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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bring it on

I agree with Tony Jones. It is absolutely time for a schism in the Church over the role of women:
I don’t take this lightly. I very much take Jesus’ prayer for unity in the Fourth Gospel seriously. Our eschatological hope is that the church will be one, and that we will all be united in belief, practice, and love.

But sometimes we need to separate. We need to say hard words to those who are not living the way that Jesus laid out for us. We need to divorce.

The time has come for a schism regarding the issue of women in the church. Those of us who know that women should be accorded full participation in every aspect of church life need to visibly and forcefully separate ourselves from those who do not. Their subjugation of women is anti-Christian, and it should be tolerated no longer.

That means:
  •     If you attend a church that does not let women preach or hold positions of ecclesial authority, you need to leave that church.
  •     If you work for a ministry that does not affirm women in ecclesial leadership, you need to leave that ministry.
  •     If you write for a publishing house that also prints books by “complementarians,” you need to take your books to another publishing house.
  •     If you speak at conferences, you need to withdraw from all events that do not affirm women as speakers, teachers, and leaders.
That is, we who believe in the full equality of women need to break fellowship with those who do not. The time for dialogue and debate has passed. The Spirit has spoken, and we have listened. It’s time to move forward with full force.
The schism has been declared. Very well. And likewise, Christians who actually follow the Word of God need to do the same. 
  •     If you have members that insist women preach or hold positions of ecclesial authority, you need to expel them from that church.
  •     If you run a ministry that does not affirm women in ecclesiastical leadership and you have employees or volunteers who do, you need to expel them from that ministry.
  •     If you run a publishing house that prints books by “non-complementarians,” you need to drop those authors.
  •     If you speak at conferences, you need to speak against the affirmation of women as speakers, teachers, and leaders.
As for me, I stopped attending all churches that feature female preachers or teachers or pastors or priests years ago. Based on the declining numbers of equalitarian church congregations around the world, I'm far from the only one.

The Spirit to which Tony Jones is listening to is not the Holy Spirit. It is the sweetly whispering voice of the Prince of This World.

THERE IS NO EQUALITY. EQUALITY DOES NOT EXIST IN ANY REAL, MATERIAL, LEGAL, OR SPIRITUAL SENSE.

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252 Comments:

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Anonymous Hoots November 27, 2013 1:07 PM  

You need to modify that last bullet.

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 1:08 PM  

Tony Jones Logic: Women not able to be pastors = subjugation.

Anonymous zeonxavier November 27, 2013 1:09 PM  

If the tenets of feminism trump the Word of God for you, by all means, leave the Church entirely.

It would be wiser not to continue with the pretense of being right, in my opinion.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:11 PM  

The Spirit has spoken, and we have listened.

I wish to know who received this revelation and how stringently he was tested.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:12 PM  

ya know... the protestant church must bear some responsibility in this.... No role was provided for women who feel called to serve the church. The catholics have orders for that. They can be nuns.

There is no similar answer for protestant women.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 1:13 PM  

Vox, how do you reconcile that with Junia serving as a female apostle in the early church?

Anonymous jamsco November 27, 2013 1:15 PM  

"Those of us who know that women should be accorded full participation in every aspect of church life need to visibly and forcefully separate ourselves from those who do not. Their subjugation of women is anti-Christian, and it should be tolerated no longer."

I don't think the word 'subjugation' is accurate, but whatever word you use, I sure like to see any biblical evidence that complementarianism is 'anti-Christian'

I don't see it, myself.

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 1:17 PM  

Tony Jones: Yes, on this [role of women in the church], I think that we very much need to listen to non-Christians.

At least he's openly picking a side.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:17 PM  

There is no similar answer for protestant women.

We teach one another and children, and we do works of charity as were done by the women before there were nuns. There's plenty to do without needing a cloistered bunkhouse and a nifty black-and-white uniform.

Yes, it requires more initiative on our part, but that's part of growing up.

Anonymous jamsco November 27, 2013 1:19 PM  

"Vox, how do you reconcile that with Junia serving as a female apostle in the early church?"

Where is that? I only see - "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me."

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:19 PM  

I don't see it, myself.

Nor will you. People like this don't believe in quoting the Bible; they always have some new revelation that justifies whatever it is their mom said was okay. Please notice that Jones specifically offers, as his main reason, that he grew up in a feminist "church".

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:22 PM  

"We teach one another and children, and we do works of charity as were done by the women before there were nuns."

You'll understand that those looking to literally devote their lives to the church don't see that as actually devoting your life to the church.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:22 PM  

Jamsco, here is the Greek. For ease of reading, here is the NASB.

Anonymous Tony November 27, 2013 1:23 PM  

Surely all humans share an equal human essence no?

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:23 PM  

You'll understand that those looking to literally devote their lives to the church don't see that as actually devoting your life to the church.

I know. But then again, where are we called to do that?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:26 PM  

"I know. But then again, where are we called to do that?"

collectively you are not. Individuals however... are. Just as individual men feel God's call to serve the church... so do individual women.

The problem is there is no station for individual women to fill... so they ape the one of men.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 1:26 PM  

Romands 16:7: "Greet Andronicus and Junias my relatives and my fellow captives, who are men of note among the apostles..."

That's what I got in my bible.

Plus, going with Paul on ministry, or mistering in general isn't the same as being overseer of a congregation. Nor is 'apostle' referring to one of the big 12 (+1 failed). The word means like ambassador or minister or something, used in the lesser sense.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 1:27 PM  

mistering

*ministering

Lol. It was a mistake, honest.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:27 PM  

Surely all humans share an equal human essence no?

Unless you are prepared to argue that everyone should be a prophet, you should reconsider this gambit.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:28 PM  

Just as individual men feel God's call to serve the church... so do individual women.

The problem is there is no station for individual women to fill... so they ape the one of men.


What station is there for individual women to fill that nuns fill?

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein November 27, 2013 1:28 PM  

What's new Pussycat? OHHHHH...OHH...OHH...HOHOOO..Pussycat, pussy cat I love you...and I....

Oops. Misread the name.

Anonymous jamsco November 27, 2013 1:28 PM  

"You'll understand that those looking to literally devote their lives to the church don't see that as actually devoting your life to the church."

That's an interesting point, Nate. I'd say a woman could be a missionary in a different country, but if you want to do it in the US, you're right, there's less opportunity for a woman to overtly devote their life to the church.

Anonymous jamsco November 27, 2013 1:30 PM  

"Oops. Misread the name."

That's not unusual.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:30 PM  

"What station is there for individual women to fill that nuns fill?"

Nuns provide all kinds of service to the church. They serve as teachers for example in church schools. all manner of things.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:31 PM  

Plus, going with Paul on ministry, or mistering in general isn't the same as being overseer of a congregation. Nor is 'apostle' referring to one of the big 12 (+1 failed). The word means like ambassador or minister or something, used in the lesser sense.

Mudz, here's the word you want. TL;DR version is you're right, that an apostle/messenger/delegate is not the same as a pastor or teacher.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 1:31 PM  

collectively you are not. Individuals however... are. Just as individual men feel God's call to serve the church... so do individual women.

The problem is there is no station for individual women to fill... so they ape the one of men.


Of course the whole model of clergy and laity could be wrong in the first place...

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:32 PM  

Nuns provide all kinds of service to the church. They serve as teachers for example in church schools. all manner of things.

What prevents individual women from doing these things if they feel called to it?

Anonymous Cryan Ryan November 27, 2013 1:35 PM  

My wife's oldest daughter was a Wiccan. Her husband was a Christian. Eventually, she switched over. Almost immediately, she was running the Sunday School for the kiddies...reading to them the scripture that she never had read.

Her and the other ladies objected to some of the male dominated discussions and brought about some changes to their small church.

She re-affirmed her faith with a Jesus tattoo to match the large tree tattoo on her shoulder. This was in addition to the barbed wire tat around the bicep, and maybe an ankle tat or two.

Since they spend money like drunken sailors and have gone through several hundred thousand dollars in recent years, I sent along a book (The Richest Man in Babylon) that my mother had given me 30 years ago.

I thought perhaps it could be helpful, seeing as how it pretty much advocates biblical principles.

She's been mad at me for two years now. Turns out she "thinks I'm judgmental" about how they spend their money.

I should mention they borrowed ten grand once (emergency brought on by their lifestyle) and though they did pay it back, it brought on a crisis in my marriage the likes of which my wife would never want to repeat.

We attended a church service with them for a baptism. Never again. Under any circumstances. Will I subject myself to that kind of nonsense. Ever.

For any reason. Ever.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:35 PM  

"What prevents individual women from doing these things if they feel called to it?"

