March 30, 2017

September 3, 2009


Christ Church Plano Releases a Paper on Women’s Ordination

PDF

...Christ Church’s reasoning on women’s ordination can be summarized as follows:

1.Scripture clearly teaches that we ought to take a mission-oriented approach when determining what teachings and practices we adopt as we proclaim the gospel to a particular culture. All unnecessary barriers to the reception of the gospel by a culture should be removed. The limits of what counts as “necessary” are to be found in Scripture, with traditional teachings and practices bearing testimony to Scripture though not having the same weight as Scripture. Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings. If a culture has changed dramatically, the mission-oriented approach requires us to re-examine those traditional teachings and practices in the light of Scripture and its missional mandate to determine what from tradition must be kept (i.e., that which is the eternal truth of the Christian faith) and what can, and should, be modified.

2.The mission-oriented approach we apply here is bolstered by and follows the strong precedents of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the long-standing principle of contextualization widely upheld by Christian missionaries.

3.The best understanding of Scripture’s particular prohibitions on women preaching, teaching, and leading during worship is that those prohibitions are culturally conditioned (i.e., addressing particular problems in the original culture that do not now exist) rather than transcultural (i.e., rooted in the fundamental differences between men and women). New Testament scholar Scot McKnight unpacks this view in a helpful and understandable manner in part 4 of his recent book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible.

4.The best understanding of Scripture’s teaching on male headship in marriage is that it is rooted in God’s different ordering of men and women (i.e., innate gender differences). While the scriptural teaching on male headship in ministry is perhaps less certain, a strong enough parallel between headship in ministry and headship in marriage appears to exist so that we are not prepared to part with the traditional teaching of male headship in ministry. Instead, we will wait for this issue to be resolved through the process of reception.

5.Bishops represent Christ as the visible heads of the local congregations under their pastoral care. Deacons and priests (including rectors) all serve under the covering of the headship of the bishop who, with their fellow bishops, guides the churches in their mission to proclaim the gospel in accordance with Scripture.

6.Therefore, we take the position that ordaining women as deacons and priests (with the ability to serve as rectors) but not as bishops is the most faithful response we can make to our mandate to proclaim the gospel in our surrounding culture.

In what follows, we will articulate in more depth the reasoning behind our mission-oriented approach and how we arrived at our position.

...more (PDF)

Obviously WO is “on topic” for this thread. However, in addition to the standard SF policies:
1. There will be no use of the word “priestess”. Correct or incorrect, many find it insulting.
2.  #1 is not debatable.

Should you choose to violate warning 1 or 2 your decision will also represent a choice to relinquish your posting privileges.


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445 comments

I think I will stay away from this thread except to say that I do appreciate that people be mandated not to use “priestess”. Yes, it is insulting and I have never known any ordained Episcopal or Lutheran clergywoman who uses it. Just FTR, using “pastorette” is insulting too. There are a number of people now banned, I believe, from SFIF who use both those terms, and they have found a website elsewhere.

[1] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 9-3-2009 at 08:38 PM · [top]

Let the fireworks begin!

[2] Posted by AndrewA on 9-3-2009 at 08:39 PM · [top]

Regarding paragraph 3. I have heard that the situation in Ephesus (where timothy was ministering) was precisely the same as our culture, not “problems that do not now exist”, as the paper states. There was a high degree of feminism and female leadership in the religious/pagan culture of that city. This is precisely why Paul prohibited women from teaching in the Church. Has anyone else heard this or am I way off?

[3] Posted by drlouis20 on 9-3-2009 at 08:40 PM · [top]

Strange, but one of the best preachers I ever met was an Anglican Franciscan sister from San Francisco, who was licensed to preach by Bishop C. Kilmer Myers, then the Bishop of California.  Women don’t need to be in Holy Orders in order to preach or to serve Christ and His Church.

[4] Posted by Cennydd on 9-3-2009 at 08:42 PM · [top]

Feminism in Greco-Roman pagan civilization?  Pardon me while I laugh heartedly.

Pagan female leadership, yes, but that is by no means the same thing as feminism in the modern sense of the word.

Instead, we will wait for this issue to be resolved through the process of reception.

According to my copy of the Guide to Anglicanese, “Reception” is the stage between the first legalization of heresy and the total elimination of all theological opposition.  Prior to the legalization is the “Listening Process”.

[5] Posted by AndrewA on 9-3-2009 at 08:48 PM · [top]

Andrew A
Okay, so there was pagan female leadership and this could explain culturally why Paul would not want female teachers in the Church, to avoid any implication of collusion with paganism. However, I have never been able to get over that Paul states his reason for the prohibition is that “...Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (1 Timothy 2:13). This seems to transcend any supposed cultural influence Paul was fighting against.

[6] Posted by drlouis20 on 9-3-2009 at 08:54 PM · [top]

Okay, so there was pagan female leadership and this could explain culturally why Paul would not want female teachers in the Church, to avoid any implication of collusion with paganism

Why would pagan pr**st*ss*s preclude Christian female priests?  There were pagan hymns and prayers in Ephesus, yet we see no forbiddance of Christian prayers and hymns. 

In addition, pagan pr**st*ss*es were not a phenomenum localized to Ephesus.

[7] Posted by AndrewA on 9-3-2009 at 09:04 PM · [top]

How did Christ Church, Plano get to be such an authority?  The rector there is male.  The argument in pararaph 3 is the same argument used to justify homosexual ordination.  Either the New Testament is the inspired Word of God, or it is not.  If it is, then how cn you argue that something as basic to the Church as ordination is “culturally conditioned”?  Why do we have to fight this battle over again?  Let the WO people stay in TEC if that’s what they believe in.

[8] Posted by GB on 9-3-2009 at 09:06 PM · [top]

I’ve always found the distinction between culturally conditioned practice and transcultural practice to be specious.  Reason being that certainly there are many culturally conditioned practices that are good and laudable, indeed upheld by the Scriptures.  Simply because the culture changes does not mean that the Church should change with it.  Second, who is to say what is what?

The fact that the Gospel transcends culture does not automatically necessitate the rejection of culture, even if, this is a big if, the exception of women from priestly orders was culturally conditioned.

Are we to believe that the choosing of 12 men to be among the apostles by Jesus was “culturally conditioned?”  Are all practices that we deem “culturally conditioned” to be under review?  This seems to be the trailhead of a significant diversion in practice and faith.

[9] Posted by fatherlee on 9-3-2009 at 09:09 PM · [top]

This issue brings a lot of emotional baggage.  Was St. Paul refering to a situation just within that church, or laying down a firm rule?  I find myself agreeing with the tradition of male-only clergy, but have known some powerful women of God, who would make better priests than some of the men.  One has only to look at Pike, Spong, etc.

[10] Posted by bornagainanglican on 9-3-2009 at 09:18 PM · [top]

For all the sincerity and conviction expressed in the paper, protagonists for the cause of homosexual liberation could take it, and with a quick “search and replace” used to change the key words, produce a missional approach to ordination and marriage that would sound quite convincing to a world that wants to hear it.  My respect for David Roseberry is great, and for the parish as well, but the efforts to put aside scriptural objections for the sake of mission it seems to me opens the door for all kinds of things to follow in.
I also wonder what constitutes “best” interpretation—according to whom?
Sad to see this much dancing around.  The same theological method applied with different motives but with equal conviction can bring you not only WO but the acceptance of homosexuality as well.  And, in the end, who is to say that those promoting the sexuality agenda aren’t following “best” interpretation as they see it?
My old friend Jim Patrick at the College of St Thomas More in Fort Worth frequently says that this sort of reasoning leads to the view that “everything is everything else.”

[11] Posted by Brien on 9-3-2009 at 09:55 PM · [top]

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
-A. Einstein

[12] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-3-2009 at 09:59 PM · [top]

This is simply saying, “Let’s have female bishops 20 years from now. Homosexuals 10 years after that and Unitarians a year after that. “

Isn’t Christ Church Plano AMiA. I read that there are two flavors of AMiA. The AMiA in Canada does ordain women.

[13] Posted by robroy on 9-3-2009 at 10:22 PM · [top]

Paragraph 1 from the Plano paper needs almost no editing to be a great argument for gay marriage.  I honestly don’t understand how anyone can use so relativistic an argument for one innovation and reject it out of hand for another.

As an evangelical who does not support the ordination of women, I am also concerned that Christ Church Plano (and others) are making these declarations. I see a rapidly diminishing welcome to those of us who do not support women’s ordination who wish to attend the more evangelical congregations in the Anglican Communion. It is not a good trend.

[14] Posted by BobF on 9-3-2009 at 10:28 PM · [top]

“6.Therefore, we take the position that ordaining women as deacons and priests (with the ability to serve as rectors) but not as bishops is the most faithful response we can make to our mandate to proclaim the gospel in our surrounding culture.”

Camels nose, tent.

[15] Posted by GSP98 on 9-3-2009 at 10:29 PM · [top]

So female priests are OK but not female bishops? I’m having trouble thinking of a principled basis for this distinction. It’s true that priests are subordinate to bishops, but bishops are ultimately subordinate to the presiding bishop, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and (arguably) the British Monarch, who happens to be a female right now. And then of course you can take the argument further and say that ultimately any of those three are subordinate to God.

Even if priests are subordinate to bishops (and the baptist part of me isn’t even sure that bishop is a truly biblical office), they are still very widely seen as the “visible heads of the local congregations” (the term this article uses to describe bishops).

