn't off topic I promise.  I bring up the elders because I view them as a part of the covering/headship.  My husband and I both feel the same way.  Many times my dh will go to the brothers for fellowship when he is trying to make big decisions which will effect us and the church.  We receive their fellowship and pray for the leading of the Lord.

 

This brings me to what is fellowship?  Fellowship is literally the flow of the Holy Spirit in two directions.  Stay with me, I'll come full circle eventually.  Fellowship flows vertically between individual believers and horizontally between the members of the body of Christ.  It's like the blood flow in the body.  The same blood that supplies the head, supplies the many members of the body.  The Holy Spirit is flowing!  Hallelujah!  Flowing from Christ the Head to the many members. 

 

I, as an individual member may think that Christ, the Head, is asking me to serve a particular way in the church.  For example, setting/decorating  the nursery.  I have prayed and I feel the Spirit is leading me to take care of the nursery.  So, I have fellowshipped vertically with the Lord Jesus.  Then, for covering, I go to my DH.  Hey, DH, I feel the Lord is asking this of me.  Then, DH, goes to the Lord Jesus and has vertical fellowship with the Lord.  DH comes away feeling like I am taking on so many other responsibilties and this may be too much for me.  I may get overwhelmed and exhausted.  This is the horizontal fellowship with my DH, another member of the body who knows the Spirit and is also my head.  So, I go back to the Lord and have more fellowship in private with the Lord.  Maybe I feel  peace that DH is right.  I drop it.  Maybe I still feel that burden from the Lord to do something with the nursery.  I go back to DH and tell him.  We go together to the elders.  We have more horizontal fellowship.  This is so that we don't act independently of the Lord and the body.  We need to do this in a blended coordinated way, which will usher in the oneness of the body.  The body of Christ is organic and joined and knit together in love, so we are learning to do things 'in the body' and not independently.  Eventually, we all come to the conclusion that I could do a little something in the nursery, but not completely heading up the decorations.  This takes care of my burden from the Lord to help in the nursery and it takes care of my DH's feeling from the Lord and we are covered and have the elder's blessing. 

 

Sorry so long, but that is how we function in the body, under the headship of Christ, under the leading of the elders.  It's not authoritarian.  DH and the elders care for me and don't want me to be exhausted.  If the elders said that now is not the time to decorate the nursery, I would have said amen and accept their feeling because they are taking care of the entire local church.  They have the big picture in view as well as, me, a little member of the body.

 

I hope you can make the connections here.  This is a rather wordy post.  The order in the body of Christ is important for our covering and so that we do not act independently.  Individualism is a concept that has been developed in the world.  In the church we are members of one another and all of our words and actions have an impact on the body of Christ.  If we act individually with out paying any attention to the feeling of the other members, we can damage the church or hinder her in some way.  Having trouble bringing it full circle due to family/kid issues.  Have to stop mid thought.

 

ETA changed authoritative to authoritarian.


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#66 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Ah, the agenda, to prove that women should be priests. 


Ah, the agenda, to prove that they should not.
 

 



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Romans 16:1

1 I 1commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a adeaconess of the 2church which is in bCenchrea,

 

1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is [also] a minster of the church at Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, 2 and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a benefactor to many and to me as well.

 

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus ...

 

7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.

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#67 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Ah, the agenda, to prove that women should be priests. 


Ah, the agenda, to prove that they should not.
 

 



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Originally Posted by Shami View Post

Romans 16:1

1 I 1commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a adeaconess of the 2church which is in bCenchrea,

 

1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is [also] a minster of the church at Cenchreae, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones, 2 and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a benefactor to many and to me as well.

 

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus ...

 

7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners; they are prominent among the apostles and they were in Christ before me.

 

No problem.  I'll use your translation.  Phoebe a minister.  We can all minister Christ to one another.  It still does not meant that she led the church and had authority over brothers.   I do not believe that a person has to have a theological degree to minister Christ.  None of our elders are what mainstream Christianity would consider Pastors/Ministers because they didn't go to seminary and they don't wear special clothing.

I also believe that all saints (meaning all called out ones, all sanctified ones, all genuine believers) are holy in the sense that we are washed and sanctified by the blood of Christ.  We are also being made holy through transformation, beholding and reflecting Christ,  into the same image, from one degree of glory to another degree of glory (Cor.)  Phoebe was holy.  We may have a difference in language/definitions. 

Co-worker is not the same as elder.  Prominent sure.  Serving and ministering, being very visible and prominent among the apostles, but yet not an apostle.  There is a distinction between apostle, co worker, minister, elder, deacon.  This may be a matter of us disagreeing on the definition of each one.  Why the distinction here if it were not so?
 


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The word used for Phoebe should not be translated "minister" - it is "diakonos" (well, in Greek letters, which I have no idea how to do on MDC!), transliterated "deacon", meaning "servant". "Servant" or "deacon" (or "deaconess") are thus both better translations than "minister" - a deacon does minister to people, and ministering is a form of serving, but it's a confusing word to use in a modern translation because the word "minister" is commonly understood to mean "pastor".

 

There is some controversy over whether she should be considered a deaconess proper or simply a servant; personally, I have no problem with the former interpretation. I will note that being a deacon isn't a position of authority and teaching, but of service - usually quite practical service. In the NT one thing deacons were meant to do was look after the financial distribution of alms to widows. In my church, they tend to do the hands-on stuff like changing the church light bulbs and repainting the chapel (or organising it to be repainted!), as well as practical ministry in the form of visiting the sick and so on. My church doesn't have female deaconesses - I suspect because some conservative members of the congregation would find it highly offensive - but I think that's a shame (and certainly some women in our church fulfil the practical role of deaconesses anyway, without the title). And I wouldn't think female deacons should have to answer to male deacons simply because of their maleness, either (as a church nearby us once proposed) - I don't think women should be submissive to men in general, but to their husbands and to church elders (and indeed, men should likewise be submissive to their wives (though with a slightly different emphasis) and to church elders!).