Because there is no church organization for them. It doesn't exist. Because it doesn't exist.. they go to what does exist. Which is ministering.

Anonymous Daniel November 27, 2013 1:36 PM  

You know The Church of Gamma Rabbit would accept the call of Ian Watkins as High Priest and Defender of the Faith. He believes in the equality of everything. McRapey would be tabbed to do the accounting on the Elder Board, because he's so good at math and has even written a book on finance.

In the end, there might be the occasional woman in the pulpit...but they'd Jean Rabe her as soon as one of the men did something "controversial."

This guy is calling for Jonestown...he just doesn't know it. I hope.

But yeah, good riddance to the Ladies Auxiliary Church of Christlikeness.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 1:40 PM  

Mudz, here's the word you want. TL;DR version is you're right, that an apostle/messenger/delegate is not the same as a pastor or teacher.

Nothing is TLDR for me, Sig. >.>

:( <----- This face indicates a hilarious if suspect joke I am obligated by an onerous burden of conscience to skip. I blame you entirely. I hope you're happy. >:

Actually, I'm trying to work out the essentials of a Chaldean priest - esque lingo/type for a race of ancient dudes in my novel at the moment, so it's all gravy. Cheers! :)

Anonymous Daniel November 27, 2013 1:41 PM  

"Oops. Misread the name."

That's not unusual.


Women, not girls, rule my world
I said they rule my world.

Anonymous 243guy November 27, 2013 1:42 PM  

seems pretty understandable to me that Jesus hates the work of the nicolaitans--those who rule over the common believers as He says in Rev. 2:6. Nicolaitans would be anyone in the hierarchy of Catholicism or Protestantism or who sets himself(herself) over the other members of the body. After 40 years of "Sunday morning" church , we started meeting 10 years ago with other believers house to house, day by day. Our meetings are open: everyone--men, women, teens, newly converted and older experienced ones are encouraged to speak and praise the Lord and testify about what He is doing in them. Some brothers function as pastors--they help others to mature by helping them to speak something in meetings and get into good daily habits of bible reading, praying and prayreading. Instead of sitting in a pew listening to another boring sermon they wont remember a day later, they are growing and feasting on the Lord and learning to function as priests as God intended. I agree with Vox that the spirit Tony Jones is listening to is the Prince of this world.

Anonymous FYI Guy November 27, 2013 1:44 PM  

Romands 16:7: "Greet Andronicus and Junias my relatives and my fellow captives, who are men of note among the apostles..."

That's what I got in my bible.


To be known AMONG the apostles is not the same as being known AS an apostle, just in case there is some confusion out there.

Anonymous General Ripper November 27, 2013 1:50 PM  

Surely all humans share an equal human essence no?

I do not avoid women. But I deny them my essence. I advise you not to share your essence with them.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:51 PM  

Because there is no church organization for them. It doesn't exist. Because it doesn't exist.. they go to what does exist. Which is ministering.

No, they go to ministering because they have convinced themselves that the stuff in the Bible doesn't apply to them, because they're special or because it's old or because that Paul dude didn't like women. In other words, feminism.

"I just want to serve" is only half of the complete sentence: "I just want to serve in the exciting ways that men get to serve."

Anonymous Joshua November 27, 2013 1:53 PM  

I just wrote on this very topic myself. I completely agree with you - "equality" in any meaningful sense between men and women, other than in our inheritance (Salvation), and in our love from God, is worthless and unsubstantiated. We are different more than we are the same, and knowing this makes our lives better, unlike emergent anti-Christians like Tony Jones seem to think.

Bring it on, indeed.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:54 PM  

To be known AMONG the apostles is not the same as being known AS an apostle, just in case there is some confusion out there.

Except when it is.

Let's not get sidetracked, though. An apostle is not a pastor. Women have played roles in the church; we're just not supposed to lead congregations or assume authority.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 1:55 PM  

Nothing is TLDR for me, Sig.

*smile* Good to know.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 1:59 PM  

"No, they go to ministering because they have convinced themselves that the stuff in the Bible doesn't apply to them, because they're special or because it's old or because that Paul dude didn't like women."

Tell me about the large number of female priests in the catholic church.

The fact is that while surely there ARE women that are motivated by such... most are not. Most are motivated by a call to dedicate their lives to serving the church in a concrete way. They then rationalize it as necessary.

i'm not saying women should be ministers. I'm suggesting that there would less of a problem if there was something other than ministers for them to be.

Blogger JCclimber November 27, 2013 1:59 PM  

Vox, need to fix a typo in your comments about withdrawing from speaking at conferences. You left it unchanged from what that piker wrote.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 1:59 PM  

Celibate pastors are just as unbiblical as female pastors, according to 1 Timothy.

Anonymous DonReynolds November 27, 2013 1:59 PM  

Of course, this is all part of the same disease (and myth, and lie) ....... that same egalitarian creed that all people are equal ..... when everyone can see for themselves, that is simply untrue. There is nothing Christian about egalitarianism but I wonder if it is simply an extension of that nutty Congregational church that settled colonial New England (and the mid west states).....the same nutty religion that gave us the radical fringe abolitionists and later those neurotic suffragettes and liquor prohibitionists (temperance). Is this church the source of so much of the division and strife in this country (and its history)? Could it be the Leftist and Liberal influence in America that many wrongly ascribe to Karl Marx and Lenin, that has divided this country into regions from the beginning?

We are all different and necessarily unequal in many ways. Equality is imaginary and unnatural. (Nature is by no means egalitarian. See food chain as an example.) In fact, we are so different from each other that we are all unique and that is why we are so valuable and special. There has never been a ME in this world and when I am gone, there will never be another ME to take my place. Were all people equal, why would any life have value, having so many ready perfect substitutes?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:00 PM  

"Let's not get sidetracked, though. An apostle is not a pastor. Women have played roles in the church; we're just not supposed to lead congregations or assume authority."

So Paul was not a leader of congregations and did assume authority.

gotcha.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 2:02 PM  

The gender of Junias is ambiguous at best.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:03 PM  

Of course you also have Paul praising a female deacon in Romans:

Romans 16

1 G1161 I commend G4921 unto you G5213 Phebe G5402 our G2257 sister G79, which is G5607 a servant G1249 of the church G1577 which G3588 is at G1722 Cenchrea G2747:


"servant" is same word as "deacon" that's used in 1 Timothy.

Anonymous allyn71 November 27, 2013 2:04 PM  

By definition diversity means unequal.

But wait,

Diversity is good, unequal is bad. Diversity = Unequal, Good = Bad. Can't compute, head explodes in 3, 2, 1...Splat.


Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:05 PM  

The gender of Junias is ambiguous at best.

According to whom?

Anonymous stilicho November 27, 2013 2:06 PM  

Josh and sigyn are right and nate sounds like wheeler.

Anonymous Alexander November 27, 2013 2:06 PM  

allyn,

This won't help your poor head, but it must be pointed out that not even is all diversity good!

If the NBA saw, for instance, a 5% increase in the number of white players, this would in fact increase 'diversity', but it would be bad.

THE DIVERSITY, IT HURTZ

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:07 PM  

how do I sound like Wheeler?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:08 PM  

ok.. so far we have three defenses...

1) Just because she was an apostle doesn't mean she was an apostle

2) Apostle doesn't mean like... church leader.

and now...

3) She wasn't actually a woman.

I am amused.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 2:09 PM  

According to whom?

Origen, for one, thought Junias was a dude.

Anonymous allyn71 November 27, 2013 2:10 PM  

"Josh and sigyn are right and nate sounds like wheeler." - stilicho November 27, 2013 2:06 PM

Burn you blasphemous heretic, BURN!

Blogger TontoBubbaGoldstein November 27, 2013 2:10 PM  

Celibate pastors are just as unbiblical as female pastors, according to 1 Timothy.


One of my favorite jokes...

A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the monks are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.

So, the new monk goes to the head abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up. In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.

The head monk says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son." So, he goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn't been opened for hundreds of years.

Hours go by and nobody sees the old abbot. So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing, "We missed the "R", we missed the "R". His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old abbot, "What's wrong, father?" With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, "The word was 'CELEBRATE'!"

Blogger JCclimber November 27, 2013 2:14 PM  

I see the problem that Nate is addressing.

The "Church" more commonly called the Roman Catholic Church, has for centuries made it a central dogma that all authority on Earth belongs to it rather than to Christ. That it holds the keys to heaven. That to serve Christ means you must serve the RCC.

The very language used is a give-away. We. Are. Not. Called. To. Serve. The. Church. We are called to serve Christ. If they want to serve Christ, they can pick up their Bibles, now available in their native language in most cases, and read about Dorcus, and other women in the Bible who somehow managed to serve Christ without becoming ministers, bishops, deacons, or other leaders over men.