While there might be a principled basis for the bishop/priest distinction, it comes off to me as just a reasonable and nice sounding compromise that can keep everyone happy on this most touchy of issues.

[16] Posted by LDW1988 on 9-3-2009 at 10:37 PM · [top]

It’s interesting that Bishop Roseberry should bring this up now.

[17] Posted by Geofrey on 9-3-2009 at 10:40 PM · [top]

Who cares?

Why are the pronouncements of a single evangelical congregation somewhere in suburban Dallas worthy of note? I couldn’t care less what they think at Christ Church Plano.

If nothing else, this document may be useful as a teaching tool to point out why this silly alliance between the Anglo-Catholic/FiF faction and the evangelical AMiA / ACNA / WXYZ is doomed to failure.

To Anglo-Catholics, this one issue alone is a deal breaker, and is a graphic illustration of why, in the final analysis, Bob Duncan is no better than Katharine Jefferts-Schori for Anglo-Catholics. They both have hairspray on their hands, both have forsaken the traditional teaching of the Church. Anglo-Catholics simply will not have it, and no number of Bishop Ilgenfritzes and promises of autonomy or non-coercion will make it go away.

Meh.

[18] Posted by Athanasian on 9-3-2009 at 10:45 PM · [top]

Nothing new here.  Somewhere through the misty water colored memories in my mind I remember John Stott essentially saying “ok” to WO.  However, he also said “no” to women vicars/rectors/bishops - headship issue.

[19] Posted by longleaf on 9-3-2009 at 10:53 PM · [top]

3.The best understanding of Scripture’s particular prohibitions on women preaching, teaching, and leading during worship is that those prohibitions are culturally conditioned (i.e., addressing particular problems in the original culture that do not now exist) rather than transcultural (i.e., rooted in the fundamental differences between men and women).

“The best understanding”...Really?!? It seems that “the best understanding” is just the opposite of what Christ Church states. Paul is pretty clear that this prohibition is rooted in the created order (1 Tim. 2:12-14).

Also, being “mission” minded does not require pro-WO stance. You can look at pastors like Tim Keller and Mark Driscoll for examples of that. And Christ Church’s stance here does not even match the AMiA’s Study led by Bishop John Rodgers. The AMiA (singlular) is vastly Evangelical, completely mission focused, and opposed to women priests.

[20] Posted by Shane Copeland on 9-3-2009 at 11:07 PM · [top]

I don’t know… after reading all this I wonder if anyone ever thinks about St. Vincent of Lerins’ Commonitory. Whatever reasoning one wants to apply to the topic I suppose is fine for the world to do. However, it’s a modern phenomenon, directly contradicting the unbroken tradition of the Universal Church. Of course, if you want Marcion as your example, fine with me. I no longer care. It’s strange that David Roseberry is making conclusions using methodology not unlike (ie Point #3) that by which KJS, GVR et al justify their conclusions. There is a direct line of descent from the Filioque, to WO, and to GVR’s purported consecration, whether anyone likes it or not.

[21] Posted by A Senior Priest on 9-3-2009 at 11:18 PM · [top]

Geofrey (#17)— Bishop Roseberry?  Do you know something that the rest of us don’t know?  Care to share?

[22] Posted by Jill C. on 9-3-2009 at 11:19 PM · [top]

The best understanding of Scripture’s particular prohibitions on women preaching, teaching, and leading during worship is that those prohibitions are culturally conditioned

How amazing that this conclusion would finally emerge from an egalitarian culture that finds structural boundaries offensive.  Even more amazing that differentiation would be made between bishop and elder.  The two offices are separated only by tradition, there being no biblical separation between episcopos and presbuteros.  So we have an assertion that women can serve in the biblical office of elder despite Paul’s specific instruction to the contrary, but women cannot serve in the traditional office of bishop because that would violate headship.  Should the traditions of men be more rigorously defended then the imperatives of Scripture?

carl

[23] Posted by carl on 9-3-2009 at 11:27 PM · [top]

Jill C.  No, it was (an apparently feeble) attempt at humor, and I didn’t mean to mislead, but rather to make a point. This strikes me as something that AMiA bishops should have their story together on, and last I heard and read they did among their bishops in the US. To open this up now should require the intervention of their bishops, not just a priest, however prominent.

[24] Posted by Geofrey on 9-3-2009 at 11:39 PM · [top]

This sentence makes my hair stand on end:

Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings.

Lord have mercy!  How can anyone who has lived through what we are still living through write a sentence like that?  And the clarification that follows doesn’t help much, even though I know it is meant to:

If a culture has changed dramatically, the mission-oriented approach requires us to re-examine those traditional teachings and practices in the light of Scripture and its missional mandate to determine what from tradition must be kept (i.e., that which is the eternal truth of the Christian faith) and what can, and should, be modified.

The good and faithful folks at Christ Church, because of their loyalty to the Gospel, aren’t likely to fall victim to the land mines that are inherent in this methodology (certainly not for a generation or two).  But to put in place language that can be abused (and that others have abused) while trusting that it will always be interpreted and applied faithfully strikes me as naive at least.

Also, I can’t get past the feeling that the authors of this document knew they wanted to get to the conclusions in point #6 and then did the work reflected in points #1-5 as a way to get there.  A far better and more thorough study of the subject is the one done by the AMiA in 2003: http://www.theamia.org/assets/AMiA-Womens-Ordination-Study-Aug-03.pdf  The document from Christ Church lists the earlier AMiA study in the “Further Reading” section, but does not appear to address that study or its conclusions at all.  It seems to me that a new statement by an AMiA congregation would need to demonstrate why the previous study needed to be supplemented, modified, or overturned before issuing a new one.

[25] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 9-3-2009 at 11:53 PM · [top]

Geofrey, I read you now.  You weren’t necessarily misleading.  It may have been me—slow on the intake.  (Past my bedtime!)

[26] Posted by Jill C. on 9-3-2009 at 11:56 PM · [top]

Christ Church Plano says, to my reading ‘We’re willing to follow the culture rather than the Scriptures in the hopes that we might by all means win some’.

Christ have Mercy,
Father have Mercy,
Spirit have Mercy,

St. Paul waas willing to let the women pray with their heads uncovered to avoid contention. 

Are we now to be willing to pretend that they can be ordained to roles of headship/leadership/authority in the church?  That they can meet the ‘test’ of being a one-woman man?

Prehaps I will be trapped in a Southern Baptist Church, this issue has been resolved for us, in favour of the traditional requirements.

[27] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 12:24 AM · [top]

#17
He brings the subject up now because he has a candidate for ordination, Susan Freeman.

[28] Posted by Marie Blocher on 9-4-2009 at 12:33 AM · [top]

3.The best understanding of Scripture’s particular prohibitions on women [or HOMOSEXUALS] preaching, teaching, and leading during worship is that those prohibitions are culturally conditioned (i.e., addressing particular problems in the original culture that do not now exist) rather than transcultural (i.e., rooted in the fundamental differences between men and women [or between HOMOSEXUALS AND OTHERS]). New Testament scholar Scot McKnight unpacks this view in a helpful and understandable manner in part 4 of his recent book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible.

Hmmmmmm, sounds like a STRANGELY familiar argument…

[29] Posted by banned4Life on 9-4-2009 at 12:37 AM · [top]

It is so sad to see so many well intentioned people walking on opposite sides of a widening chasm thinking they are walking together.

It is so sad to see reasoning based on a presumption that if God the Son and God the Holy Ghost had only had the benefit of modern experience, they could have set things up better for the future of their church against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

It is so sad to see the casual putting aside of Holy Tradition and Holy Scripture.

It is so sad to see thousands of souls turning away from truth.

I am glad to see, in the comments raised so far, most of the major arguments. May God have mercy on us all.

[30] Posted by off2 on 9-4-2009 at 12:38 AM · [top]

One thing no one has been able to explain to me:  How can a man be the spiritual head of his household, if his wife is his pastor(the spiritual head of his church…)?

[31] Posted by banned4Life on 9-4-2009 at 12:40 AM · [top]

So the Word of God is only somewhat inerrant.

[32] Posted by iceworm on 9-4-2009 at 01:14 AM · [top]

Comments above duplicate my feelings, especially with respect to paragraph #3.  “Best understanding” is culturally based.  Essentially, they are finding a way around Scripture to do what they want to do, having become used to it over the past decades in TEC.

But may I look at this in a more positive light for a moment?  When I began haunting the Anglican blogs a few years ago, a statement from a huge evangelical Anglican parish finding any problem with WO, in any of the three orders, would have been unheard-of.  Being pushed by the general apostasy in TEC to talk to those (shudder) Anglo-Catholic types, evangelicals have begun for the first time to actually listen to their arguments and to look to Scripture rather than dismissing the no-WO faction as a bunch of weirdos.  Here is an acknowledgment that a woman bishop breaks the unity of the Church, which is the plain truth.  This is a breakthrough acknowledgment, one that TEC evangelicals would never have considered a few years ago.

I can see that in some cultures, where the sexes are separated by cultural or religious custom, as in Muslim or Hindu areas, women evangelists can reach women where men cannot.  I can see that the ministry of women deacons among women might be a very good idea.  I can see that in some emergency situations we might need to do what we can.  But to perpetuate the category error which says that men and women are identical, rather than equal in value, in the public leadership of settled congregations, is contrary to Scripture and Tradition.