 

On Andronicus and Junia - funny, we were studying this just the other day - I'll note that the text does not necessarily mean Junia and Andronicus were themselves considered apostles. "Well known to the apostles" is another translation; as in, considered highly by, but not part of, the group called apostles.

 

ETA:

Quote:

CherryBomb - there is a clear dichotomy between Jesus' teaching and the teachings found in some Epistles.  Obviously you can live with that, but it's still there.

Where? In this thread there have been repeated hints that Jesus' and Paul's attitudes towards women are in conflict. I don't believe that to be the case. To what specific verses are you referring? I'm not sure how you could find a contradiction, given that Jesus didn't discuss church structure at all (IIRC).


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I'm 100 % in favor of women in leadership roles in churches and fully convinced this is supported by the God I worship and the Bible I read.  I grew up ABC -- American (Northern) Baptist.  My dad became a pastor shortly after I was born. He has never opposed women in ministry as far as I know, and I was surprised to learn at a young age that some people held that belief.  I watched my mom go through seminary when I was in junior high, at which point she became an ordained ABC pastor, too.  My parents co-pastored together for many years and were equals (by which I mean he was not the "head pastor" even though some churches or church members might have preferred/been more comfortable with that).   He is now semi-retired and she has a solo pastorate.  They have completely different styles and somewhat different strengths, and I respect their pastoral skills equally.

 

I have been lucky enough to meet and be taught by and be led in worship by many, many amazing women pastors, priests, etc. over the years.  All have had intelligent, scholarly, reasonable responses to any Bible verse that some people interpret to mean women should not hold these sorts of positions, and I was so deeply satisfied so many years ago that I have not bothered to memorize the specific scriptural reasoning/responses that satisfied me.  I am personally, profoundly convinced of the rightness of women in ministry both by my own experience and by the scholarly interpretation shared with me by my pastors and teachers and friends (men and women) -- men and women who have gone through seminary and taken extensive courses and studied the Bible and its ancient languages/texts, as well as church history in many religions and denominations, in ways and to depths that I never will. 

 

As for the OP (or others in this thread) with questions about the interpretation of specific scriptures, I urge you to ask women who are now or have been actively in ministry about how they respond to those scriptures (some ordained women may have already answered in this thread; I haven't read all of the responses).  That -- and experiencing women as pastors and priests -- seem key to exploring this issue.  Of course, in order to hear both sides of the interpretation debate on these scriptures, you can speak to people who oppose women in ministry, and I don't discount "lay" or less scholarly opinions at all, but I would be careful to get both sides from students of theology, too.


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Our deacon IS the pastor of the parish, as well as the business administrator.  Many Parish Life Directors are informally regarded as the pastors of their parishes (and rightfully so), especially if there is no priest in residence.  I personally know a female PLD who does more "pastoring" than most priests with whom I'm acquainted.

 

 

Quote:
  I do not believe that a person has to have a theological degree to minister Christ.

 

Very true.  I have ministered as a chaplain, and though I do have some formal theological training, and a certificate in lay ministry, I don't have a degree of any sort.


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No problem.  I'll use your translation.  Phoebe a minister.  We can all minister Christ to one another.  It still does not meant that she led the church and had authority over brothers.   I do not believe that a person has to have a theological degree to minister Christ.  None of our elders are what mainstream Christianity would consider Pastors/Ministers because they didn't go to seminary and they don't wear special clothing.

I also believe that all saints (meaning all called out ones, all sanctified ones, all genuine believers) are holy in the sense that we are washed and sanctified by the blood of Christ.  We are also being made holy through transformation, beholding and reflecting Christ,  into the same image, from one degree of glory to another degree of glory (Cor.)  Phoebe was holy.  We may have a difference in language/definitions. 

Co-worker is not the same as elder.  Prominent sure.  Serving and ministering, being very visible and prominent among the apostles, but yet not an apostle.  There is a distinction between apostle, co worker, minister, elder, deacon.  This may be a matter of us disagreeing on the definition of each one.  Why the distinction here if it were not so?
 



 



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The word used for Phoebe should not be translated "minister" - it is "diakonos" (well, in Greek letters, which I have no idea how to do on MDC!), transliterated "deacon", meaning "servant". "Servant" or "deacon" (or "deaconess") are thus both better translations than "minister" - a deacon does minister to people, and ministering is a form of serving, but it's a confusing word to use in a modern translation because the word "minister" is commonly understood to mean "pastor".

 

There is some controversy over whether she should be considered a deaconess proper or simply a servant; personally, I have no problem with the former interpretation. I will note that being a deacon isn't a position of authority and teaching, but of service - usually quite practical service. In the NT one thing deacons were meant to do was look after the financial distribution of alms to widows. In my church, they tend to do the hands-on stuff like changing the church light bulbs and repainting the chapel (or organising it to be repainted!), as well as practical ministry in the form of visiting the sick and so on. My church doesn't have female deaconesses - I suspect because some conservative members of the congregation would find it highly offensive - but I think that's a shame (and certainly some women in our church fulfil the practical role of deaconesses anyway, without the title). And I wouldn't think female deacons should have to answer to male deacons simply because of their maleness, either (as a church nearby us once proposed) - I don't think women should be submissive to men in general, but to their husbands and to church elders (and indeed, men should likewise be submissive to their wives (though with a slightly different emphasis) and to church elders!).