Feminism has so long infested this countries institutions, that churchians have no idea what rot they have absorbed through their pores.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 2:15 PM  

"servant" is same word as "deacon" that's used in 1 Timothy.

It's also the same word as servant.


:O - no! (: - yep

:( - shucks

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 2:16 PM  

Nate,

Assuming she was an apostle, of exactly equal standing as the 12 apostles and Paul, is the office of apostle still valid today?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:18 PM  

"The very language used is a give-away. We. Are. Not. Called. To. Serve. The. Church. We are called to serve Christ. "

Yep.

Blogger PVW November 27, 2013 2:18 PM  

Prior to the rise of women's ordination, numbers of Protestant denominations permitted women to be ordained as deacons (deaconesses) under the authority of a minister. I believe the Baptists permit women to serve as deacons, again, under the authorit of a minister.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 2:19 PM  

Tell me about the large number of female priests in the catholic church.

I could tell you about the nuns who are agitating to be priests.

The fact is that while surely there ARE women that are motivated by such... most are not.

Most don't want to be, but feel slighted because they are told they can't be. This has nothing to do with their having an outlet for their "service"; this is envy.

I'm suggesting that there would less of a problem if there was something other than ministers for them to be.

There is plenty for us to do, but whatever it is, that's not good enough for a woman steeped in a feminist culture that values men's work and roles over women's.

So Paul was not a leader of congregations and did assume authority.

He did not assume it; he was granted it. You are now splitting hairs in an effort to defend...what?

Anonymous MrGreenMan November 27, 2013 2:20 PM  

Now, being that I assume the first answer should be "faithful wife of a man in good standing in the local congregation", and I don't look down upon polygamy (assuming the man doesn't swear to exactly one woman), although I don't really see the point of your average man getting married but instead following Paul's example down to the letter (i.e., the AG Omega who would have checked out of the game), there's nothing that says women can't be teachers of other women, and, really, they are supposed to follow the directions in Titus and they are supposed to teach the younger women. Of course, what they teach them is supposed to be the truth as accepted by the local body of elders, not Oprah.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:20 PM  

"Nate,

Assuming she was an apostle, of exactly equal standing as the 12 apostles and Paul, is the office of apostle still valid today?"

Mate the word "apostle" has a definition. Generally... it means one who starts churches. My wife's grandfather for example went around middle TN planting churches. Over a dozen churches exist today that he started 70 years ago.

He was an apostle.

Blogger Buddy E. November 27, 2013 2:22 PM  

I think Nate has a point. If we look at titus 2 we see a good framework of 'how this stuff works' and 2:3 especially in relation to women. The problem is we've (as a Nation) encouraged them to all to run out and get a job, and that saying home and taking care of the homestead is not a 'real job'. As such the 'Older Women' that are commanded in Titus 2 a) don't have anyone TO encourage, and b) are too busy telling the younger women that staying at home is inadequate and they must get out and get a job. Heck I'd argue that women are commanded to minister: to one another and those younger than them.

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 2:22 PM  

Nate,

So if one starts a church, does that mean one can be the leader/pastor/priest, or just be a messenger to start a church?

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:23 PM  

Origen, for one, thought Junias was a dude.

I believe that's what a guy in the 13th century said Origen thought.

Jerome and Chrysostom both thought Junia was a woman.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:25 PM  

"Most don't want to be, but feel slighted because they are told they can't be. This has nothing to do with their having an outlet for their "service"; this is envy."

I attend the UMC remember? I know dozens of female ministers. Of them... I know maybe 3 that this would apply to.

"There is plenty for us to do, but whatever it is, that's not good enough for a woman steeped in a feminist culture that values men's work and roles over women's."

Honey...raising kids and teaching sunday school doesn't like much to someone that wants to dedicate their lives 24-7 to an organization. It like like... what everyone else does.

"He did not assume it; he was granted it. You are now splitting hairs in an effort to defend...what?"

Words have meaning sugartits. Apostle has meaning and there is authority there. Apostle is not a step below minister nor is it equal to it. It is above it.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:26 PM  

"So if one starts a church, does that mean one can be the leader/pastor/priest, or just be a messenger to start a church?"

Messengers are called prophets. Apostles start churches. And you cannot start an organization without also leading it.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:27 PM  

It's also the same word as servant.


:O - no! (: - yep

:( - shucks


Only 8/31 times is it translated as servant, the other times it's translated as minister or deacon. And 6/8 are I'm the gospels before the office of deacon was ever established.

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 2:27 PM  

Nate,

I never took you as one to support woman pastors. Interesting. Thanks for answering my questions.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 2:27 PM  

The very language used is a give-away. We. Are. Not. Called. To. Serve. The. Church. We are called to serve Christ. If they want to serve Christ, they can pick up their Bibles, now available in their native language in most cases, and read about Dorcus, and other women in the Bible who somehow managed to serve Christ without becoming ministers, bishops, deacons, or other leaders over men.

Yes. Yes yes yes YES, that is exactly it. Dorcas and other early sisters did NOT need a committee to tell them to make clothes for widows and orphans, or tend to the sick, or encourage one another. They didn't have black-and-white uniforms, cloistered bunkhouses, or a Mother Superior. They simply did the good that was before them to do.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 2:28 PM  

Jerome and Chrysostom both thought Junia was a woman.

And Epiphanius thought he was a guy.

Like I said....ambiguous at best.

OpenID cailcorishev November 27, 2013 2:28 PM  

I don't see what's controversial about what Nate is saying. Some women wish to dedicate their lives directly to Christ, eschewing marriage and family, just as some men do. The Catholic Church traditionally provided a way for them to do that, giving them orders in which they could work in the community, usually as teachers or nurses, or spend their lives secluded in contemplative prayer. These orders (until things went haywire in the 1960s) were under the authority of the Church and local bishop and hence male supervision, analogous to a wife being subject to her husband. They weren't doing their own thing. Whether or not you're a fan of celibacy and religious orders, this had the effect of putting these unusual women somewhere they could be supervised and kept busy, not out agitating for their "rights."

Protestant churches don't offer anything like that, that I'm aware of. Yes, an individual woman can make a personal vow of celibacy and become a teacher or nurse, but there's no order to guide her. A life dedicated to contemplative prayer isn't possible at all, because she has to eat. The infrastructure just isn't there, so is it surprising that a Protestant woman who feels such a calling winds up as a minister, whether she has feminist tendencies or not?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:29 PM  

"Nate,

I never took you as one to support woman pastors. Interesting. Thanks for answering my questions."

What on earth have I said to make you think I support female ministers?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:30 PM  

Sigs...

You are missing the point. Badly.

Blogger JartStar November 27, 2013 2:32 PM  

What on earth have I said to make you think I support female ministers?

Junia = apostle
Apostle = church planter
Church planter = leader of planted church
Women can plant churches, hence they can be the leaders/ministers of a church.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 2:33 PM  

ok.. so far we have three defenses...

1) Just because she was an apostle doesn't mean she was an apostle

2) Apostle doesn't mean like... church leader.

and now...

3) She wasn't actually a woman.

I am amused.


Try this:

Being an apostle doesn't make her a pastor, priest or overseer.

For context: 'god' doesn't mean 'God'.

The thing they have in common is usage.

You can fill in the rest. It's not as difficult as you made it sound, egghead.

Only 8/31 times is it translated as servant, the other times it's translated as minister or deacon. And 6/8 are I'm the gospels before the office of deacon was ever established.

I'm no mathematician but I believe that number is larger than 0.

I'm just kidding. It would make no difference to me if they translated it into 31 different recipes of sponge pudding.

Anonymous MrGreenMan November 27, 2013 2:34 PM  

You know, a nearby congregationalist baptist church which we're trying to prop back up (we've sent them people, we've sent them a pastor) brought the most interesting thing to our attention in their church constitution:

Apparently, they instituted an office called "deaconess", which formalized membership of the "ladies of the church" to assist with things touching women, children, and preparation for special events.

Of course, this office works now because the pastor we sent them instituted and actual board of elders of men of the congregation, set them over all things in the church, and then made clear to both the deacons and the deaconesses - you will be doers of things, you will be joyous representatives and ambassadors for Christ, but you have no authority, that is the elders.

And I hear everyone's much happier a year into this new structure, and it's growing again.

I think Nate's onto something that, there are some women where, if you give them something that's special, circumscribed, and where they can focus on the doing - they're going to stay out of trouble and not covet male leadership roles.