[33] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 01:21 AM · [top]

As to the verboten term “*********”, you will have to remember even C.S. Lewis used the term many times in his famous article, “************ In The Church?”.  I will respect your request, though.

I had heard something like this was afoot at a parish I once called home.  Now I am profoundly disappointed and saddened that it is indeed true.  There will be much sacrificed on this hill.  ACNA will pay a heavy price for what its largest parish is unilaterally undertaking…to not only write this, but make it a reality in their leadership.  If it were a small parish in Ohio or Virginia, where it has been grandfathered in by a few bishops for those already “ordained”, then it might be a different matter.  That is gradual phaseout.  This is a large, influential, visible parish…the LARGEST in ACNA.  This parish can cause much good or harm.  In this action, I believe they will cause harm.

Ecumenically, this will marginalize ACNA terribly.  The Orthodox will have less to do with ACNA…and may only speak to the FiFNA affiliated.  Rome will also take serious note.  The Continuum will,too.  ++Duncan will pay a price if he supports this.  There are those in TEC that may be laughing at us in ACNA…and I couldn’t blame them.  We are returning to our vomit.  That word may be strong, but I say that as one who believes that there is no catholicity in WO to the Priesthood…therefore it is not worth returning to for ACNA…it will DIVIDE the Church, seriously.

CANA is sneaking WO in through the back door right now through outside pro-WO bishops, waiting until they will one day be able to do it openly within CANA, once they leave Nigeria, as Nigeria now gives them legitimacy to the ABC.  Christ Church Plano is part of AMiAs…a convenient branch-off of AMiA…notice the “s”...America"s”.  Therefore this is through the back door as well.  I saw maybe TWO or THREE WomenPriests at CANA Council.  I was told that women clergy were maybe 20% of total at ACNA Assembly.  Is it worth the CHAOS that will surely ensue now??? 

This is Pandora’s Box.  It is a slap to the 22 of 28 dioceses of ACNA that do not ordain Women Priests.  It is a slap to our ecumenical partners in the rest of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  It is a slap to most Anglo-Catholics and Classical Evangelicals.  This will NOT serve to unify us.  It will truly create just another sect…just another denomination.  It completely ignores the Vincentian Canon.  It is very patronizing and prideful for a mega-church to impose this on the whole CHURCH.  You may say they are not IMPOSING it…but due to their size, influence, and high-profile nature, Christ Church Plano is imposing this on ACNA by default…by the BACK DOOR.  I don’t know how much more of this I and many others will be able to stand.

[34] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 02:23 AM · [top]

1. I would not consider the arguments here necessarily evident of an evangelical/Anglo-Catholic divide…as Carl’s comments show, many evangelicals will reject these arguments on scriptural grounds

2. I would not say that CC has argued here for a distinction between the two offices of elder and overseer so much as they have rejected the argument that Paul prohibits women from exercising the office of elder/overseer. The limit for CC seems to be not the type of eldership but the context of eldership…women CC argues can be ordained if their eldership is exercised within a context of male headship and that male headship is exercised by the overseer/bishop in an Anglican context.

3. I am uncomfortable with the way CC defines a “mission-oriented” approach. I do not think a “mission oriented approach” should mean that the church follows the culture so as not to offend so long as there is no explicit biblical proscription. That seems, to my mind, to put culture in the driver’s seat…rather than Kingdom.

[35] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 03:36 AM · [top]

suscribe

[36] Posted by Boring Bloke on 9-4-2009 at 04:18 AM · [top]

One of the problems I have with this paper, is why they choose AMiA and not CANA.  Yes, I’m aware that AMiAS ordains women, but a feature of AMiA is, or was, that it did not.  I’m sorry, but it seems as I’ve suspected - that the little accomodation for the men and women who reject WO would wither.  Eventually, the bigots like myself will have to seek out a non-Anglican parish, while everyone behind is moans about how sad it is that we felt (wrongly of course) that we had to leave, and how much they love us.  Or, about how they sympathize, BUT… 

Folks, please understand something about “my kind.”  I, an Evangelical who does not view WO as a first-order issue, will not sit under the spiritual authority of a woman priest.  Not for one minute, not for one second.  If a vestry pulls this on me and I do not like them, then I will send them an angry letter after I leave.  If they pull it on me and I like them, then the exit letter will be gracious.  But, I will leave. 

For now, it seems that TEC is safer for me than the ACNA.  At least, I know where I stand.

[37] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-4-2009 at 05:31 AM · [top]

I’m numbering my days in CANA and looking at some options.  CANA was similar to AMiA in the moratorium.  Even if no NEW ladies are ordained priests in CANA, it will be done outside CANA, only to bring them right back in.  I heard this from high officials.  “Two Integrities” espoused by +Bishop Minns won’t work.  The day I unexpectedly see a woman preside at the Altar, rector or not, in any ACNA parish, I will not receive…or may quetly slip out.

37-Moot…I agree that “our kind” are misunderstood to be dinosaurs that just “need to catch up” on WO.  Isn’t that what KJS said about Africa on sexuality issues???  I used to be open on WO, but have changed my view…and I am actually very NON-MISOGYNIST.  For many Evangelicals that see the Priesthood as a non-ontological OFFICE of headship(rector or not…it’s still authority), WO doesn’t work.  For Anglo-Catholics that see the Priesthood as ontological Alter Christus, WO doesn’t work.

[38] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 05:56 AM · [top]

Do you know this riddle? A father and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed instantly but the son is only injured and is taken to the hospital. He is rushed to the operating room, the doctor comes in, looks at the patient on the operating table, and says, “I can’t operate on him, he’s my son.” How can this be?
If you are stumped on this, you are not alone. It is not easy to figure out. But did you get it? It is deceptively simple: the doctor is the boy’s mother.

That’s cool.  Here’s another one:

A man walks into his priest’s office.  He is obviously deeply bothered by something.  The priest says, “Sit down, my son, tell me what is bothering you.”  The man says, “My wife bought a Ouija Board for our daughter on her birthday.  I think this is wrong, and even dangerous, but I want to respect my wife and not pick a fight, etc.” 

The priest says, “You’re right, and you’re wrong.  You’re right that having a Ouija Board is dangerous.  And you are wrong to not pick the fight out of a sense of so-called respect.  It’s simple, if you don’t get rid of the board, then not only are you a miserable excuse for a man, but you hate (and I mean HATE, with a capital ‘h’) your family.  Feel better?  No?  Then grow a pair.  You’re the man of the house.  Now get out, and don’t call me until the deed is done.” 

The man gets up and whimpers, “Yes, Mother.”

[39] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-4-2009 at 06:10 AM · [top]

First, as full disclosure, my anglican-oriented communion has a variety of responses to women’s ordination. The archbishop of my province has the same approach to women’s headship as points #4 and #6 of the Plano paper, but with local option for women’s ordination at the diocesan level. My bishop will ordain women as deacons, but not as presbyters.

My own position is broader, as informed by the story of Deborah in Judges 4 and 5. That is to say, under special conditions God will put a woman in the position of headship over men. That is always a result of the failure of the man or men whose responsibility it was to take the lead, and is always to the shame of the man or men. Therefore a woman could be bishop in a seriously disfunctional diocese where the men who had been called to lead declined to do so.

I have no problem with women presbyters, but I would not select a woman as rector except under the special circumstances pointed to by Judges 4-5. This would mean, of course, that I would have to prayerfully consider whether I was called to the rectorship myself.

At another level, a woman who has been abandoned by her husband has the responsibility to take over the headship of her family, and to represent Christ to her children. She is the priest in her family.

[40] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 06:22 AM · [top]

One of my former priests had the “Deborah” view as you explained, sort of like how Israel wanted kings, but didn’t have to have them, but insisted on it.  However, in the past few years, even this priest has changed his mind.  True…many times women step up because men are behaving like weenies or bums.

[41] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 06:27 AM · [top]

Correction: my province has the same approach to women’s headship as points #4 and #5 of Plano,

[42] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 06:35 AM · [top]

For many Evangelicals that see the Priesthood as a non-ontological OFFICE of headship(rector or not…it’s still authority), WO doesn’t work.  For Anglo-Catholics that see the Priesthood as ontological Alter Christus, WO doesn’t work.

And what of those who see the priesthood as both an office of headship and an ontological Alter Christus? I’m guessing that WO wouldn’t work for them either.

[43] Posted by Boring Bloke on 9-4-2009 at 06:37 AM · [top]

Bloke…quite.

[44] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 06:41 AM · [top]

There was an interesting exchange on the thread about Bishop Ryle which speaks to this topic and corresponds to my own observations over the decades since 1976 in TEC.  When something becomes viewed as a function belonging to women, or a function which is “feminized” as the priesthood becomes a counseling and therapy function rather than the leadership of the people of God, men stop doing it in the numbers needed, and/or “real men” who are able and willing to try to stand in the place of Christ to the local church stop coming forward for ordination.  Think about the change in who’s going to the liberal seminaries and being ordained, and you can see the problem building.

[45] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 06:52 AM · [top]

I knew a lady who was visiting her seminarian son several years ago at an Episcopal seminary in TX(any guesses?).  One of her first questions to her son was…“Where are the men?”

[46] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 06:57 AM · [top]

Is REC on of the ‘non geographic Diocese’ in this new province, and how likely are they to be able to stay with the women as deaconess only model?

In other words, must I continue to call my episcopos/presbyter ‘Pastor’ in order to stay in a group where what is to me the plain teaching of scripture?