 

On Andronicus and Junia - funny, we were studying this just the other day - I'll note that the text does not necessarily mean Junia and Andronicus were themselves considered apostles. "Well known to the apostles" is another translation; as in, considered highly by, but not part of, the group called apostles.

 

You say toMAYto, I say toMAHto .... instead of going round and round in circles, I'll agree to disagree.

 

We obviously have different points of view, that's fine.


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I read the religious tolerance article.  Then I went to the home page to read their belief statement and who they are.  They aren't even all believers.  Of course they are going to have all kinds of reasons to oppose the Bible and the principles in the Bible.  They have an atheist and a Buddhist on their panel.  Being so 'open minded' does not make you a more tolerant Christian.  It does open you up to all kinds of philosophies that are in direct conflict with God and the Bible.  Nothing against Buddhist and Atheists, but why would you consider them to be a good resource regarding the Bible? 

 

At the end of this article, they have some how proved, I'm not really sure how, that all of the Paul's epistles except for Corinthians should not be in the Bible, and therefore, women should have equality in the priesthood/pastorship.   Ah, the agenda, to prove that women should be priests. 

 

You're throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, here.  All of the cited references quoted are Christian; right away I recognized Hans Kung, a prominent Catholic theologian who studied with the current Bishop of Rome. Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Hans Conzelmann was a German scholar who made many significant contributions to New Testament research in the twentieth century.
 

 

Quote:

References:

  1. B.M. Metzger & M.D. Coogan, "The Oxford Companion to the Bible", Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (1993), P. 806 to 818
  2. Christians for Biblical Equality are an Evangelical Christian group that opposes the vast majority of conservative Christian denominations by promoting gender equality. Their essay: "Statement On Men, Women and Biblical Equality" is at: http://www.cbeinternational.org
  3. Ben Witherington III, "Women in the Earliest Churches", Cambridge University Press, (1988), Page 129
  4. Hans Kung, "Christianity: Essence, History and Future", Continuum, New York NY, (1995), P. 121
  5. Frank Daniels, "The Role of Woman in the Church." part of the Religious Heresy Page at: http://www.scs.unr.edu/~fdaniels/rel/women.htm
  6. Hans Conzelmann, "1 Corinthians: a Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians" (Translated by James W. Leitch) Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA (1975), Page 246. Available at: http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/1co14v33.htm

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#73 of 132 Old 12-15-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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I read the religious tolerance article.  Then I went to the home page to read their belief statement and who they are.  They aren't even all believers.  Of course they are going to have all kinds of reasons to oppose the Bible and the principles in the Bible.  They have an atheist and a Buddhist on their panel.  Being so 'open minded' does not make you a more tolerant Christian.  It does open you up to all kinds of philosophies that are in direct conflict with God and the Bible.  Nothing against Buddhist and Atheists, but why would you consider them to be a good resource regarding the Bible? 

 

At the end of this article, they have some how proved, I'm not really sure how, that all of the Paul's epistles except for Corinthians should not be in the Bible, and therefore, women should have equality in the priesthood/pastorship.   Ah, the agenda, to prove that women should be priests. 

 

You're throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, here.  All of the cited references quoted are Christian; right away I recognized Hans Kung, a prominent Catholic theologian who studied with the current Bishop of Rome. Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Hans Conzelmann was a German scholar who made many significant contributions to New Testament research in the twentieth century.
 

 

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References:

  1. B.M. Metzger & M.D. Coogan, "The Oxford Companion to the Bible", Oxford University Press, New York, NY, (1993), P. 806 to 818
  2. Christians for Biblical Equality are an Evangelical Christian group that opposes the vast majority of conservative Christian denominations by promoting gender equality. Their essay: "Statement On Men, Women and Biblical Equality" is at: http://www.cbeinternational.org
  3. Ben Witherington III, "Women in the Earliest Churches", Cambridge University Press, (1988), Page 129
  4. Hans Kung, "Christianity: Essence, History and Future", Continuum, New York NY, (1995), P. 121
  5. Frank Daniels, "The Role of Woman in the Church." part of the Religious Heresy Page at: http://www.scs.unr.edu/~fdaniels/rel/women.htm
  6. Hans Conzelmann, "1 Corinthians: a Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians" (Translated by James W. Leitch) Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA (1975), Page 246. Available at: http://www.bibletexts.com/versecom/1co14v33.htm


Are these people considered respectable in the RCC or are they considered rebels?  If, as you say, so many prominent theologians are on board with your view point then why hasn't this been rippling through both the RCC and the Protestants?  I admit that I don't study the latest greatest research, but I think I would have heard something in real life, not just on the net. 

 

I'd like to touch on another thought I had regarding the way the world does things and the way the church does things.   I don't believe that the Lord wanted us to be like the world in any way.  We are in the world, but we are not of the world.  This is referring to the entire world system, which is Satan's for the time being.  Satan is the god of this age and in Romans? we are charged to go against the tide of this age.  As hard as it is, we are charged not to love mammon (money).  This really goes against my culture....the American Dream, big house, nice car, career, 2.5 kids.  It's okay if the Lord provided this stuff as long as it's not my first love. 

 

The world teaches us to be independent.  The Lord wants us to depend on Him.

The world teaches us to be proud of our self.  The Lord was humble.

