Skip to comments.Women Bishops: It's about the Bible, not fake ideas of progress
Posted on 11/24/2012 7:24:11 AM PST by ReformationFan
We, of all people, ought to know better. "Progress" gave us modern medicine, liberal democracy, the internet. It also gave us the guillotine, the Gulag and the gas chambers. Western intelligentsia assumed in the 1920s that "history" was moving away from the muddle and mess of democracy towards the brave new world of Russian communism. Many in 1930s Germany regarded Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his friends as on the wrong side of history. The strong point of postmodernity is that the big stories have let us down. And the biggest of all was the modernist myth of "progress".
What is more, the Church's foundation documents (to say nothing of its Founder himself) were notoriously on the wrong side of history. The Gospel was foolishness to the Greeks, said St Paul, and a scandal to Jews. The early Christians got a reputation for believing in all sorts of ridiculous things such as humility, chastity and resurrection, standing up for the poor and giving slaves equal status with the free. And for valuing women more highly than anyone else had ever done. People thought them crazy, but they stuck to their counter-cultural Gospel. If the Church had allowed prime ministers to tell them what the "programme" was it would have sunk without trace in fifty years. If Jesus had allowed Caiaphas or Pontius Pilate to dictate their "programme" to him there wouldn't have been a Church in the first place.
(Excerpt) Read more at virtueonline.org ...
Thanks for posting this. It deserves a careful reading, and I’ll do that later today.
I do think Douglas Wilson takes the win for this round, anyhow. I much respect Tom Wright, but I'm a little disappointed at the weakness of his argument here. As Wilson notes, Wright just basically says "Early Christianity was counter-cultural in its high regard for women," "Mary Magdalen, Junia, Phoebe" and that's it, tout court.
He doesn't deal with the fact that Judaism and Christianity were BOTH counter-cultural in that they had neither goddesses nor priestesses. Everybody else did: think of the Canaanites, the Babylonians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians; Anat, Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Nammu, Juno, Ceres, Aphrodite, Isis, Sekhmet. This lack of goddesses and priestesses in Judeo-Christianity is both significant and consequential. Shouldn't we look into that?
Highly trusted, highly talented and highly regarded as Magdalen, Junia and Phoebe were -- highly regarded as Mary, the Mother of God, present at Pentecost, must have been --- there is no record that they or any other woman was ordained by the laying on of hands to join the ranks of the presbyteroi or the episkopoi.
We know, from the history of the first years of the Church, that slaves were so ordained. We know that gentiles were so ordained. Any church that had the radical chutzpah to ordain slaves and uncircumcised gentiles would not have blanched at ordaining devout, intelligent, capable women --- if that were the will of God.
Would Mary Magdalen or Dame Julian of Norwich have been better or greater, had they been priests? Would Edith Cavell or Mary Slessor have been more glorious, had they been bishops? I am persuaded that the really important, and really interesting people in the Church are not the priests or the bishops, but the saints.
Women have great liberty to serve the Lord, but not as the quarterback, though he needs holy men and women himself. To teach otherwise is contrary to Scripture as well as the historical faith of the church.
And the attempts to justify women pastors ruling men require such wresting that they serve as an argument against what they contend for: http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/WOMENPASTORS.html
Thanks Mrs. Don-o, great comments.
The core pantheon in Rome (as well as its underlying Greek forerunners) was continuously added to as new minority groups were brought to Rome (usually as slaves or soldiers, sometimes as merchants or refugees), leading to a massive overlapping thicket of cults. Beginning with Julius Caesar, the Senate also deified various deceased leaders. IMO all that led to degradation of all the cults, and widespread unbelief except in times of fear (analogous to people who claim that lottery tickets are a waste of money, but but them when the jackpots get really large).
Judaism was targeted precisely because it was monotheistic and the Jews wouldn’t go for imperial divinity. By the end of the 1st c AD, Christianity had separated from Judaism. Practitioners of both could be found throughout the Empire, with Jews numbering as much as 15 percent of the entire population (but found mostly in the eastern end). One of the houses in one of the towns buried by Vesuvius in 79 AD has a pattern of holes on one of its interior walls which suggest that a cross had been attached to it, apparently a private, secret place of worship. The cross was gone when the house was excavated, obviously it’s not known whether the cross had been removed long before, or as the family fled the eruption.
Well said, in courtesy and content.
Aside from the scriptural or traditional arguments, I object to the idea that women are slighted in the Church. Different roles, with equal value - just different, IMHO.
It’s not a slight to women, any more than not making men mothers is a slight to men.
I think I would rather have been Mary Magdalen (gender aside) than Peter. I think she may well have been closer to Jesus. Certainly the Blessed Virgin Mary is not ‘less than’ an apostle.
It’s a false view that if a woman cannot be x, or a man cannot be y that it is therefore a slight or inequality.
Your argument makes way too much sense for the contemporary liberal feminist to understand.