Invoking Deborah doesn’t help.  She took the job of Judge, and that reluctantly it appears. Te context surely makes it plain that the story is descriptive, nor normative for women in leadership.  Even at that, her position was secular, not spiritual.  She didn’t take the job of a Priest, nor a Levite. 

Deborah may be a good defence of Margaret Thatcher, but her example is of no value in defending WO.

Who will preserve the married male presbyter and bishop?

[47] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 07:10 AM · [top]

subscribe

[48] Posted by bob+ on 9-4-2009 at 07:14 AM · [top]

The REC Constitution calls for male-only ordination on the grounds of the plain word of Scripture.  My parish, previously a Continuing parish, affiliated with it on the understanding that presbyters/priests would continue to be male only.

ACNA is currently in better shape on this than the CofE may soon be unless it pulls back from consecrating female bishops.  If ACNA wants to hold together it will have to continue to honor its traditional ministry membership.

[49] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 07:18 AM · [top]

I agree with you Katherine and we can only hope to hear from the leadership of both AMiA and ACNA on this.
I look forward to hearing from the Anglo-Catholic Bishops on this Christ Church Paper.

[50] Posted by bob+ on 9-4-2009 at 07:27 AM · [top]

Rare event Notice:

I’m agreeing (to a degree anyway) with Mad Potter.

The Lord gave us two mysteries/sacraments/symbols - the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.  These are not a minor matter in Church Governance, they are essential matters if the church visible is to remain the church visible. 

I’m no Anglo Catholic, but I, as an evangelical can’t accept the idea of a woman presiding over communion when the local body (the visible church) is gathered together.  The Anglo Catholics can not either (though perhaps for additional reasons).  Nor can the Larger Church (the other two ‘branches’, and most of the Protestants). 

To spurn the tradition of 2000 years, for ‘cultural expediency’ is, in a word, nuts.

[51] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 07:32 AM · [top]

bob+, I doubt that you will hear from them. ACNA as a general rule avoids talking about this.

[52] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 07:33 AM · [top]

Katherine,
Is REC on of the ‘non geographic diocese’?

How do I find a local Parish (either Jacksonville area, or when I’m ‘home’ Jackson County Florida.

[53] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 07:41 AM · [top]

Bo, try this:
http://www.anglicanchurch-na.org/parishes/FL/
or this:
Reformed Episcopal Church

[54] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 07:48 AM · [top]

Bo, yes, the REC is a non-geographical ACNA grouping.  It used to be very “evangelical” or “low church;” recently it has become a mixture, with parishes like mine joining.  Here is the website; my parish is in North Carolina, so I don’t know anything about Florida parishes.

[56] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 07:51 AM · [top]

Seaking to expand and this discussion a bit, while staying on topic:

When studying the Epistles, would y’all say that there are some intructions given in the Epistles that apply only to the very specific context of the specific congregation or person being instructed as opposed to the broader context of the Church Catholic?  As the most petty example, might we consider St Paul’s medical advice concerning stomach aches to apply to a specific context rather than being a blanket prescription for all Christians? 

How does one tell the difference between an instruction that applies to a specific context and one that is binding on the Church Catholic?

How do we interpet and apply St Paul’s commandments regarding women staying silent in church or covering their hair in church? 

For those that oppose WO (myself included), what offices of leadership in teaching are appropriate and Biblical for women?  Can women serve on the vestry, as wardens, lay program directors, lay Sunday school teachers, etc?

[57] Posted by AndrewA on 9-4-2009 at 07:54 AM · [top]

Andrew.

O.K. I will add one thing.

Andrew, There were no fireworks; There seem to be almost unanimous agreement (except for Mad Potter) that the the “plain scripture” says women are not to be ordained.

But thank the Lord nobody used priestess or pastoress or ministeress.

I am so blessed that my church allows me to preside over holy communion and equally happy that people who find that an offense go to other churches. May the Lord bless us all.

[58] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 9-4-2009 at 08:00 AM · [top]

53…I was just thinking of this in the past few hours, but in an ironic twist, this “Paper” may just be the thing that calls the elephant from the corner of the room to the middle, where it may HAVE to be dealt with.  If the largest parish in ACNA is unilaterally doing this(and in a way CCP has an overblown idea of its importance and power), then the bishops will have to deal with the consequences.  If we don’t FACE this, then it’ll infect everything we do in the future.

[59] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 08:02 AM · [top]

If a woman was good enough to give birth to Jesus, then a woman can celebrate Mass.  I cannpt imagine how in 2009 we still have people opposed to ordaining women, when women serve at all levels of ohe secular world with distinction. This is a no-brainer.

[60] Posted by DesertDavid on 9-4-2009 at 08:03 AM · [top]

I just find it interesting that those so offended by certain terms used to refer to females in orders, are so shocked that people can be offended by WO…the “Well, as long as you stay in your own traditionalist parishes, you SHOULD be able to deal with it.”  Many times, those opposed to WO also believe in visible/spiritual communion…that even if one is not in the same parish, one is united in communion by virtue of episcopal and inter-episcopal union. 

That is why I left TEC…my bishop said there was nothing that connected us to NY(815).  I didn’t believe that.  If your bishop is in the House of Bishops with KJS, Spong, etc…then you are in communion with them as well.  If my bishop is in communion with ACNA bishops that can’t respect a moratorium, then we have a problem. It’s a problem in Anglicanism in general…and we need to deal with it.

[61] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 08:12 AM · [top]

AndrewA, having myself done all of those things in Continuing and now in an REC parish, all of the above.  In addition, teaching adults, and being a teacher in a theological college would be okay, in my opinion.  There are female evangelists and speakers who are very effective; we read in Scripture about females “prophesying,” and there are records of very influential women in the NT and in the centuries immediately following.

The bit about covering the hair does sound cultural to me, since I have not heard a coherent theological exposition of why a woman’s hair should be covered.  If it’s the custom of the congregation, I have no objection; why be a scandal over something so insignificant? If I pretend to teach with authority in the place of Christ the Son, as I would if I held myself out to be a Father in God to the congregation, then I’d be outside my proper role.

[62] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 08:14 AM · [top]

DesertDavid…
Believe it.  And BTW, it patronizing to assume that the issue SHOULD be settled.  According to whom?  By whose fiat and authority???  The tiny percentage of Christendom that DOES ordain women presbyters and bishops???  Way to foist it on everyone else!!!  That’s pretty oppressive if you ask me.

Who ever said ordination was about being “good enough”?  If that is your theology, then we’ll have a heck of a time getting new priests.  See…revisionaists are harping on this all the time…making it about rights, what is owed, entitlement, “enlightenment”, etc.

[63] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 08:18 AM · [top]

#59

There seem to be almost unanimous agreement (except for Mad Potter) that “plain scripture” says women are not to be ordained.

FenelonSpoke, you seriously overstate this case. I, for one, do not find any “plain scripture” that forbids the ordination of women. Please provide some if you have it.

[64] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 08:19 AM · [top]

[61] DesertDavid wrote:

I cannot imagine how in 2009 we still have people opposed to ordaining women

Presumably because people born on Wednesday are ever so much better than people born on Tuesday.  It is a given that men have improved considerably in that interval of time.  One might even say that men have morally progressed.  And how could it be otherwise, when men born on Wednesday count themselves the standard of morality?  Woe to them when they encounter the man born on Thursday.

carl

[65] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 08:28 AM · [top]

Hmmm.

I don’t see any surprises here.  Christ Church Plano was clear that they were going to educate their parish on the stance of the leaders and that’s what they’re attempting to do.  I personally think there are some passages that one could drive a Mack truck through from a rational and consistency point of view, ie this one: “Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings.”

But if people who are opposed to WO find it a first-order issue and cannot be in the same organization with those who attempt to practice WO then they’ll go elsewhere.

As I said four long long years ago [to the screeches of many]. . . the issue *is* actually settled both for those who oppose WO and those who support WO; there will be *very* few converts to the “other side” although certainly there have been some to either.  The only question is which organizations will end up with the 1) first order we-can’t-be-in-the-same-organization with WOers people, and 2) we-can-be-in-the-same-organization with WOers people.  Obviously the APA is in that former group—they can’t be in the same organization with WOers.  I respect that and honor it.  They’ve held true to their theology.

ACNA *is* going to have pro-WO parishes and dioceses in it.  Or . . . it can attempt to change its C&Cs; and then those pro-WO parishes and dioceses, of course, will leave.  Because for most WOers it’s a settled issue that they’re simply not going to cave on, any more than the AngloCatholics are going to cave on the salvific nature of the sacraments.

As a person who has opposed WO on the basis of scripture, I had to settle the issue of whether I would be in an organization that practiced WO when I joined TEC.  I did settle that issue, and here I am. 

If we’re going to have gnashings and rendings of hair and Shocked-Surprise every time an ACNA pro-WO parish or diocese purports to ordain a female . . . it’s going to be a mighty long decade.  Don’t join ACNA if you can’t be in the same organization with folks who are WOers.

[66] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 08:36 AM · [top]

#57

would y’all say that there are some intructions given in the Epistles that apply only to the very specific context of the specific congregation or person being instructed ...?

AndrewA, let us begin by noting that there are no instructions at all given to AndrewA (or myself, RolinB) in the Epistles or elsewhere. The epistles, and every other book in the Bible, were written to specific people in specific times and locations.