The world teaches us to look out for our self.  The Lord said to love our neighbor.

The world teaches us to glorify our self.  The Lord wants us to glorify the Father.

The world teaches us to be first, be the top.  The Lord lowered Himself as a slave.

The world teaches us to speak up and vindicate our self.  The Lord was silent and took the mocking and the ridicule.

The world teaches us to be assertive, speak our opinions.  The Lord Jesus only spoke what the Father was speaking, only did the Father's will.

The world draws us to love entertainment, philosophy, art, education, career first.  The Lord wants to be our first love.

The world draws us to experiment (drugs, sex) with our vessel.  The Lord wants us to preserve our vessel.

The world draws us to sin in all kinds of ways.  The Lord wants us to be sanctified in the Truth.

 

 

In the world, women can excel and do everything a man can do, and maybe even better.  I am so glad that in my country I am considered equal.  I should get equal pay for equal work.  I should not be discriminated against due to my gender.  These things are excellent in the world.  I would be so unhappy if my country went backwards in time where I was considered property.  Horrible!

 

Here's the BIG BUT...

in the church we follow the God ordained way.  We are in God's kingdom where He is the King and He sets up a household arrangement or government.  If we, the believers, cannot accept the Headship of Christ, accept what is written in God's word, how can we be co-kings with Him in eternity?  Now is the time, in our human life, to submit to the King, learn to be under His throne, even when it is unpopular/unpleasant, take the pattern of the Lord Jesus, by the Spirit deny the self to glorify the Father. This is a mystery to unbelievers and it is why we suffer persecution.  In fact, if we are not suffering any persecution, more than likely we look just like the world,  following the worldly ways, thus, 'fitting in' to the world, rather than going against the tide.

 

The early church is spelled out in Acts and Paul goes into further details by writing epistles to help the churches go on in the faith and not be drawn off by the world, culture, sin, philosophy, heresy, etc.   All of Paul's fellowship is for the building up of the body of Christ in love.  He suffered so much physical and emotional pain for following the Lord and ministering to the church.  In Romans, he greets all the saints that he cared for over the years.  It is so evident that Paul loved the church and was poured out as drink offering for her.  Just reading Paul's prayers for the saints (by saints, I mean all the believers, not just the ones the RCC have proclaimed sainthood).  I don't for a minute think that Paul had an ulterior motive in admonishing the sisters to be under the headship of the elders.  To suggest that Paul had an impure agenda to keep women out of the eldership is, well, I don't know how to express it...  It bothers me in my spirit for lack of a better way to express it.  I hope I am misunderstanding you, Trigger.

 

ETA:  I changed some wording and added a thought. 


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#74 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As for the OP (or others in this thread) with questions about the interpretation of specific scriptures, I urge you to ask women who are now or have been actively in ministry about how they respond to those scriptures (some ordained women may have already answered in this thread; I haven't read all of the responses).  That -- and experiencing women as pastors and priests -- seem key to exploring this issue.  Of course, in order to hear both sides of the interpretation debate on these scriptures, you can speak to people who oppose women in ministry, and I don't discount "lay" or less scholarly opinions at all, but I would be careful to get both sides from students of theology, too.

Ive done this so many times Ive lost count and they have all given me the same reasons/responses mentioned here. I was always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, bc of the reasons you gave in your other paragraph, they are intellegent women, they are learned, the all seemed to know what they were talking about. I always left with a niggling little doubt tho, I was never fully convinced of the evidence given. That, I believe, was the Holy Spirit. In fact, I have an issue going on right now with a woman pastor at the church I am currently attending. I started at this church when they were looking for a pastor, they had been without one for two years. When I found out they were considering hiring a woman, I was willing to hear them out, I was still on the fence on this issue. Recent incidents have brought the issue to the forfront of my mind again. I came to a point where I had to finally really consider these things, I asked here as well as praying and studying scripture on the issue.

 

I think women in roles of leadership are an exception and not the rule. Things are becoming more clear to me, not just as a result of this thread. When I get to the point where I dont want to argue with God anymore on issues I dont understand, thats when revelation occurs, ime anyway. Its happened this way with other issues which are quite controversial as well. Thats just me tho.

 

 

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#75 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 05:30 AM
 
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Ive done this so many times Ive lost count and they have all given me the same reasons/responses mentioned here. I was always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, bc of the reasons you gave in your other paragraph, they are intellegent women, they are learned, the all seemed to know what they were talking about. I always left with a niggling little doubt tho, I was never fully convinced of the evidence given. That, I believe, was the Holy Spirit. In fact, I have an issue going on right now with a woman pastor at the church I am currently attending. I started at this church when they were looking for a pastor, they had been without one for two years. When I found out they were considering hiring a woman, I was willing to hear them out, I was still on the fence on this issue. Recent incidents have brought the issue to the forfront of my mind again. I came to a point where I had to finally really consider these things, I asked here as well as praying and studying scripture on the issue.

 

I think women in roles of leadership are an exception and not the rule. Things are becoming more clear to me, not just as a result of this thread. When I get to the point where I dont want to argue with God anymore on issues I dont understand, thats when revelation occurs, ime anyway. Its happened this way with other issues which are quite controversial as well. Thats just me tho.