Anonymous allyn71 November 27, 2013 2:34 PM  

"You are missing the point. Badly."

I am starting to think the Jonathan contagion has mutated and is capable of digital transmission.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:35 PM  

"They didn't have black-and-white uniforms, cloistered bunkhouses, or a Mother Superior. They simply did the good that was before them to do."

Women are far more social creatures than men are. Women crave social organization to the point where I dare say most simply cannot exist in a sane way without it.

The idea that women can just 'look around and do what needs doing" is frankly insane.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 2:35 PM  

I attend the UMC remember? I know dozens of female ministers. Of them... I know maybe 3 that this would apply to.

Why do you sit under the spiritual authority of a woman?

Honey...raising kids and teaching sunday school doesn't like much to someone that wants to dedicate their lives 24-7 to an organization. It like like... what everyone else does.

No kidding. But what's their opinion got to do with reality--or God's will?

Words have meaning sugartits. Apostle has meaning

Yes, it has, saltyballs; it has the meaning it has in the original language. Which I linked.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 2:35 PM  

UMC = dying church.

Anonymous Stilicho November 27, 2013 2:36 PM  

how do I sound like Wheeler?

In this exchange with Sigyn:

No role was provided for women who feel called to serve the church...

"We teach one another and children, and we do works of charity as were done by the women before there were nuns."

You'll understand that those looking to literally devote their lives to the church don't see that as actually devoting your life to the church. ...

"I know. But then again, where are we called to do that?"

collectively you are not. Individuals however... are. Just as individual men feel God's call to serve the church... so do individual women.

The problem is there is no station for individual women to fill...

"What prevents individual women from doing these things if they feel called to it?"

Because there is no church organization for them. It doesn't exist. Because it doesn't exist.. they go to what does exist. Which is ministering.


You suggest that women cannot do these things without the church hierarchy providing a place for them to engage in these activities. That sounds like Wheeler's constant claim of the need for the RCC and a Pope to decide what Jesus really meant. It is also a rather... collectivist... way of looking at the issue. The fact is, if a woman feels called, she can do anything that nuns do and do it on an individual basis or as part of a protestant church that provides the services that nuns often provide. What she cannot do (at least not for long unless she's wealthy) is drop out and lead a monastic style of life.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:37 PM  

"Being an apostle doesn't make her a pastor, priest or overseer."

A=/A.

So... Calvinist then?

Anonymous willneverpostagain November 27, 2013 2:38 PM  

As a catholic growing up, this thread reminds me of an old joke:

Q: What kind of meat does a Priest eat on Friday during Lent?

A. Nun.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:39 PM  

I'm no mathematician but I believe that number is larger than 0.

I'm just kidding. It would make no difference to me if they translated it into 31 different recipes of sponge pudding.


Look dude...every single time it's used in the epistles...it's translated as minister or deacon. The only two times it's translated as servant...are when Paul refers to Phoebe as a deacon or a minister.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:39 PM  

"You suggest that women cannot do these things without the church hierarchy providing a place for them to engage in these activities."

Do you actually know women? Women need organization. if they are going to serve a particular organization... they need a station in that organization to go too.

they are trying to serve... the organization.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 2:41 PM  

Yes, it has, saltyballs;

Please... don't ever... do that... again.

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 2:41 PM  

Yes, an individual woman can make a personal vow of celibacy and become a teacher or nurse, but there's no order to guide her

I can't speak for all protestant churches, but some churches do have a specific call process for women who serve in the church - with established support and an order to guide them. Two such offices for women are deaconess and teacher. Teachers (in lutheran schools) and deaconess' in the LCMS have required training and approval process.

Just a bit about deaconesses –
LCMS deaconesses are women who are full-time professional church-workers, trained to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ through works of mercy, spiritual care, and teaching the Christian faith. "Deaconess," from the Greek word diakonos, means "servant." Because of the strong historic and ongoing human care component in deaconess ministry, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's Deaconess Ministry works closely with LCMS deaconesses across the world.
Today deaconesses serve primarily in three settings:
1. missions—both foreign and domestic;
2. congregations—teaching, visiting the sick and imprisoned, or serving in family or other caring ministry; and
3. institutions—serving as chaplains in hospitals, prisons, retirement communities, and facilities that care for people with developmental disabilities. In order for a deaconess to be endorsed as an LCMS institutional chaplain, she first must complete a master's degree in theology along with four units of clinical pastoral education (CPE). As an institutional chaplain, a deaconess provides valuable spiritual care to those she encounters, complementing the Word and Sacrament ministry of an ordained pastor.

Anonymous MrGreenMan November 27, 2013 2:42 PM  

Do you actually know women? Women need organization. if they are going to serve a particular organization... they need a station in that organization to go too.

they are trying to serve... the organization.


Example: If you stop at the PCUSA social club, and watch the job of "church secretary", which is a female volunteer position, and, clearly the highest ranking "official" title, since she gets the office key, see the amount of fighting over who's going to sit in that chair. I knew a woman that was clearly agnostic at best, but she was hell bent (ha) on being the church secretary, doing her things, and being seen being the church secretary and hustling about and laboring in that role for the institution.

Anonymous Alexander November 27, 2013 2:43 PM  

Nate's got the right of it.

Yes, perhaps it *shouldn't* matter. They should seek to serve Christ, not the Church. But this is like men complaining that Christian women won't just submit to their husbands. Yes, perhaps they should, but denying game exists because it shouldn't have to defeats the point. Likewise, denying women need organization because they shouldn't clearly isn't helping matters.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:45 PM  

JDC

If I may ask... do you note a movement withing the LCMS for women to be ministers?

Anonymous Myrddin November 27, 2013 2:46 PM  

The Spirit to which Tony Jones is listening to is not the Holy Spirit. It is the sweetly whispering voice of the Prince of This World.

I wouldn't say it's the Holy Spirit, sure. But I wouldn't say it's Satan either. The devil would presumably prefer to keep the tares amidst the wheat.

A lotta people on all sides like to mistake their feelings for the voice of God.

Anonymous Stilicho November 27, 2013 2:48 PM  

Do you actually know women? Women need organization. if they are going to serve a particular organization... they need a station in that organization to go too.

they are trying to serve... the organization.


If they are merely looking to serve an organization, then they are not called to anything by God. Their own desire or ego perhaps, but not God. That way lies churchianity. More to the point, women need leadership. If you give them an organization, they will feminize it to suit their desires.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 2:50 PM  

I am starting to think the Jonathan contagion has mutated and is capable of digital transmission.

Sounds plausible. I'm not great with names, but I thought Nate was one of the more onto it guys.

So... Calvinist then?

:)

Yeah, I'd vote he's an idiot wanderer of some kind.

Look dude...every single time it's used in the epistles...it's translated as minister or deacon. The only two times it's translated as servant...are when Paul refers to Phoebe as a deacon or a minister.

That's cool. When I need to ask someone how many times someone else translated the same word different ways, I'll come straight to you. You've got it sussed.

But how's this? I can translate too! And I think that I'll translate it as 'servant' 20 times. Because I'm a dangerous man.

You know, I don't even know what your original point was. Your argument was just too silly to pass up.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:50 PM  

" That way lies churchianity. More to the point, women need leadership. If you give them an organization, they will feminize it to suit their desires."

Wrong.

Look at the LCMS example. You create a non-leadership position for them to serve in... and you see that the elders of the church are over-seeing it.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:51 PM  

So...apostle doesn't mean apostle...deacon doesn't mean deacon...no doubt Philip's daughters who prophesied didn't actually do that...

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 2:51 PM  

You are missing the point. Badly.

No, Nate. Listen up:

The idea that women can just 'look around and do what needs doing" is frankly insane.

Look, I'm not saying that women shouldn't form committees to work together (which we do). What I'm saying is that you don't need a super-special group of modern-day Vestal Virgins in order to prevent women from getting what's basically envy.

And yes, all of the propositions of Christianity are "insane", particularly in light of human nature. But one of the things that happens to us is that we change, grow, TRANSFORM into something alien to this world and conforming to the Lord.

We are all impossible, Nate. And yet here we are.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:52 PM  

Mudz

How about you go ahead and explain the difference between Apostle and apostle for us... and do take the time to provide specific reasons for claiming that there is different usage for the words. In greek.

Thanks!

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 2:52 PM  

On a semi-related note, I believe part of the women / men pastor issue can be traced to the belief that a pastor is somehow above his congregation, and therefore becomes an office that people covet for purposes of power or authority. A pastor is no better / no worse, no more important / less important - just another part of the body of Christ. A pastor serves - I like to refer to this as under-shepherd. And what did the Good Shepherd do for his flock? He suffered the perils of humanity and died for it. He served unto death. He didn't consider use his divinity to be served - but to serve.