There is no command in Scripture that says, “RolinB, you should do this.” On the other hand, I consider myself a disciple of Christ. When I find Christ giving instructions to his disciples, I pay very close attention, for I have taken on those instructions as instructions given to me.

In other words, it is the Holy Spirit that speaks to us through Scripture. We read the letters that were addressed to another place, time, and person, and through the gift of the Spirit discern what we are to do in our own place and time for ourselves.

The manner in which Paul organized the oversight of his first century church plants was not the same as how churches were governed in the second century. In fact, there is an evolution in Paul’s approach between his early evangelism and his later letters to his lieutenants. Perhaps this is due to his failures in providing adequate governance to the churches in Corinth and Galatia that we can see so plainly in the problems that ensued after his departure from these locations.

By the turn of the century (AD 90-110) we can see in the letters of Ignatius that strong leadership by bishops is prescribed as crucial to the Church. Ignatius, in his letter to the Smyrnaens, is also the one who tells us that Holy Communion cannot be administered except by the Bishop or by someone duly authorized by the bishop.

There is no authorization in the 66 books of Scripture for the ordination of Christian “Priests.” That was an invention of the later Church. I do not dispute that the Church had the authority to institute this change, but I cannot describe it as Biblical.

And—here I am hazy—can anyone show an instance of ordination of an elder (presbyter) in Scripture?

[67] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 08:40 AM · [top]

I find it interesting that Christ Church enters this precisely because they have a woman they want to ordain. This is not an abstract discussion for them, it is personal. It just looks to me like a whole bunch of, “I want to do something, so now I am going to rationalize why it is okay for me to do it.” A recipe for trouble.

[68] Posted by Fr. Christopher Cantrell+ on 9-4-2009 at 08:41 AM · [top]

CCP has always been rather suspect in my eyes. I have had a grudging admiration for Fr Roseberry and what they have accomplished. The hubris of their statement changes all this. This is arrogance and heresy.

[69] Posted by via orthodoxy on 9-4-2009 at 08:45 AM · [top]

RE: “It just looks to me like a whole bunch of, “I want to do something, so now I am going to rationalize why it is okay for me to do it.””

Really?  Looks like to me that Roseberry has always believed in WO, he’s purporting to ordain one, and he’s submitting a paper on why.

He doesn’t need to “rationalize” it—he’s believed it just as Bishop Duncan has for years.

I personally think it’s silly for them to offer reasons in the first place—they just need to go ahead and do as they believe and as the C&Cs; of the particular organization they joined allows . . . just as AngloCatholics do as they believe with the sacraments.

[70] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 08:53 AM · [top]

Hi Via Orthodoxy, not sure how it’s “arrogance” to purport to do something which you believe and have believed and which the C&Cs; of the organization of which you are a part allows for.

Are you saying that those who are a part of ACNA who believe in WO should leave?  Or that ACNA should revise its C&Cs; such that such parishes and dioceses would have to leave?

Not sure what you’re saying.

You should have an allowance on the books but it should be ignored because even though it’s in there . . . and even though anti-WOers joined ACNA with full knowledge of that allowance . . . somehow people just shouldn’t do it anyway, but also should stay in ACNA?  In other words . . . eat cake . . . have it too?

How about this?

All the WOers go into one organization and all the Anti-WOers into another?  Then the Anti-WOers who can’t-be-in-the-same-organization with WOers could also join in with the Anti-WOers who can.  You guys could be with the APA and Roseberry’s parish in the group with the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

[71] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 08:57 AM · [top]

OT women covered their heads when they prayed ‘because of the angels’ (I Corinthians 11:10

This was for the woman’s own protection - so as not to offend God’s holy angels by wantonly exposing her beauty to any and every man, thus causing them to abandon their protection over her, leaving her to be assaulted by those operating under evil spiritual forces in heaven and earth.

[72] Posted by Floridian on 9-4-2009 at 09:00 AM · [top]

John3v3, and how is that relevant to the current discussion?

[73] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 09:03 AM · [top]

Sarah, I’m not shocked or surprised that this is happening; I shocked and surprised that the paper presented to explain it is so dangerously weak.

[74] Posted by Brien on 9-4-2009 at 09:05 AM · [top]

Someone mentioned head coverings up the thread, Brer Rabbit.

[75] Posted by Floridian on 9-4-2009 at 09:05 AM · [top]

oops…second part needs an “I’m”

[76] Posted by Brien on 9-4-2009 at 09:06 AM · [top]

Tomorrow, Bishop Guernsey of the Diocese of the Holy Spirit, ACNA, will ordain two female “priests” at Apostles Anglican Church in Lexington, Kentucky.  They are currently deacons there and both fine ladies.  It’s not just Plano folks.  I am in this diocese and am unalterably opposed to WO.  Not sure where I’ll end up.

[77] Posted by evan miller on 9-4-2009 at 09:06 AM · [top]

Sarah: “But if people who are opposed to WO find it a first-order issue and cannot be in the same organization with those who attempt to practice WO then they’ll go elsewhere.”
Sarah: “Don’t join ACNA if you can’t be in the same organization with folks who are WOers.”

I do agree with some things you have said…I just am not sure why it’s assumed that those opposed to WO will go elsewhere or shouldn’t join ACNA.  What I am seeing is a consistent back door policy on WO in ACNA that is spreading clandestinely.  6 of 28 dioceses do WO…right now.  Pittburgh, Uganda, etc are OUT FRONT.  CANA is playing games. AMiA/AMiAs is also a confusing problem.  Some at CCP imformed me that most people were ignorant that there was a difference between AMiA and AMiAs, thinking the moratorium on WO was for both.  It got slipped in.  I joined CANA with my parish knowing there was a moratorium on WO, except for grandfathered women clergy.  I heard talk at CANA Council about how new women clergy can be ordained and brought in.  The moment Nigeria releases CANA, things will change.  VA folks control CANA.  There is just not enough honesty…it’s the elephant that won’t go away and requires HONEST dealing.

[78] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 09:11 AM · [top]

78…I am sure they are great ladies. But bringing up DioHoly Spirit reminds me…what I was told by some in leadership at CANA…women deacons in CANA would go to possibly DioHolySpirit, be ordained priests, then be sent right back to CANA.  Licensed in CANA, but resident in another diocese.  Sneaky.

[79] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 09:17 AM · [top]

Well, no-WO folks in ACNA (and those who stayed for so long in TEC) hold to the standard that they cannot receive the Holy Communion consecrated by an ordained woman or join a parish led by an ordained woman.  ACNA gives them what they had lost in TEC, which is the promise that bishops will be men and therefore acceptable throughout the church.  It is sad but true that not all priests can perform priestly functions throughout the church, because the ordained women are acceptable to some but not to all.

Those who cannot be in the same organization with ordained women at all, even with the protection of no coercion to accept the innovation and a male bishopric, are long gone to Continuing Churches or perhaps Rome or Orthodoxy.

[80] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 09:17 AM · [top]

The REC eschews WO not only on the basis of Scripture but also the Ecumenical Councils which Anglicanism has traditionally looked to for wisdom and the guidance of the mind of the unified Church.  The Councils did allow for the setting apart of deaconesses who were to be counted among the laity and this is what we do in the REC.  If one is truly seeking the mind of the Church on the matter, it is there - in the beginning.

Ordination is not vital to working in the Church nor even to making great impact on her. St. Francis was never ordained but only possessed a license to preach, yet he had great impact. Numerous women have also served the Church in a stellar fashion throughout history sans ordination. For those who would be unsatisfied with women being “merely” set apart, I would argue that when setting one apart for God there is no such creature as “merely”. Look to the great women saints of the Church. Of which would one say they were in any way “merely”, yet they lacked ordination.

Since, as has been pointed out, there is no sound theological argument against women bishops once one has women priests, the question also bears on greater unity. Women under Holy Orders is a non-starter for our brothers in Rome and the East.  Do we seek the greater unity of the Church or not?  It is interesting that those who chastise TEC for failing to consider their brothers and lurching ahead are often so eager to do the same themselves.  I guess it just depends on who you consider your brethren.

[81] Posted by Lawrence+ on 9-4-2009 at 09:19 AM · [top]

If you want to make a case for REVISION, then please put forth some real scholarship, and do not dismiss 2 millenia of theology because “Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings.” WRONG. Precisely the opposite, in fact. The teachings and practice of the CULTURE should be presumed correct unless those teachings are at odds with the teachings of the Church.

Is there some sort of “gentleman’s agreement” (to use a recently banned phrase) among ACNA bishops not to ordain women, regardless of the local diocesan canon (or AMiA canon, if that is what applies in this case)?  There ARE ordained women in ACNA, some of them post here from time to time.  And I know one personally.  So it is not like this is an “innovation” in that sense.

What it is, is a very poorly written paper, that would not likely get a “C” from a community college professor.  Scriptural arguments aside, to overthrow 2000 years of tradition based on part 4 of a book called The Blue Parakeet is ludicrous.  If you want to make a case for REVISION, then please put forth some real scholarship, and do not dismiss 2 millenia of theology because “Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings.” WRONG. Precisely the opposite, in fact. The teachings and practice of the CULTURE should be presumed correct unless the culture has changed so much that it is at odds with the teachings of the Church.

[82] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-4-2009 at 09:21 AM · [top]

Tj, your post #83 is hopelessly self-contradictory. Perhaps you would like to amend it.