 

 

 

I'm not going to debate in this thread, as I don't have the exegetical skills to do so, but it's so interesting to me that prayer and the Holy Spirit can lead people to such different places.  That's why there are so many churches, denominations, and religions, I suppose -- as well as people who don't believe.  I never felt like I was arguing with God on this issue or like my instinct to accept women in ministry is any less of a revelation than it sounds like you regard your decision to see them as an exception.  Fascinating.  That said, I wonder if a believer needs to argue with God on issues we don't understand.  Though I do think questioning is appropriate, maybe for us fallible followers it is more about keeping an open heart, trying to flood ourselves with love to wash away judgment of others (that sounds pretty goody-two-shoes, but I mean as much as we imperfectly can), remaining inclusive whenever possible, and letting God work out the issues in God's own time. 
 


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#76 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 05:55 AM
 
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but it's so interesting to me that prayer and the Holy Spirit can lead people to such different places. That's why there are so many churches, denominations, and religions, I suppose -- as well as people who don't believe.
Bolt.gif

Here's the part where I get stoned, I'm sure. But I just have to--

Could it be that God IS leading different peoples in different directions? Could it be that there is no one right answer to a lot of the questions we debate and wrangle and even, at some times in history, kill each other over? Could it be that the Lord loves wondrous variety-- that He delights in multiplicity? What if we have it all wrong, and there is no One Right Way, other than to love Him, love one another, to love justice and mercy and forgiveness, and to remain humble in the face of what we do not understand?

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#77 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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but it's so interesting to me that prayer and the Holy Spirit can lead people to such different places. That's why there are so many churches, denominations, and religions, I suppose -- as well as people who don't believe.


Bolt.gif

Here's the part where I get stoned, I'm sure. But I just have to--

Could it be that God IS leading different peoples in different directions? Could it be that there is no one right answer to a lot of the questions we debate and wrangle and even, at some times in history, kill each other over? Could it be that the Lord loves wondrous variety-- that He delights in multiplicity? What if we have it all wrong, and there is no One Right Way, other than to love Him, love one another, to love justice and mercy and forgiveness, and to remain humble in the face of what we do not understand?


But if the truth is that there is no One Right Way, then that becomes the One Right Way.  It's self-defeating.  I understand wanting to believe that - I tried believing it myself, but after a while it just stopped making sense to me.  How can multiple claims to exclusive truth which contradict each other all be right?  It's not logically possible.  And if the claim that they are all right is true, then the claims that they're all making to have the exclusive truth are all wrong.  See what I'm saying?

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#78 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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but it's so interesting to me that prayer and the Holy Spirit can lead people to such different places. That's why there are so many churches, denominations, and religions, I suppose -- as well as people who don't believe.


Bolt.gif

Here's the part where I get stoned, I'm sure. But I just have to--

Could it be that God IS leading different peoples in different directions? Could it be that there is no one right answer to a lot of the questions we debate and wrangle and even, at some times in history, kill each other over? Could it be that the Lord loves wondrous variety-- that He delights in multiplicity? What if we have it all wrong, and there is no One Right Way, other than to love Him, love one another, to love justice and mercy and forgiveness, and to remain humble in the face of what we do not understand?


 

I won't stone you lol  I understand why you think this because this is the easiest and most inclusive way, which is a worldly thought.  Sorry.  Now I may get stoned. lol.  I say that because Paul says to have the same mind the same opinion and to speak the same things.  Off to go sled riding and not much time to say more.  Here is the verse.  With the major items of faith, we can't compromise, but with the practices we can be broad and receive all reasonable practices.

 

1 Corinthians 1:10

10 Now I beseech you, brothers, through the 1aname of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all 2bspeak the same thing and that there be no 3cdivisions among you, but that you be 4attuned in the dsame mind and in the same 5eopinion.

 

Also, remember the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father just before His death that all of the believers would be one.

 

Commence stoning


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#79 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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With the major items of faith, we can't compromise, but with the practices we can be broad and receive all reasonable practices.
I think we agree more than we realize, actually. This is exactly what I was trying to say. Wouldn't we put "women's role in the everyday life of the Church" under practices, not items of faith?

We (not speaking for any of you-- I mean my religious tradition) believe that God is bigger than our logic, bigger than our human institutions, bigger than our small human categories, and that there is much about God that we can never understand-- and that we will drive ourselves crazy, or drive ourselves into violence against one another, if we focus too much on One True Way. Our human certainty becomes sinful when we become too attached to it-- the prophets exhorted us to be humble, and Christ taught humility. When we become too certain that we understand what God is, and what is Truth, then we err. It's far better to remain open to the possibility that we may be mistaken, and trust God to move in His way and in His time.

All I can know of God's Nature is what is revealed to me, or revealed to others and communicated to me, through Scripture, and other human means. All of these are necessarily filtered through the lens of human reason and human language, which are, as the PP reminded us, flawed. Forrest Church spoke of it like this-- as if you were standing in a great cathedral. All you can see of the sun is the tiny scraps of light that filter through the stained glass windows. So if I am looking in one direction, and see purple light, I might conclude that sunlight is purple. You might insist, with good reason, from the evidence of your own eyes, that the sun is in fact red, or yellow, or green, or whatever you see. What all of us would be missing, of course, is the actual real sun, shining away outside the cathedral, the light of which is in fact all those colors, and others besides. What we would NOT be missing is that there IS sunlight, that it's out there shining, and that what we see is evidence of its existence. Were we to turn around, and look at what others are seeing, and share what we see with one another, we would be so much closer to an approximation of the truth.

So we have a metaphor in which God is the sun, who contains All. The cathedral is our bodily humanity, which separates us from complete knowledge of and union with God. The windows are our flawed human reasoning-- logic if you will, and Scripture, and Church tradition-- our human means of communicating our understanding of God.