Pastors are men called to a specific ministry - some call it Word and Sacrament, some call it the office of preaching and teaching... Some may argue that this ministry is more important than other offices, but we would of course be ignoring Paul's point about the body of Christ - many members, one body.

One of the first things I did at my congregation was to work on their by-laws, namely - to re work their hierarchical chart. They had the senior pastor at the top with elders, church council following and then the other various offices filled in below, finally with the "congregation" at the bottom. We reversed it, and i demanded this change - because that is IMO how it should be. The pastor serves the congregation and is accountable first to Christ, and then to the people - not the other way around.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 2:54 PM  

You know, I don't even know what your original point was. Your argument was just too silly to pass up.

My original point was that Paul identified that Phoebe was serving the church as a deacon.

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 2:55 PM  

If I may ask... do you note a movement withing the LCMS for women to be ministers?

Nope. I can honestly say that I don't believe it will ever happen. From time to time people try to get a memorial at a synod convention (or district conventions) and the committee's simply say there is no reason to even discuss it. Any professor teaching this nonsense is immediately removed from the seminary.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 2:55 PM  

"What I'm saying is that you don't need a super-special group of modern-day Vestal Virgins in order to prevent women from getting what's basically envy."

Thats a cute little strawman there darlin' but no one was arguing that point.

OpenID cailcorishev November 27, 2013 2:56 PM  

Women are far more social creatures than men are. Women crave social organization to the point where I dare say most simply cannot exist in a sane way without it.

The idea that women can just 'look around and do what needs doing" is frankly insane.


And in fact if you look at what happened to women's religious orders in the past 50 years, you see plenty of proof of that. When they started ignoring authority and voting on their own decisions, they broke out of their traditional roles and got into politics, stopped wearing the habits that set them apart, moved from the convents into apartments, and generally just went nuts. Most dropped out completely, but those who stayed in became far more radical than their male priest/monk counterparts. They're also dying out, because they offer nothing a woman couldn't do on her own while keeping her other options open.

Some traditional orders have begun to reemerge, going back to full habits and traditional roles. They're still a small minority, but they're being overrun by young women who feel called to make an ultimate commitment to Christ, not to peace rallies or stumping for socialized health care.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 2:58 PM  


How about you go ahead and explain the difference between Apostle and apostle for us... and do take the time to provide specific reasons for claiming that there is different usage for the words. In greek.

Thanks!


Well first of all, you suddenly learned how to do capitals. I'm impressed.

Second of all, kiss my ass. :)

Anonymous allyn71 November 27, 2013 2:59 PM  

"What I'm saying is that you don't need a super-special group of modern-day Vestal Virgins in order to prevent women from getting what's basically envy." - Sigyn November 27, 2013 2:51 PM

Goalpost...moved.

Anonymous Myrddin November 27, 2013 3:00 PM  

JDC -

As a newbie in the LCMS, I am also interested in your response to Nate's question. I went in on doctrinal agreement after long, drawn out arguments with a Lutheran. I've not sussed out where it sits socially (nor am I well suited to doing so).

Anonymous Myrddin November 27, 2013 3:01 PM  

Ack... never mind. You got to it already. Thanks.

Blogger Mom November 27, 2013 3:01 PM  

I am a woman.
I don't need a organization to help me teach teach children (I taught Sunday School and in a Christian School),to feed and clothe the poor (I give to charity and personally give my resources to those around me) and anything else the Bible says to do. If I desire authority, attention, and an audience that's different. But if I want to serve Christ I just look around me and serve my husband, children, parents, neighbors, friends, extended family, etc.etc. etc.

Blogger PVW November 27, 2013 3:02 PM  

Yes, an individual woman can make a personal vow of celibacy and become a teacher or nurse, but there's no (Protestant) order to guide her

Me: There are religious orders for Anglican men and women; and since we are talking about women, the women in these orders are nuns.

Anonymous Wendy November 27, 2013 3:05 PM  

Nate isn't proscribing, he's explaining.

Anonymous MrGreenMan November 27, 2013 3:07 PM  

@Mom

Good, and that is to be commended. The inordinate amount of the conversation is focused on what to do with the foolish virgins, not the wise ones, who are going to either be too lazy, too stupid, too clueless, too conformist, or too covetous.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 3:07 PM  

Well first of all, you suddenly learned how to do capitals. I'm impressed.

Second of all, kiss my ass. :)


I don't think that's going to work

Now...what's the difference between Apostle and apostle?

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma November 27, 2013 3:08 PM  

God, himself, will not be hemmed in by our human traditions, or understanding. If he wants women in leadership (defined as being in AUTHORITY over men), he will. Consider Deborah. She COMMANDED the Lord's army when no male stepped up. It was considered a curse and a rebuke to the men.

According to my biblical understanding, I've got no problem with women TEACHING at the front of the congregation. My panties get bunched when women have pastoral AUTHORITY over men.

And I think that I revere the written Word of God as much as the next guy.

But as far as women in leadership are symptomatic of a greater and more insidious liberalism, yes, it behooves one to be suspicious of such "churches." Next thing you know you'll have church leaders denying the virgin birth, the vicarious atonement, and the resurrection, and anointing open homosexuals as church leaders. Oh, wait. . . .

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:11 PM  

"Nope. I can honestly say that I don't believe it will ever happen."

So we have two examples of organizations that have some kind or position for women... LCMS and the Catholics... and in each case... we see women in those institutions are less likely to clamour for roles as ministers.

This is just a hypothesis and an observation. Not a conclusion.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:13 PM  

"Well first of all, you suddenly learned how to do capitals. I'm impressed.

Second of all, kiss my ass. :)"

That's cute. You made an assertion. Back it up or retract it.

Bitch.

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 3:14 PM  

As a newbie in the LCMS, I am also interested in your response to Nate's question. I went in on doctrinal agreement after long, drawn out arguments with a Lutheran.

Of course it may just be wishful thinking on my part (e.g. there never being women pastors), but I believe it starts at the seminary and with leadership. The seminary's are crystal clear in teaching that only men are to be pastors - and, from what I've seen, experienced and read - the leaders (district presidents and other such leaders) are in complete agreement.

I'm also a relative newbie in the LCMS. Although I grew up LCMS, I attended and ELCA seminary and served as a pastor for 5 years in the ELCA before deciding to cast the dust off my feet and move, through colloquy to the LCMS.

The LCMS addressed this most recently in 2004, where they held that women can, "serve in humanly established offices" as long as those offices do not include any of the "distinctive functions of the pastoral office."

Pragmatically I believe the LCMS understands that the women ordination thing is the one thing that publicly differentiates them from other protestant churches (Methodists, Whiskeypalions, Presbyterians, UCC, ELCA...). There are of course many other doctrinal issues - but for many Lutherans, this is the only one they care about.

I think there is a basic understanding that women as pastors would destroy the LCMS, and we got enough problems as it is.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:14 PM  

"I am a woman.
I don't need a organization to help me teach teach children (I taught Sunday School and in a Christian School),to feed and clothe the poor (I give to charity and personally give my resources to those around me) and anything else the Bible says to do"

Well....

Isn't that special.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 3:17 PM  

Here is some more information about Origen, Epiphanius, and Junia/Junias.

It's not really ambiguous, the evidence before the 13th century points to Junia being a woman. Epiphanius also said Priscilla was a man, which is obviously wrong.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 3:23 PM  

That's cute. You made an assertion. Back it up or retract it.

Bitch.


My pleasure. I'm excited you asked.

'Angel' means messenger, but postmen aren't supernatural beings. Easy.

But let's go further. It doesn't actually matter that it's the same word. Apostle does not mean overseer of the congregation or leader. The fact that they were leaders was something that happened. The fact that they were leaders (or became so) doesn't change the meaning of 'apostle'.

We know them as the 12 Apostles, because that sounds Very Important, and they were. They were also called disciples, but that didn't mean all the disciples of Jesus enjoyed a similiar position as them.

Hermes is messenger for the Olympian gods, and Gabriel is a messenger for God, and that Postman Pat is a messenger for the local suburb. But they're not all the same critter!

Let's try another one.

Jesus was called 'Rabbi'. Now does that mean that all the Rabbis are Messiahs and the son of God?

It's not a trick question. The answer is 'No'.

I think that's a wrap.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 3:27 PM  

/facepalm

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 3:30 PM  

Careful, Josh, you need all the braincells you can get. Hahaha, you seriously suck at provocation. I kinda feel bad.

Blogger The Deuce November 27, 2013 3:31 PM  

I see that he's a member of the Contradiction-In-Terms Channel, I mean the Progressive Christian Channel, at Patheos.