[83] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 09:25 AM · [top]

Oops, sorry about that last, bad editing- that was suppose to be a cut and paste, not a copy and paste.

[84] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-4-2009 at 09:26 AM · [top]

RE: “I shocked and surprised that the paper presented to explain it is so dangerously weak.”

Yeh . . . it looks pretty bad.  I’ve seen good arguments [not one’s that were convincing to me, mind you, but at least understandable] and bad ‘uns.

But like I said . . . offering up some assertions of what the leaders of CC Plano believe is really not a good idea.  The AngloCatholics aren’t going to be convinced anyway.  Best just to go ahead and do what they are allowed to do by the C&Cs; anyway.

RE: “I just am not sure why it’s assumed that those opposed to WO will go elsewhere or shouldn’t join ACNA.”

It’s not assumed at all.  The only folks who will not join ACNA are those who can’t be in the same organization with folks who purport to ordain women.  Like Katherine said: “Those who cannot be in the same organization with ordained women at all, even with the protection of no coercion to accept the innovation and a male bishopric, are long gone to Continuing Churches or perhaps Rome or Orthodoxy.”

RE: “What I am seeing is a consistent back door policy on WO in ACNA that is spreading clandestinely.”

Huh?  All of the folks who believe in WO have been *crystal clear* about their beliefs and very upfront that they will practice it.  Period.  That’s no “back door”—and the C&Cs; are *crystal clear* that they will allow it as well.

CANA also—and Minns himself—was ON THE RECORD AND CRYSTAL CLEAR about his beliefs and that he would do it.  In fact, he was ripped by anti-WOers for being so clear in one of his communications. 

RE: “Some at CCP imformed me that most people were ignorant that there was a difference between AMiA and AMiAs, thinking the moratorium on WO was for both.  It got slipped in.”

Heh—now that’s true.  But . . . well . . . I won’t go there.

RE: “I joined CANA with my parish knowing there was a moratorium on WO, except for grandfathered women clergy.”

Please show me in writing this “moratorium” on WO.  I’ll show you in writing Bishop Minns very very clear statements of the opposite.

[85] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 09:36 AM · [top]

I believe the arrogance lies in thinking you can overturn 2000+ years of Church teaching and present such a shoddily written paper to justify it, Sarah. There is one Church. It is Catholic and Apostolic. Any church which purports to ordain women is not either of these things. It is impossible to ordain a woman.

[86] Posted by via orthodoxy on 9-4-2009 at 09:38 AM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit-
My point was to a) point out that this is a terribly weak paper, and b) to point out that from the ACNA canonical point of view, the fact that a woman is being ordained in Plano is not, in and of itself, an innovation within the context of ACNA.  I was not trying to lay out a personal position on the matter.

TEC will have a field day with this on the HoBD.  It could have been written by any of the deputies to the last 5 GCs.  The paper on its face should be immediately repudiated by ACNA’s bishops.  If this kind of thinking becomes common in ACNA, in 15 years, it will look like TEC looks today, and we will go through this exercise all over again.

[87] Posted by tjmcmahon on 9-4-2009 at 09:41 AM · [top]

I see we have discussed the Scripture and tradition aspects of WO, but not the experience side.  In 30 years of United Methodist membership and committee leadership roles at a number of churches, my experience was that women pastors were bad for the church at both the local and regional levels.  They over emphasized social justice and feelings at the expense of Biblical evangelism, and feminized all aspects of worship and teaching.  Further, Christian discipline and accountability were off the table because that would “hurt” people’s feelings and was not conducive to an inclusive atmosphere.  I know there are quite orthodox women out there who “could” serve admirably as priests, but that does not mean they should.  There are many other effective evangelism and leadership roles open to women.

This makes me more comfortable with my current choice of a PCA church.  I am beginning to believe that God may be done with the Anglican Communion.  It seems like He used TEC as the instrument to sow much confustion and dissension among all Anglicans.  The people in TEC who did this will have much to answer for when they are called to account in eternity.

Since I cannot stand for 90 minutes and am not comfortable with Greek or Russian culture, the Orthodox church does not seem like an option, but I may yet swim the Tiber.

[88] Posted by Daniel on 9-4-2009 at 09:46 AM · [top]

The very word PLANO has such a charged connotation for all in TEC and ACNA…it’s not that CCP’s leaders are Pro-WO that is shocking.  We have known that for years.  But for this to be happening at PLANO automatically makes it a big deal…and CCP knows this.  This will take precedence over catholicity.  They are forcing their hand.  I hope they’re ready.  C&C’s aside…it was not well-discerned.  But the good that comes from this is that now we HAVE to deal with this.

[89] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 09:48 AM · [top]

Yes TJ…this gives TEC HoB more fodder to work with.  What better story than to have the bastion of the TEC Exodus be charged with being a touchstone for ACNA’s demise?!

[90] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-4-2009 at 09:54 AM · [top]

I will admit that I have not read all of the posts between about #20 and now, however, I ask the question: Why did Jesus not select a woman to be one of the 12?  Some would say that Christ, the Messiah, was caving in to the cultural norms of His day, but how many other times did He choose to deliberately fly in the face of cultural norms?  He ate with sinners, pulicans, tax collectors and prostitutes.  He hung out with Samarians and Syro-Phoonicians.  He chose common working men, zealots and tax collectors to be his disciples.  He chose 12 men.

I believe that it was true that in the ancient world only the Jews maintained an all male priesthood.  Most if not all of the pagan religions featured woman in sacerdotal roles, but not for the Hebrews.  This seems to go back to Moses if not all the way to Abraham. 

Thousands of years of Church tradition were overturned by the capricious actions of ECUSA in the 1970’s.  Without a serious period of theological debate and consideration, WO was foisted upon the Church.  Does this sound familiar?

What is telling about this paper from Christ Church, however, is not the issue of WO itself, but rather its impact on the nascent ACNA.  Many have commented on this, I’m not new or original here, but the first test of whether ACNA will survive will be over WO.  Can an organization born out of strife and constituted by ecclesiastical bodies with radically different views of theology and churchmenship thrive over the long term?  Can FiFNA and the AMiA co-exist?  Is Plano’s middle of the road position on WO merely another camel’s nose that will one day result in another separation?

[91] Posted by Sacerdotal451 on 9-4-2009 at 10:06 AM · [top]

RE: “I believe the arrogance lies in thinking you can overturn 2000+ years of Church teaching and present such a shoddily written paper to justify it, Sarah.”

In other words, it’s arrogant to believe heresy.  But that’s kind of a “duh” statement, there.  I mean—that would mean it’s “arrogant”—you your standards of course—to believe in chemical contraceptives.

In other words . . . “There is one Church. It is Catholic and Apostolic. Any church which [allows chemical contraception] is not either of these things.”

RE: “It is impossible to ordain a woman.”

So AngloCatholics believe, of course.  But making your assertions is no less shoddy than CC Plano making theirs.  It’s not an “argument”—it’s merely a string of assertions by the varying camps within ACNA.

But you didn’t join an AngloCatholic organization, VO.  You joined ACNA.

RE: “They over emphasized social justice and feelings at the expense of Biblical evangelism, and feminized all aspects of worship and teaching.”

Um . . . .like the entire vastly vastly majority male house of bishops in TEC

[roll eyes]

RE: “it was not well-discerned.  But the good that comes from this is that now we HAVE to deal with this.”

Except . . . it was “discerned” years ago.  And ACNA has dealt with it.  People can blow smoke till the cows come home. 

But it’s been dealt with already—see the C&Cs;.  And not all the gnashing and assertions in the world will make it different.

[92] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 10:22 AM · [top]

comment deleted—commenter warned…see below

[93] Posted by TACit on 9-4-2009 at 10:26 AM · [top]

I am a bit confused as to why people think this is some sort of blow to the ACNA? The constitution anticipates this and allows for it.

The Province shall make no canon abridging the authority of any member dioceses, clusters or networks (whether regional or affinity-based) and those dioceses banded together as jurisdictions with respect to its practice regarding the ordination of women to the diaconate or presbyterate.

This is simply not a provincial issue. It’s a diocesan or jurisdictional one. If CCP’s bishop has an issue with the paper or the decision of CCP, then he will deal with the matter locally. The province has already spoken.

Did someone tell you or were you under the impression that there was a kind of provincial moratorium?

[94] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 10:33 AM · [top]

TACit,

Importing the word “priestess” in via a quotation is unacceptable. Your posting privileges will regretfully be removed should that happen again.

[95] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 10:35 AM · [top]

(re-) subscribe

[96] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 10:39 AM · [top]

Fr. Matt,

I think anyone reading the C&Cs; knows that the constitution allows dioceses and jurisdictions to decide the issue of women priests.  A big problem I have is that the Constitution doesn’t reserve the office of bishop to men only.  that is done in the canons, and as we all know, canons are more easily changed that constitutions.  I think this was done deliberately to ease an eventual admission of women to the episcopate.
Sarah,
I’m pretty sure I saw a post on StandFirm some time ago in which +Minns, while restating his support of WO, said that CANA would observe a moritorium on such ordinations to the priesthood in an effort at smoothing the coming together of ACNA.

[97] Posted by evan miller on 9-4-2009 at 10:44 AM · [top]

Matt (#95), I think the reason why “people think this is some sort of blow to the ACNA” possibly has more to do with the statement from Christ Church than it does with the ordination itself.  Someone mentioned that Bishop Guernsey will ordain two women this week, yet I haven’t seen any suggestions that these ordinations are a blow to the ACNA.