It's a Universalist metaphor, though, and a Universalist understanding of God. Forrest Church was a Universalist, and a lot of Friends (theologically I identify as a Friend) hold universalist Christian beliefs. If we are limited to arguing within the doctrine of sola scriptura, it won't hold up. So we arrive again at the roadblock I mentioned earlier. I don't believe in the final authority of Scripture, and if you do, then we cannot agree. I'm okay with that.

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#80 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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Nice post Llyra. I so wish we could agree!  I guess now we have to define what a 'practice' is??  It's like a never ending  terminology hole that gets bigger the more you discuss it. LOL

 

Maybe now I can say that I do take the Bible literally in the sense that the early church had elders and deacons and they were brothers.  It's really spelled out clearly.  Paul admonished sisters not to be elders due to the governmental arrangement of God.  The order is established by God, not by Paul even though he spoke that.  It was not Paul's idea to have brothers for elders, it was God's idea spoken through Paul quite plainly. 

 

You spoke about human flaw.  True we have this issue, but do you think that Paul was flawed when he wrote this?  If that is the case, then our issue is deeper than a doctrinal understanding, which is why we got off topic earlier.  I don't believe that any part of the Bible is flawed.  I believe that to understand the Bible requires an exercised spirit of wisdom and revelation.  If Christ lives in you, then you have the wisdom in you(general you) to apprehend what is the breadth, length, height, depth...  If you read the beginning of Revelation it says that John was IN SPIRIT on the Lord's day.  So all that was revealed to John was because he was IN SPIRIT.  If we exercise our spirit and touch the Word in a living way, empty our self of all ambition and pride, I believe we will be blessed with much revelation.  The apostles wrote all of this down SO THAT we could see and enter INTO all that they saw and were entering into.  It's not so that we would all be in confusion and division. 

 

It is nearly impossible for me to understand how anyone can read it any other way.  You would have to dismiss those verses entirely or the entire books as some theologians are trying to do.

 

Gotta run again.


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#81 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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True we have this issue, but do you think that Paul was flawed when he wrote this? If that is the case, then our issue is deeper than a doctrinal understanding, which is why we got off topic earlier.
Of course he was. He was human, just as we are. If he was NOT human, than we're walking in realms that are outside Christianity entirely. Which clearly we are not. I don't understand how a flawed human being can be supposed to have written an unflawed letter. Yes, he was Inspired by God. Yes, God was communicating to us through what he Revealed to Paul. But even that Revelation was necessarily filtered through Paul's human reason, human language, and yes, human biases. I don't believe that Scripture is unflawed. So you're right, we have a deep difference here.

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#82 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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True we have this issue, but do you think that Paul was flawed when he wrote this? If that is the case, then our issue is deeper than a doctrinal understanding, which is why we got off topic earlier.


Of course he was. He was human, just as we are. If he was NOT human, than we're walking in realms that are outside Christianity entirely. Which clearly we are not. I don't understand how a flawed human being can be supposed to have written an unflawed letter. Yes, he was Inspired by God. Yes, God was communicating to us through what he Revealed to Paul. But even that Revelation was necessarily filtered through Paul's human reason, human language, and yes, human biases. I don't believe that Scripture is unflawed. So you're right, we have a deep difference here.


True, true.  Paul was a sinner and flawed as we all are.  However, a  flawed human can write an unflawed letter because Christ the unflawed One was the one writing the letter via Paul.  Just as Jesus denied Himself and spoke ONLY what the Father was speaking.  Paul could deny himself (by the Spirit) and speak only what the Father was speaking. 

 

I suppose we are off topic again, but Llyra, how in the world do you hold to The Truth if you think it is flawed?  I mean, if I thought the Bible was flawed, I'd have to just throw in the towel on the whole thing.  If even one part is flawed then the whole thing is suspect and then even the assurance of salvation is shaken to the core.  How do you really go on and believe anything in the Bible?  How do you know what is true and what is flawed?  This would make me turn back to atheism. 


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#83 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 12:16 PM
 
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So we have a metaphor in which God is the sun, who contains All. The cathedral is our bodily humanity, which separates us from complete knowledge of and union with God. The windows are our flawed human reasoning-- logic if you will, and Scripture, and Church tradition-- our human means of communicating our understanding of God.

I don't think this is a very good metaphor. For one thing, believing the sun is pink vs. believing it is purple is not analogous to believing (for example) that God wants us to go on holy wars vs. believing that God wants us to live in peace except in the circumstance of a just war, vs believing that God wants us to be total pacifists. Pink vs purple isn't the same kind of conflict - it doesn't have the same implications for strife and bloodshed, for one thing!

 

For another, it assumes that no one religion can have the entire truth, and I'm not sure why you'd start with that assumption. The mere existence of differing beliefs doesn't imply that.

 

Thirdly, different religions don't just focus on different aspects of God, or show different "refractions", if you will, of His character. They have HUGE, insurmountable contradictions. Is God unary or triune... or is everything God, or are there several gods? There's no way to reconcile those, to say that all religions kindasorta have it right and God is really all of those things. He can't be. It's logically impossible. If He's unary, he isn't a pantheon. There's no middle ground. And if, on certain theological points, some religions have it more right than others, than the "equality" of your metaphor breaks down. A religion that claims to be even a little bit more true than other religions will still cause division - but there's no good reason to think that all religions are equidistant from the truth. You can assume it arbitrarily for the sake of keeping things "fair", but I don't see a compelling reason to.