Blogger Outlaw X November 27, 2013 3:36 PM  

OT

Most people will be celebrating with family tomorrow and won't be on the blog. I want wish Vox, SB and all the wonderful ilk a very happy Thanksgiving and great fun with your family and friends.

Anonymous MattN November 27, 2013 3:36 PM  

This issue hits close to home. I left a church that I had been attending for six years because they had a woman preach one week. It's been a few months and I still haven't found a church I feel comfortable with or called to.

I have connections to the LCMS and I can echo what JDC says. They're rather dogmatic about their views, not meant as an insult, women ministers won't happen there.

Anonymous Stilicho November 27, 2013 3:39 PM  

You create a non-leadership position for them to serve in... and you see that the elders of the church are over-seeing it.

Sure. That's in line with what I said. This /= nunnery. Leadership, guidance, yes. Organization, no. Just look at what feminist nuns are trying to do to that institution. You're letting your pontification interfere with your comprehension.

As for the LCMS example, I'm not familiar with it.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:42 PM  

"Sure. That's in line with what I said. This /= nunnery. Leadership, guidance, yes. Organization, no. Just look at what feminist nuns are trying to do to that institution. "

Maybe you assumed I was saying something that I wasn't saying.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 3:47 PM  

Nate, you're clearly trying to set up protestant convents so you can have your own castle anthrax...

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 3:49 PM  

I want wish Vox, SB and all the wonderful ilk a very happy Thanksgiving and great fun with your family and friends.

Amen brother. I can say that I have had the best pre-Thanksgiving day ever - a day so moving that I was led to shed tears (I submit that a man can shed tears and not be gay - given the proper circumstances).

Went hunting with my 7 y/o today. I don't usually take him out because he only lasts about a 1/2 hour, but this time he promised, "Dad, I won't want to go home too soon." (Of course angry birds - star wars on the Kindle helped with this).

We got set up in the blind, organized our stuff, the boy started playing the kindle. I set my Mossberg 12 gauge with new rifled barrel and scope with stainless steel mounting clips, loaded three rounds of lightfield sabot slugs, engaged a shell and set my rifle down.

As I was rummaging through my backpack for grizzly wintergreen pouches I hear, "Dad - a buck." Sure enough - a small 6-point is sniffing around about 100 yds away. I had to restrain the boy - he was ready to jump out of his seat. Since I'm not an expert shot - I like my prey to be withing 50 yds when using my shotgun (my 7mm is a different story, but in lower MI one can only use shotguns during rifle season). So we waited. My son's heart was pounding as strongly as mine was. He continued coming in, I aimed, told the boy to cover his hears and blammo - dropped him immediately.

We waited 15 minutes for him to bleed out, and then proceeded to check that he was indeed dead (I prefer poking them in the eye with a stick). My son participated in field dressing said deer (he had a problem with the butt-out tool, but I highly recommend this for ease of dressing). He asked if we could keep and eat the heart...and that is what brought tears to my eyes. To be able to participate with him in a kill is something I, or he, will never forget.

He will be a hunter - I have passed on something to this boy. I look forward to tomorrow, where we will gather with family to enjoy a repast of turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and deer heart - sliced thin, grilled with onions and peppers.

God is good. I have much to be thankful for.

Anonymous Stilicho November 27, 2013 3:50 PM  

He was obsessed with that spanking machine a while back...

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 3:53 PM  

"I am a woman.
I don't need a organization to help me teach teach children (I taught Sunday School and in a Christian School),to feed and clothe the poor (I give to charity and personally give my resources to those around me) and anything else the Bible says to do"

Well....

Isn't that special.


There you go. Woman provides direct testimony that these things can be done without authority directing her, and because it doesn't fit with Nate's narrative that women CAN'T do that, it's dismissed as "special".

But that's okay. It's about as logical and rational as the people who assume that I'm arguing against collective work.

The inordinate amount of the conversation is focused on what to do with the foolish virgins, not the wise ones, who are going to either be too lazy, too stupid, too clueless, too conformist, or too covetous.

How about you teach them what it means to be Christian women? You know, help them grow, instead of just giving them busywork and warehousing them?

Anonymous jwbs November 27, 2013 3:54 PM  

JDC,

Thank you for your explanation. I joined an LCMS church a bit over a year ago because of the women ordination issue. I had attended Baptist and Presbyterian churches beforehand, but grew increasingly frustrated when strong male pastors were replaced, even temporarily, by women.

I don't think anyone denies that women have a role to play in the Church. We merely don't accept them as leaders of the flock. However, they serve important roles - often roles that men of the community will not fulfill. I think one of the reasons that women find more positions in traditional churches is because men do not take on the responsibility. That is an issue that needs to be addressed (I'm not casting stones, I have not accepted that call myself yet).

Thank you for your service to our God.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:55 PM  

"This issue hits close to home. I left a church that I had been attending for six years because they had a woman preach one week. It's been a few months and I still haven't found a church I feel comfortable with or called to. "

Look mate... a bit of advice... if you go through life leaving every church you attend as soon as it does something you disagree with... you're never going to belong to any church for very long.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 3:55 PM  

"There you go. Woman provides direct testimony that these things can be done without authority directing her, and because it doesn't fit with Nate's narrative that women CAN'T do that, it's dismissed as "special"."

Its called snowflaking. We mock it for a reason.

Blogger JCclimber November 27, 2013 3:56 PM  

What is it with the opposition to women giving a sermon?
As long as they have a man in authority over them, I have no problem with listening to a sermon now and then from a woman. As long as they are sharing a testimony, it is clearly understood that they are sharing a testimony, and that the purpose of their sermon is to lift up Christ - it's very good.
Just don't let them veer into making the sermon about themselves. It must always be about Christ. Crucified.

Actually, the same standard should be applied to men preachers as well. I think I've hit upon an ancient formula for church growth!

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 4:00 PM  

Thanks, Josh. That was interesting. Makes for an interesting mental image, too.

Junia, the female apostle who is not permitted to teach, to have authority, or to speak.

Gloria Allred would have sued the crap out of Paul.

Blogger Joel November 27, 2013 4:02 PM  

Consider Deborah. She COMMANDED the Lord's army when no male stepped up. It was considered a curse and a rebuke to the men.

This is Incorrect. Barak led and commanded the Israelite military, not Deborah.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 4:06 PM  

Its called snowflaking. We mock it for a reason.

Yes, because you assume it's attention-whoring.

Never mind that you're being illogical.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:06 PM  

"Nate, you're clearly trying to set up protestant convents so you can have your own castle anthrax..."

BLAST!!!! Foiled again!!!

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:07 PM  

"Yes, because you assume it's attention-whoring.

Never mind that you're being illogical."

No. Because solipsism.

One person is irrelevant.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 4:08 PM  

Barak led and commanded the Israelite military, not Deborah.

It's true. Where he fouled up was insisting that she had to go with him and hold his hand, or else he was just going to stay home.

Jael, on the other hand, got the kill on Sisera.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:09 PM  

"Junia, the female apostle who is not permitted to teach, to have authority, or to speak. "

Your problem isn't with Josh mate. Its with the Bible.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 4:10 PM  

One person is irrelevant.

Nope. One person may not be statistically significant for purposes of trends and overall tendencies, but when you make a "not possible" statement, one example blows it away.

Anonymous Shutterbug November 27, 2013 4:12 PM  

Didn't we establish in the Pink SF thread that feminine strengths are non-glamorous and boring and that women hate to be excluded from anything? Well, they're excluded by scripture from holding positions of authority over men, and taking care of the sick, elderly, needy and the children, and teaching the young women how to be busy at home is pretty messy and non-glamorous and thankless a lot of the time. Women who do these things have to wait to get their "Well done" from the King in person. So, they're attracted to being pastors because exclusion and quite frankly, I think, the attention it gets them.

Blogger Weouro November 27, 2013 4:12 PM  

Let them be anathema from what? The local congregation? Schism is only possible when there is a central authority. Otherwise you're just talking about denominational differences. Different "flavors" of Christianity, as I've heard it described.

Some nuns are clamoring for leadership roles. Pope Francis seems to be encouraging them somewhat, unfortunately.

Anna was basically a nun, or an anchorite, who was living at the temple when they brought the infant Jesus to see the priest.

Mary sitting at his feet while Martha was bustling around is taken as affirmation of the contemplative life for women.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:12 PM  

No you're just being deliberately obtuse for the sake of it. What is possible for one is irrelevant to the collective Sigyn.

Blogger JDC November 27, 2013 4:12 PM  

Nate is a knight of the Word, and understands his duty as a knight, to try and sample as much peril as he can.