[98] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 9-4-2009 at 10:52 AM · [top]

Hi evan miller,

I do not think the canons are as elastic as you might think—especially on this particular issue.

The 90 day escape clause is designed specifically to avoid the sort of “deliberate easing in…” you rightly fear.

The 90 day clause states:

Section 5 - Concerning Effective Dates
Any amendment to these canons, or repeal thereof, shall not become effective until ninety (90)
days following ratification by the Provincial Assembly…

That is the sword hanging over the ACNA bed. Should one party attempt such a canonical imposition and should that party succeed. The ACNA will have ceased to exist before the canon could even take effect.

Everyone knows that. There will be no “easing in” of women bishops.

[99] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 10:54 AM · [top]

ToAllTheWorld,

I am not sure how this paper, expressing as it does, sentiments that have been around for some time prior to the formation of the ACNA should pose a threat to the ACNA since the ACNA has acknowledged in its foundational documents the existence of this theological chasm.

[100] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 10:57 AM · [top]

Thanks to evan miller #98 for pointing out that there may have been some sort of moratorium on WO in CANA.  I have been a bit puzzled by some of the outrage that the Plano church would do this; I thought it was implicit in the makeup of ACNA.  Some jurisdictions will ordain women, and some won’t, and bishops will be only male.  Priests from the no-WO parts will be acceptable everywhere, if invited; female priests cannot celebrate in the no-WO parts, although male priests can, if invited, especially since no priests will be ordained by female bishops.  Each side of the debate is naturally hoping to convince the other.  A poorly-supported decision like this one won’t do much to convince anybody who isn’t already on board.

[101] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 11:03 AM · [top]

Moot:  The problem with looking at Judges are threefold:

1) Judges were primarily—if not exclusively POLITICAL/MILITARY leaders, not spiritual.  Though in the theocracy that Israel was, these roles did overlap—still the primary act of a judge in the book of Judges was to liberate the people from their oppressors (military) and earlier to act as an arbiter in civil (political/social) disputes (Ex. 18, Jethro’s solution). 

2) Judges were NEVER priests, and priests were NEVER women.  Judges never represented the people before God—or God before the people.  The only priest**** that existed were pagan ones.

3) The time of the Judges was universally chaotic—and one of spiraling decline.  Using one instance during a time of cyclical foreign invasion, idolatry, religious chaos, really seems manifestly unwise. 

Much of the message of Judges seems to be that without a king they could not be safe—or godly.  Whereas 1 Samuel 8 alone could make it sound like having ANY human king was wrong—Judges counters that, making 1 Samuel in context say a GODLY king (NOT like those of other nations) is a very good thing—and a type of the Messiah Himself—even while ungodly kings are very bad things.

Interestingly, at the time of the Judges towards the end, was the Benjamite war—when one whole tribe of Israel gave into homosexuality and murder…and was therefore almost totally extinguished by the other tribes.

[102] Posted by banned4Life on 9-4-2009 at 11:05 AM · [top]

Why is Deaconess acceptable?  Honestly, I thought that term was dated until I saw this link.  Will the ACNA have differing rules for deaconesses vs. deacons? 

http://www.recdss.org/

[103] Posted by Matthew on 9-4-2009 at 11:10 AM · [top]

That word isn’t on the offending list and isn’t offensive, one hopes.  In addition to the REC the Continuing Churches were supposed to be bringing back to life the ancient order of deaconesses, who were in patristic times, according to what I have read, a lay order always distinct from the order of deacons.

[104] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 11:16 AM · [top]

Sacerdotal451 #92
You raised the question, “Can FiFNA and the AMiA co-exist?” The following may help answer your question.
* The AMiA (USA) adopted a moratorium on women’s ordination.
* The AMiA has produced two service books that are Catholic in tone.
* The AMiA clergy representative on the Governance Task Force is known for his strong Anglo-Catholic views.
* The AMiA Canonical Charter under which the AMiA operates was, according my sources in the AMiA, drawn up by a Roman Catholic priest. It certainly is Catholic in its notions of ecclesiology and ecclesiastical governance.
* The AMiA in its foundational documents protects Catholic practices such as benediction.
* The canaons of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, the parent Province of the AMiA, are Catholic in doctrine and largely Catholic in ecclesiology and ecclesiastical governance.
* The AMiA has at least one Catholic bishop and the Catholic clergy in the AMiA exercise a strong influence in that jurisdiction.
* At the Winter Conference that I attended a number of FIFNA reresentatives were present and enjoyed a friendly relationship with AMiA leaders.

Any fracture between the AMiA and other ANCA constituent bodies in my opinion is more likely to arise over issues of independence and autonomy than theological issues.

[105] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 9-4-2009 at 11:19 AM · [top]

Obviously there are many men and women in ACNA for whom the issue of WO is more important than an orthodox understanding of Christianity.  I know of no other Christians who claim to believe in both orthodoxy and WO.  I am sorry to have to say it, but it surely looks like some sort of shell game going on by people claiming to be something they are not.  Why could this issue not be tabled for a few years and give the new church a chance to take root?

[106] Posted by GB on 9-4-2009 at 11:30 AM · [top]

GB, what is obvious is that there are many and women for whom WO is *part* of orthodoxy.

[107] Posted by oscewicee on 9-4-2009 at 11:34 AM · [top]

Random observation: I think it is amusing how “CCP” has been effectively redefined to be “Christ Church Plano” and not, as the SF pop-ID would have it, “Common Cause Partnership.”  Did Christ Church usurp that title as soon as the Common Cause ceased to exist?

[108] Posted by Steve Lake+ on 9-4-2009 at 11:37 AM · [top]

So, the priest does not represent Christ and does not offer the Eucharist; instead, the priest presides over the congregation’s celebration of the Eucharist with Christ Himself being present.

Certainly not the historic teaching of the Church.  It becomes the Body and Blood of Christ because the congregation says it is?  Reminds me of an ELCA congregation who said it only was the body and blood of our Lord when they wanted it to be, otherwise, back on the shelf or in the bottle as bread and wine.

BTW, the Minor order of Deaconess was never confused with Holy Orders and had to do with “setting apart” for lay ministry as did other minor orders in the Church such as warden, acolyte, doorkeeper, etc.

[109] Posted by Dallas Priest on 9-4-2009 at 11:39 AM · [top]

Mad Potter #105
Developments upon which I would keep an eye are FIFNA’s campaign for Catholic order and against women’s ordination, its coalition building with other ACNA bodies that have a Catholic understanding of the “new province,” its intensification of its own efforts to plant and grow more Catholic congregations, its involvement in the preparation of a common liturgy for ACNA, and any changes in the Roman Catholic Church’s attitude toward the admission of Catholic jurisdictions, congregations, and clergy en mass from the ACNA and the Continuum into that ecclesial body. At its 2009 Assembly FIFNA adopted a resolution committing itself to what it described as Christian unity as opposed to Anglica unity. The language of this resolution is significant. I believe that FIFNA had in mind reunification with the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. FIF in the UK is strongly committed to reunification with the Church of Rome. While FIFNA’s commitment is to the establishment of a Catholic province in North America, it appears to be keeping this option open.

[110] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 9-4-2009 at 11:42 AM · [top]

[108] GB

Why could this issue not be tabled for a few years and give the new church a chance to take root? 

The exegetical distortions required to make Scripture affirm WO cannot be hermetically sealed away.  They must eventually impact other areas of Scriptural understanding.  There are all kinds of Scriptural imperatives that offend the culture at large.  This is a sure road to compromise in the name of ‘mission.’  But you don’t evangelize by making the Gospel more attractive to the unbeliever.  The Gospel can’t be made attractive to such as they unless it first be compromised.

carl

[111] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 11:42 AM · [top]

I am one who has converted from a pro-WO position to someone who opposes it on the basis of scripture. The events of the last ten years have taught me to take Scripture very seriously, and not to do gymnastics in an effort to support something that is “fair” from by secular standard.  In the secular relm I have always fully supported equal opportunity and authority for women.

There is so much about CC Plano to love. What has been most disappointing to me about this is that seems so selfish. The timing is obviously driven by the fact that it has a female candidate at the church, without apparent regard for the damage it will do at this critical juncture. It suggests, frankly, a mindset of non-demoninational church, not of a visionary leader helping to build a new Anglican presence in the US.

Its a mistake. The same arguments will be used in other areas to justify other deviations from Scripture.  It will temper the enthusiasm for some for the ACNA.  It will be used as justification for female Priests in other parishes.

[112] Posted by Going Home on 9-4-2009 at 11:48 AM · [top]

From the Bishop’s Pastoral Call to Cana:
http://www.canaconvocation.org/downloads/docs/MM - Bishops Pastoral Call to CANA 2007.12.06 [final].pdf

• We will keep our promise to honor both integrities within CANA and fulfill our commitment to the full participation of women, in the life and leadership of the church. We will seek to do so in such a manner that both those who are unable to support the ordination of women and those who embrace it will know that their position has been honored.

• We will continue to accept applications from qualified congregations and female clergy with the expectation that women clergy will be licensed to continue their ministry within CANA. We will request permission of the Church of Nigeria to ordain appropriately qualified women candidates to the diaconate within CANA as soon as possible.