 

Fourthly - if you believe logic is intrinsically flawed, there's no reason to be having this or any other conversation. (I also dispute your contention that Scripture is flawed, though I'm with you on Church tradition.) Once you start being skeptical about the laws of logic, you must (logically - heh) apply that same skepticism to your own thought processes, thus meaning you can't trust your hypothesis that logic is intrinsically flawed.

 

 

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Which clearly we are not. I don't understand how a flawed human being can be supposed to have written an unflawed letter. Yes, he was Inspired by God. Yes, God was communicating to us through what he Revealed to Paul. But even that Revelation was necessarily filtered through Paul's human reason, human language, and yes, human biases.

I addressed reason in the previous paragraph - I don't think there's "God-logic" and "human logic", just objectively valid and invalid logic. I can't find any place in Paul's writings where his logic is invalid - can you? As for human language, that assumes a rather inept God, as well as a degree of skepticism about language which I suspect you do not apply to every text you read. There's no reason to believe God chose Greek arbitrarily as His language for communication, or that Greek is any more unclear or vague than other languages; there's also no good reason to assume that we can't truly express things in human language. We're doing it right now. Sure, sometimes things in the Bible (or in any text) are hard to understand, either because we lack the training to read them intelligently or because they're simply discussing difficult subject matter - but if we believed that human language was really inadequate for communication, surely we wouldn't be here on a message board? And most of the things in Scripture aren't really THAT subtle or complicated - there's no reason to believe there's an illusory heavenly meaning struggling to get out behind the clumsy human-language phrase "If your enemy is hungry, give him food". And biases? Well, again, it assumes that Paul's biases are not God's - in which case, it would again be a rather inept God who let Paul insert them into His holy revelation. There are a few instances where Paul openly declares "I, not the Lord" - for the rest, why assume that Paul and God disagree? Can you name any actual contradictions between Paul's comments and Jesus'? Even if you could, Jesus' words themselves were recorded by Gospel writers who also had human language, reason and biases, so I'm not sure how you'd conclude that they were any more a reflection of God's true character than Paul's words...


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#84 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Hmm,

 

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I suppose we are off topic again, but Llyra, how in the world do you hold to The Truth if you think it is flawed?

 

I don't see what Llyra is saying as anything different from what I hear Christians say. I don't think I've ever met a Christian who would assert that everything they currently believe is God's Whole Truth (well, maybe Fred Phelps, but I doubt you want to be lumped in with him!). The Christians I know say that their understanding of God's Truth changes as they grow in the Lord and their knowledge of the Bible. Not the core things like Christ's sacrifice, but the more peripheral things. Which means that some of the things they currently believe may be flawed and they will change in the future. You and Llyra use different things on which to base your understanding of Truth - you the Bible alone, and she the Bible along with other sources - but I'm guessing that you would agree with me that you are both "seeing through a glass darkly".

 

OT - Shami, I just wanted to let you know that your use of the word "agenda" twice upthread to refer to people who have a different view of the Bible than you do is hurtful to me. It implies that they (we) are insincere and subjective, held in the sway of some nefarious need to prove something that renders them (us) incapable of seeing things clearly. Yes, I know that word is used against Christians too, but I don't think it is a good idea to belittle other's beliefs by saying they are following an "agenda" in any situation. I just thought I'd mention that since I'm sure you didn't mean to offend and maybe weren't aware of how it came across.

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#85 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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For another, it assumes that no one religion can have the entire truth, and I'm not sure why you'd start with that assumption.

Why not start with that assumption? It seems to me to be just as reasonable to start with that as to start with the assumption that one religion has the entire truth. Why is one assumption superior to the other?

 

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And if, on certain theological points, some religions have it more right than others, than the "equality" of your metaphor breaks down.

Religions may not all be equally right on the theological points, but I would argue that the major world religions - the ones that have stood the test of time - are all equally able to provide a conduit to the Divine. So in that sense they are equal.

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#86 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Hmm,

 

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I suppose we are off topic again, but Llyra, how in the world do you hold to The Truth if you think it is flawed?

 

I don't see what Llyra is saying as anything different from what I hear Christians say. I don't think I've ever met a Christian who would assert that everything they currently believe is God's Whole Truth (well, maybe Fred Phelps, but I doubt you want to be lumped in with him!). The Christians I know say that their understanding of God's Truth changes as they grow in the Lord and their knowledge of the Bible. Not the core things like Christ's sacrifice, but the more peripheral things. Which means that some of the things they currently believe may be flawed and they will change in the future. You and Llyra use different things on which to base your understanding of Truth - you the Bible alone, and she the Bible along with other sources - but I'm guessing that you would agree with me that you are both "seeing through a glass darkly".

 

OT - Shami, I just wanted to let you know that your use of the word "agenda" twice upthread to refer to people who have a different view of the Bible than you do is hurtful to me. It implies that they (we) are insincere and subjective, held in the sway of some nefarious need to prove something that renders them (us) incapable of seeing things clearly. Yes, I know that word is used against Christians too, but I don't think it is a good idea to belittle other's beliefs by saying they are following an "agenda" in any situation. I just thought I'd mention that since I'm sure you didn't mean to offend and maybe weren't aware of how it came across.

I had a feeling I should apologize for the use of agenda, but I didn't want to lose face!  I am sorry for that.  For the record, I don't believe anyone on here has an agenda, nor do I think people who don't believe what i believe have agendas.  That article really bugged me because it seemed informative in the beginning.  There was no clue in the Title where they were going.  There was no 'thesis' statement.   Then, surprise!, at the end it said the real reason that they feel all of Paul's letters, except for Corinthians should be out of the NT.  Without all of Paul's epistles, the NT supports gender equality in the church.  I guess i should give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

About the Bible and growing as a Christian.  Yes, we are at different stages of growth in life, and the more I grow the more I see in the word.  I honestly don't understand how a Christian can go on and feel secure if they think that the Bible is not the whole Truth and nothing, but the Truth.