Anonymous VD November 27, 2013 4:15 PM  

This issue hits close to home. I left a church that I had been attending for six years because they had a woman preach one week. It's been a few months and I still haven't found a church I feel comfortable with or called to.

Keep looking. And keep an eye on your previous church. I will bet you it starts observably moving away from Scripture and its former doctrine.

Blogger Weouro November 27, 2013 4:16 PM  

Let them be anathema from what? The local congregation? Schism is only possible when there is a central authority. Otherwise you're just talking about denominational differences. Different "flavors" of Christianity, as I've heard it described.

Some nuns are clamoring for leadership roles. Pope Francis seems to be encouraging them somewhat, unfortunately.

Anna was basically a nun, or an anchorite, who was living at the temple when they brought the infant Jesus to see the priest.

Mary sitting at his feet while Martha was bustling around is taken as affirmation of the contemplative life for women.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 4:17 PM  

Your problem isn't with Josh mate. Its with the Bible.

Huh? I don't have a problem with Josh. Or the Bible.

Feel free to continue ordaining women pastors in direct contradiction of the bible. Your denomination will continue to die. And I don't have a problem with that either.

Blogger Weouro November 27, 2013 4:19 PM  

Also the Bible isn't in the Bible. Why accept one organic development like the canon and not another such as the celibate religious life?

Anonymous MrGreenMan November 27, 2013 4:19 PM  

@Sigyn

How about you teach them what it means to be Christian women? You know, help them grow, instead of just giving them busywork and warehousing them?

I reference you to MrGreenMan's first remark at 2:20 pm, in particular:

there's nothing that says women can't be teachers of other women, and, really, they are supposed to follow the directions in Titus and they are supposed to teach the younger women. Of course, what they teach them is supposed to be the truth as accepted by the local body of elders, not Oprah.

Now, sometimes, having them do tasks is all they are capable of; sometimes, having them do tasks breaks them down and makes them susceptible to being taught; sometimes, if they are stiff necked, having them do tasks just shuts them up. The same thing can be said about men.

Of course, given my previous remarks, I'd quibble with your classification of busywork and warehousing, but I'd also say - somebody with the initiative to go do something isn't going to be affected one way or another if there's an organized process for getting the lazy, indolent, and insolent moving in the right direction to submission to the elders of the local church.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:28 PM  

"eel free to continue ordaining women pastors in direct contradiction of the bible. Your denomination will continue to die. And I don't have a problem with that either."

As we've shown.. the Bible is not nearly as conclusive on this is as you appear to believe.

Paul was writing to Timothy about his churches on Crete. We have no idea if Paul intended his words to be applied broadly or not. Nor do we know how to reconcile them with the outright praise of female apostles and female deacons.

Its always nice when scripture is cut and dry. The problem is... it often isn't.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 4:29 PM  

Feel free to continue ordaining women pastors in direct contradiction of the bible. Your denomination will continue to die. And I don't have a problem with that either.

The guy who wrote that overseers and deacons should be married men...also praised a woman who was an apostle with her husband...and another woman who was a deacon...

Might I suggest that it's not as simplistic as you might desire it to be?

Anonymous Christian in Hollyweird November 27, 2013 4:34 PM  

ok I've never really thought about this besides woman ministers/preachers/ clearly being unbiblical. is it wrong for women to "lead" anything in the church?

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 4:36 PM  

Paul was writing to Timothy about his churches on Crete. We have no idea if Paul intended his words to be applied broadly or not.

Same kind of argument gay pastors make. See how it creeps in?

The guy who wrote that overseers and deacons should be married men...also praised a woman who was an apostle with her husband...and another woman who was a deacon...

Probably because they kept their mouths shut?

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 4:40 PM  

Probably because they kept their mouths shut?

Then how did the daughters of Philip prophesy?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:41 PM  

"Same kind of argument gay pastors make. See how it creeps in?"

Really? Homosexual sight Paul praising homosexual church leaders?

Fascinating.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma November 27, 2013 4:42 PM  

@Nate from 2:52 PM, on Apostle vs. apostle.

"Apostolos" from Strong's Concordance #652 means "sent one."

The original 12 Apostles are Apostles with a capital A because they were the original ones entrusted wtih the gospel and sent out into all the world.

Apostle with a small "a" is an office, much like a pastor or evangelist, recognized as an office in texts such as 1 Cor. 12:28 and Eph. 4:11.

Peter, called Cephas, was an Apostle, one of the original 12 entrusted with the gospel and with doctrinal authority to define it.

Your maternal grandfather, was an apostle, in an office every bit as valid as Peter or Paul's.

Though the Greek word is the same in both instances in which I differentiate capital and small "A," the difference is discerned from the context, not from the word's definition.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 4:43 PM  

...and I believe he was writing to Timothy about the churches in Ephesus, not Crete.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 4:46 PM  

BFT

Excellent.

Now we have to if Mudz realizes why this just annihilated his assertion.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 4:46 PM  

Timothy was in Ephesus, Titus was in Crete. My bad.

Anonymous Sigyn November 27, 2013 4:46 PM  

No you're just being deliberately obtuse for the sake of it. What is possible for one is irrelevant to the collective Sigyn.

Nope. I got sidetracked by trivialities. Back on target:

The push for women in authority is not due to boredom or lack of a constructive channel for zeal, any more than the Knockout Game is due to a lack of basketball courts and libraries. It's, pure and simple, a refusal to accept right and wrong where it is inconvenient to what they want right now.

It's feminism, which is envy, and the tool of those who want to destroy what they can't subvert. No number of holy sewing circles or cloistered convents will fend that off; only the Truth sets us free.

If a woman wants to contemplate God, then let her contemplate that.

Anonymous VD November 27, 2013 4:47 PM  

Might I suggest that it's not as simplistic as you might desire it to be?

No. We have a heuristic. "By their fruits you shall know them."

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 4:47 PM  

Fascinating.

That's how it starts, yep. "Oh, Paul was only speaking to a local congregation using language that reflected the prejudices of the times. We've come a long way since then..."

Blogger Quadko November 27, 2013 4:50 PM  

I've dealt with this issue intimately. My wife has a Masters of Divinity, is ordained, and is a hospital chaplain. I went from ignorant obliviousness to the center of the fight through her training.

This is not a binary issue. I've attended a church where women weren't allowed to speak in the sanctuary (other than to sing… odd exemption, that), and churches with female pastors and mostly female staff, and several other mixes in between, and I've studied the biblical passages and the arguments on both sides to at least be familiar with the arguments and know where I stand.

The problem with the 'no women' side is that women are biblically instructed to teach other women and children; many 'no women' people disallow that or disallow the seminary training that would prepare women for teaching knowledgeably, and often forbid such teaching, much less other ministry other than cooking for potluck.

And we all create human organizations and call them 'churches', create roles of powerful leadership and authority unknown to first century Christians and call them 'pastors', and then say 'the Bible says women can't be pastors of churches' – which becomes simple word games for power, not actual scriptural teaching. Most of the “pastors as a job” aren’t biblical “people given the spiritual gift of pastoring”, so it’s hard to legitimately apply such limitations.

But the 'all women' people have trouble, too, embracing cultural movements from feminine superior power, 'women aren't sinners the way men are', and ignoring biblical passages that get in their way just as readily as the 'no women' side.

We are responsible before God for our beliefs and how we treat others. I've decided I'd rather err toward permissiveness and be forgiven for the not-very-biblically-bad sin of letting sisters in Christ participate fully under the "neither male and female, all one in Christ" umbrella rather than the biblically-very-bad sins of silencing the Spirit, refusing to listen to God’s voice, and suppressing God’s work in my sister.

I’m also greatly cautious since the Bible explicitly saying Philips daughters prophesied and that God would give His Spirit to women (and men), and they would prophesy. Men who refuse to hear God’s word from a woman’s mouth when He said He’d speak through them are not men I intend to learn from; how seriously can they be taking the bible for all their externally pious ‘no women because the bible says so’ stance?

Ultimately, in the body of Christ, His spirit providing the truth and action, we seem to all be co-laborers at His tasks, and we would all have the freedom to minister as we are lead. If He doesn’t want women to do something, He won’t lead them to that, just to other ministries He does want them to do.

However, since we mostly organize ourselves into man-made structures, and give power and prestige to certain jobs and positions, then of course we are involved in gender struggles amidst our other sins, and of course historically masculine “church” organizations find the same thing every masculine organization finds: “women ruin everything.”

It isn’t a binary issue; the only solution I see is recognition of the importance of “more God-lead body, less man-made organizations”. The organizations we build are just our human responses to the truth of God, and our idea of how to accomplish His work.

These gender problems of both sides are issues of our sinful dead nature, not the unity of the Body of Christ and our new alive nature. That's why they parallel the gender problems of worldly organizations.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 4:54 PM  

No. We have a heuristic. "By their fruits you shall know them."

Do you think Paul saw that the fruit produced by Junia and Phoebe was good?

Blogger Tracy Coyle November 27, 2013 4:56 PM  

Judge them by their own standards.... There is no Scriptural support for a woman leading a congregation. When I was part of a fundi church, women served in many positions, but none in leadership (except as teachers of other women and children). If you are going to be a Christian following Scripture, women don't serve in leadership.

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma November 27, 2013 4:56 PM  

@Joel from 4:02 PM. I stand corrected on the technicalities. Judges 4:4 says Deborah was "leading Israel" at the time, though she was not the commander of the army, but appointed him as commander.

It was considered a rebuke to the men that a woman, Jael, got to kill Sisera. The text does NOT imply one way or another whether Deborah leading Israel, instead of a male, was a bad thing. Hmmm. . . .

Anonymous jwbs November 27, 2013 5:00 PM  

Quadko - sounds like a Pro-Family Republican with a "gay" son

Anonymous VD November 27, 2013 5:00 PM  

Do you think Paul saw that the fruit produced by Junia and Phoebe was good?

Irrelevant. I have not seen a single positive example. I haven't even heard of one. I am not responsible for Paul's discernment, I am responsible for my own.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 5:02 PM  

Then how did the daughters of Philip prophesy?

Prophecy is not teaching or taking authority over a man.

Look, Paul said women are not to have authority over men. He cited Adam and Eve as his primary source for this. My personal experience shows that violating Paul's directive is nearly always a disaster. So I lean towards taking Paul at his word.

Maybe your experience is different and women have been able to successfully subjugate you to their authority. I just haven't experienced this.

Anonymous Mudz November 27, 2013 5:04 PM  

Now we have to if Mudz realizes why this just annihilated his assertion.

Because my posts are allergic to irrelevant musings about theopolitical structure that essentially agree with them?

I honestly didn't know that was a thing.

That was an incredibly lame attempt to toss bait. Like I wasn't going to instantly see that he contradicted your barely existent argument instead. That trick only works on insecure intellectuals. I'm an emotionally oblivious brazen idiot. Adjust your strategy.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 5:06 PM  

Look, Paul said women are not to have authority over men. He cited Adam and Eve as his primary source for this. My personal experience shows that violating Paul's directive is nearly always a disaster. So I lean towards taking Paul at his word.

Do apostles and deacons have authority?

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 5:07 PM  

Prophecy is not teaching or taking authority over a man.

Nor is it keeping one's mouth shut.

Anonymous Joe Doakes November 27, 2013 5:11 PM  

Florence King said it best in National Review in 2004:

"Now, a word to Catholics who would follow the dictates of their consciences instead of the dictates of the Vatican: congratulations, you're Protestant."

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 5:18 PM  

Do apostles and deacons have authority?

If they are men, yes.

Nor is it keeping one's mouth shut.

Paul didn't mean they couldn't ever speak. He was specific.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 5:22 PM  

"No. We have a heuristic. "By their fruits you shall know them."

indeed.

And by that same heuristic men shouldn't be ministers either.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 5:32 PM  

"If they are men, yes. "

The amusing thing here is... you appear to really believe that one can be leader without being a leader.

Blogger Eric Wilson November 27, 2013 5:35 PM  

To provide another Protestant counterpart to nuns, WELS has a position of Staff Minister. These called workers can be of either sex and from what I know ( I've never been at a congregation with one) their duties are very similar to JDC's description of LCMS's deaconesses.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 5:37 PM  

"To provide another Protestant counterpart to nuns, WELS has a position of Staff Minister. "

Wow. Are they the folks that don't even let their women vote?

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 5:38 PM  

The amusing thing here is... you appear to really believe that one can be leader without being a leader.

Why do think deacon always means "authority over men"?

Come on, fellas. By using your preferred definitions inhere and how you please, you make Paul out to be a self-contradictory moron - which he was not.

Context, context, context.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 5:39 PM  

"Come on, fellas. By using your preferred definitions inhere and how you please, you make Paul out to be a self-contradictory moron - which he was not. "

Did Debra have authority over men?

Anonymous BluntForceTrauma November 27, 2013 5:42 PM  

@VD from 5:00 PM: First, addressing the comment implying Junia was a female apostle. The text is not explicit, but knowing how Paul felt about women in authority, I HIGHLY doubt it.

Now, regarding feeling free to disagree with Paul: He, himself, was careful in some instances to delineate when his teaching about gray areas was a result of his personal judgment, as opposed to teachings "from the Lord." See 1 Cor. 7:10 ("not I, but the Lord") as opposed to 1 Cor. 7:12 ("I, not the Lord").

I'm willing to speculate that Paul's prohibition in 1 Tim. 2:12 is his personal judgment, since it is phrased that way: "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man."

Blogger Eric Wilson November 27, 2013 5:42 PM  

Nate,

They aren't voting members of the church but outside the church they can.

Anonymous Porky November 27, 2013 6:04 PM  

Did Debra have authority over men?

Gee, it's almost as if Paul - the bible scholar - had never heard of Deborah.

Way to catch Paul in another lie, Nate. Be sure to tell him he's a blithering idiot.

Anonymous VD November 27, 2013 6:11 PM  

And by that same heuristic men shouldn't be ministers either.

That's obviously incorrect.

Anonymous Josh November 27, 2013 6:15 PM  

Irrelevant. I have not seen a single positive example. I haven't even heard of one.

I'll offer one.

Roland and Heidi Baker of Iris Ministries.

Anonymous I Wonder November 27, 2013 6:15 PM  

Was this Deborah a Christian?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 6:16 PM  

"That's obviously incorrect."

Is it?

What female minister did more theological damage than Calvin?

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 6:25 PM  

"Was this Deborah a Christian?"

Nope.

She was however placed in authority over men... by God... and did a rather bang up job.

Anonymous Cajin November 27, 2013 6:27 PM  

Building plans. This was well known among pentecostal preachers. Want to motivate church members? Start a building plan, add a new section, start a new program. It'll take years to develop and the whole while the folks will be motivated towards a particular, concrete goal.

As others have pointed out, there is not a definitive outlet for those who eschew marriage and children within Protestantism. Idle hands are the devils playthings.

Waste of resources unless it's a school or something with a purpose approaching 16 hours per day, not just Sundays and Wednesday night basketball.

Anonymous Not an apostle November 27, 2013 6:36 PM  

There were only 12 Apostles. 12 is a significant biblical number, relating to divinely appointed government.

and

The New Jerusalem has twelve gates of pearls, twelve angels at the gates and the names of the 12 tribes of Israel over the gates. The wall of the city has 12 foundations of precious stones; in them are the names of the twelve apostles. The wall is 144 cubits high (12 x 12). The city is 12,000 furlongs (1,500 miles) square.

I would be willing to wager a sportman's bet that Junia's name will not appear in a precious stone.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 6:42 PM  

"There were only 12 Apostles. 12 is a significant biblical number, relating to divinely appointed government."

So... you missed the whole discussion about the difference between Apostle and apostle huh?

k.

Anonymous Not an apostle November 27, 2013 6:47 PM  

"So... you missed the whole discussion about the difference between Apostle and apostle huh?"

I have another life, but I am glad that is was finally sorted out. Well done. It would be a shame to ignore the basics.

Blogger IM2L844 November 27, 2013 6:48 PM  

You can't make a compelling case for a generality with outliers.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 7:06 PM  

"You can't make a compelling case for a generality with outliers."

I am simply pointing out that Paul wrote lots of letters to lots of churches. Yet he only saw fit to impart this critical advice... to one.

We're reading something in english that was written in greek by a hebrew.

I do believe its possible that there is some wiggle room here for discussion.

Anonymous Credo in Unum Deum November 27, 2013 7:07 PM  

The very language used is a give-away. We. Are. Not. Called. To. Serve. The. Church. We are called to serve Christ

The Church = The Body of Christ.

To serve the Church is to serve Christ.

Anonymous I Wonder November 27, 2013 7:08 PM  

"She was however placed in authority over men... by God... and did a rather bang up job."

Which of course, has no relevance to the hierarchy of a Christian organizational chart.

Blogger Nate November 27, 2013 7:16 PM  

"I would be willing to wager a sportman's bet that Junia's name will not appear in a precious stone."

Say...

Is.. Paul's... name on that stone?

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