 

Here is an example:  You're going to put a new engine in your car so you buy a book, Installing Engines for Dummies.  LOL You study it, you trust it, you follow it to a 'T'.  It working well for you and your engine is running great.  It's your bible for installing your engine.  Then some car expert, who has a degree in installing engines, comes along and tells you that not every thing in there is really accurate.  The author has a bias against your particular model.  You should question it, even though it's running fine.  So as your driving across country your doubting if your car will make it because an expert told you that your car bible was flawed.  You wind up anxious and insecure without peace.

 

I am not saying Llyra, or anyone else who believes the Bible is flawed, doesn't have peace.  I am saying that is how I would feel.  I may not hold all of the Church Traditions that RCC or Othodox holds, but I do trust and believe in the teachings that I have received.   But, the ONLY reason that I trust in the teachings that I have received is because they match the Apostles Teachings (Acts 2) that we Christians are charged to hold steadfastly.  If we Christians, regardless of denominations, cannot hold and keep the Apostles' Teaching, then why try and live a Christian life?  The Apostles' Teaching are the ground rules or the instruction booklet for living the Christian life.   Or, at least every Christian should recognize the Apostles' Teaching as invaluable and something to all strive for.  For Christians to say the Bible is flawed is like pulling the rug out from underneath and expect no body will fall down.   Am I making any sense?  In case any one is wondering what is the Apostles' Teaching, it's the entire NT.  Every verse.
 


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#87 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Why not start with that assumption? It seems to me to be just as reasonable to start with that as to start with the assumption that one religion has the entire truth. Why is one assumption superior to the other?

The opposing assumption is "One religion CAN have the entire truth", not "one religion has the entire truth". Viewing any religion with the assumption that it must be incomplete simply because opposing religions exist is hardly helpful, or a tactic one would apply to the study of any other discipline. Take medicine for an analogy - there are plenty of medical systems of thought, such as traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, allopathic medicine and so on. It's reasonable to assume that all these systems have some merit - perhaps only via the placebo effect or the psychological comfort they give - at least when the systems have stood the test of time. Obviously people see some value in them, because they keep using them. That doesn't mean one should automatically assume a) that all medical paradigms are equally logical, complete and correct, so that it doesn't matter which one you use, or b) that no one medical system could ever possibly give a complete and accurate paradigm for health. You don't have to assume that such a system currently exists, but I don't see a good reason for believing it could not; and I think that's the issue we're dealing with here. And it would certainly be illogical to claim that the real, objective truth about health was a reality that encompassed the various contradictory elements of different medical systems.

 

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Religions may not all be equally right on the theological points, but I would argue that the major world religions - the ones that have stood the test of time - are all equally able to provide a conduit to the Divine. So in that sense they are equal.

That's not terribly helpful unless you define the Divine. Is it/He/She unary, trinity, a pantheon, an impersonal life force..? If any of those, how can the religions which deny that the Divine is such provide a conduit to it/Him/Her? It seems counterintuitive, not to mention insulting, to say that Christianity is, for instance, allowing Christians to access a pantheon of transcendent goddesses while denying their existence and claiming that the Divine is in fact a transcendent-but-immanent trinity.


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#88 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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For Christians to say the Bible is flawed is like pulling the rug out from underneath and expect no body will fall down.

Yes, that makes absolute sense - to someone who holds to solo scriptura. It wouldn't make sense to a Catholic, or a Unitarian, or (maybe???) to an Orthodox Christian. There are many other streams of Christianity that hold different views of the Bible, that's something I've learned on this board! :D

 

It occurs to me as I have been thinking about this thread that what the OP needs to do is not to figure out what she thinks about women in leadership, but rather to figure out which view of the Bible she feels is true. Because once that has been decided, the women in leadership thing will fall into place. If she agrees with you that the Bible is the infallible instruction manual that God gave to us, then clearly women should not be in leadership in the church. Of course, then she may need to change some other things in her life, like starting to cover her head and not speaking in church.

 

If, on the other hand, she comes to the conclusion that the Bible is to be used in conjunction with a Church Authority, then she would need to consult with that Authority. Or if she comes to the conclusion that the Bible is an inspired book that is intended to be understood in conjunction with reason and historical cultural practices, then she should start reading  various interpretations of those passages to see which one makes the most sense to her.

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#89 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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For Christians to say the Bible is flawed is like pulling the rug out from underneath and expect no body will fall down.

Yes, that makes absolute sense - to someone who holds to solo scriptura. It wouldn't make sense to a Catholic, or a Unitarian, or (maybe???) to an Orthodox Christian. There are many other streams of Christianity that hold different views of the Bible, that's something I've learned on this board! :D

THis would also be a problem for Catholics or the Orthodox.  They don't understand the Bible from a literalist POV, but they do understand it as inerrant.
 


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#90 of 132 Old 12-16-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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Oh, sorry, I was equating "flawed" as the "not to be understood in a literal way".

 

I think my point still stands, though, that rather than being OT, this discussion about the nature of the Bible and how we understand it is key to the OP's question. Because once she has determined if she believes it is meant to be read literally, or through the lens of an authority, or through the lens of scholarship and culture - then she will have the answer to her question.

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