• We will continue to look to a task force to continue work on this issue. We will expect them to develop a unified recommendation regarding ways in which we maintain our commitment to both integrities and at the same time provide the necessary theological framework pastoral procedures and canonical provision for the ordination of qualified women to the presbyterate within CANA.

Ordination is not only a response to God’s call on an individual but it is also an action of the church. At this time the Church of Nigeria, to which we owe canonical obedience, has no provision for the ordination of women although there has been acceptance of women in the order of deacons. At their most recent gathering the Church of Nigeria’s General Synod tabled discussion about ordination of women to a future date. Archbishop Peter Akinola has stated that while he supports this action he recognizes that there needs to be freedom for CANA to take a different direction because of its North American context. In light of this commitment to embrace both integrities we have received applications from congregations and female clergy with the expectation that women clergy will be licensed to continue their ministry.

As clear as a bell.

Somewhat ironic that a member of TEC knows about this stuff, but not some members of ACNA.

[113] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:53 AM · [top]

Again, nothing is new here…why “table” WO? Both those for and against WO joined the ACNA knowing full well that WO would continue in some jurisdictions and not in others.

[114] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 11:56 AM · [top]

Matt, what I meant by my earlier comment is this:

The ACNA Constitution and Canons obviously support the ordination of women to the presbyterate, and neither that language nor the reality that there are obviously ordained women in ACNA prevented those who are opposed to WO from joining.

But for Christ Church to support (or rationalize) the ordination with a flimsy statement, shot full of holes, that even seems to suggest that ordaining women is a mission imperative, has drawn attention to the elephant in the room in a way that goes far beyond what the ordination itself would have done.

All I can figure is that original purpose of this document was to explain to the members of Christ Church why they were about to see a woman from the congregation ordained and what it meant.  But given the prominence and media-orientation of this particular church, they took their case to a larger audience and sought to make it a “contribution to the ongoing communion-wide discussion about the ordination of women” as the introduction suggests.  The problem is that when you go public with a statement that is as questionable as this one, you do your cause more harm than good and (as other comments on this list are reflecting) call the whole agreement to disagree over WO in ACNA into question.

[115] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 9-4-2009 at 12:02 PM · [top]

Carl,

It’s probably not possible to put it on hold for a few years, since becoming ordained requires commitments, and when the people you work for change thier commitment to their employees, it’s kind of throwing them under the bus.  For that matter, it’s probably not possible to slow down the rate of ordinations. 

A huge part of the problem I believe, is that we are ALL incompetent to deal with the problem;  and that the problem is always much bigger than the things that are “discussed.” 

Mario Bergner+ devotes a portion of his book, Setting Love in Order, to the problem of parishes that are overly male-headship oriented.  He has pointed out that there are actually lots of men in such parishes that are subservient peons to the “alpha-males,” and then there are the women and kids below that.  I disagreed with that assessment for a long time, but then it started to make sense when I held it against things I’ve wondered about in my own family.  Why some of our men were weak peons, when their siblings were men amongst men. 

I think what it comes down to is that our grandparents understood the principal of headship correctly, but applied it wrong.  The wrong application led to (paradoxically) weak men, which led to gender confusion, which led to oh, how things are today. 

There is so much more to this.  WO is just the tip of the iceberg.  Look below the surface, and you’ve got to deal with what discipline is, spiritual gifts, offices, sacramentology, to name but a few.  Look even further, and you have to get to application, and how to jump start everything so we don’t get into these messes again. 

WO is the easy way out, which is to say that it isn’t a way out, but looks good because at least “things are getting done,” to address the difficulties brought on by the hard-heartedness of our forebears. 

It’s going to take a few generations to weed out. 

And if I’m wrong (as I am capable of being), then my own generation deserves to die out in the wilderness.

[116] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-4-2009 at 12:03 PM · [top]

RE: “The timing is obviously driven by the fact that it has a female candidate at the church, without apparent regard for the damage it will do at this critical juncture.”

Oh there’s no question that the “timing” of purporting to ordain women will never be right for those who are opposed.  Of course, the caterwauling and cries of “divisiveness” when CANA made itself *perfectly plain* was often about “bad timing” too.  And if CC Plano waited two years in order to “give the new church a chance to take root”—or five years or ten years—the cries of “why now” would also rise to the heavens.

Much better to move ahead and do it . . . and continue to do it . . . since that’s what they believe.  As I said over on the more-than-100 comments T19 thread regarding Bishop Minns pastoral call to CANA . . .

I’m very pleased that Martyn Minns is staking out a position and being clear about the challenges and degree of difficulty that all of this entails.  Better for him to be up-front and honest, then lie like a rug like so many Episcopal leaders.

I disagree with CC Plano’s leader’s assertions—just as I disagree with many of the AngloCatholic assertions stated above in the comments—but I can say that I’m jusut as pleased with Roseberry being up-front and straightforward about what he’ll be doing as I am about Minns, as I am about Iker.

[117] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 12:04 PM · [top]

GB #108; oscewicee, #109
From what I have read on the Internet, there is significant disagreement within the ACNA over what constitutes orthodoxy. Canon Gary L’Hommediu has written a commentary on this topic, “On the Birthing of Orthodoxies,” at http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=11102. In his most recent article, “So to the Next Stage,” Waren Tanghe, former Vice-President and Secretary of FIFNA, went on record that he did not regard evangelicals in the ACNA as quite orthodox. He equated orthodoxy with Catholicism. His article is on the Internet at: http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=11071. Tanghe served as a member of the Common Cause/Anglican Communion Network Round Table that drew up the Common Cause Theological Statement, which is now embedded in a revised form in Article I of the ACNA Constitution. Tanghe was confirmed as a Roman Catholic on Sept.3, and has applied to become a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This disagreement over orthodoxy, which is not solely related to women’s ordination, and of which the debate over women’s ordination may simply be the presenting symptom, may be an indicator of a fault line in the ACNA.

[118] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 9-4-2009 at 12:12 PM · [top]

ToAllTheWorld,

Okay, I think I see your point now and agree to an extent. I do think the working definition of “missional” and the requirements of that definition as the paper articulates them are not helpful—the church becomes a follower rather than a transformer of culture.

[119] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 12:15 PM · [top]

Okay, I may have to retract what I said.  Christ Church Plano identifies itself on its website as affiliated with the AMiA.  Has it transferred to the Canadian jurisdiction which does ordain women to the priesthood?  Who will ordain this woman candidate?  If this is being done in defiance of the existing AMiA position then I don’t understand what the parish is doing.

So far as I know ACNA jurisdictions stand as before the Bedford event, with no-WO, pro-WO, and moratorium-WO groups clearly defined.  Is this a change?

[120] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 12:15 PM · [top]

Steve (#110), no, actually some of us have referred to Christ Church, Plano as CCP for awhile—at least down here in Texas.  That, at least, is not a new innovation!  wink

[121] Posted by Jill C. on 9-4-2009 at 12:17 PM · [top]

This has been a stimulating thread.

I predict a large crop of new baby Anglicans will be entering the world about nine months from now.

[122] Posted by Theodora on 9-4-2009 at 12:27 PM · [top]

TXTh (#38):  You said, “++Duncan will pay a price if he supports this.”  ++ Duncan already supports WO.  The chaos would come anyway, even without CCP’s action and letter.  I fear, as others have expressed, that this issue could end up dividing ACNA a few years down the road. 

Katherine (#45) and TXTh (#46):  My own observations agree with this view, that as more women have come into TEC’s priesthood, fewer men have been inclined to do so.  In a couple of generations more, TEC’s priesthood will be overwhelmingly female, and so will the congregations.  I agree with those opinions above that WO in ACNA will eventually lead us own a similar path to that of TEC.

The no-brainer, DesertDavid (#61), is that WO is important enough to most who cannot accept it, that not being orthodox on the WO issue will tear us apart, even if orthodoxy is retained on other issues.  Is it worth it?  It is also a no-brainer that this position against WO is held out of faithfulness to God’s word written.  You can disagree that God’s word supports this position, but those opposed to WO certainly believe it does.  Do you believe they should act contrary to what they believe God requires?

Katherine (#81):  If the practice of WO spreads in ACNA, I predict many more will join those who “are long gone to Continuing Churches or perhaps Rome or Orthodoxy.”  Our bishops need to recognize the situation and take action to stop it if we are to truly be catholic and orthodox.

Lawrence (#82):  You said, “It is interesting that those who chastise TEC for failing to consider their brothers and lurching ahead are often so eager to do the same themselves.  I guess it just depends on who you consider your brethren.”  This, of course, is how we got WO to begin with.  The idea that what affects all should be decided by all applies to WO just as much as it does to gay consecrations and gay marriages.  ACNA and CANA should apply the same standard to both, and it grieves me that they are not doing so.  Unless/until the greater church catholic agrees, WO will be a divisive and contentious issue for any church that practices it.

[123] Posted by Warren M on 9-4-2009 at 12:28 PM · [top]

Moot

I don’t think this issue should be put on hold.  WO isn’t an alternate understanding legitimately derived from Scripture.  It is an imposition of cultural egalitarianism onto Scripture.  It’s advocates are not re-examining the text to see what it truly says.  They are approaching the text with a pre-determined position, and making it conform to their expectations.  They want Scripture to affirm WO because they believe WO to be right according to some extra-scriptural standard.  Thus they hope to resolve the dissonance in favor of the culture without impeaching the Scripture.  But this is a hopeless task.  Those who adopt such a position have compromised Scripture, and will eventually compromise it in other areas as well.

WO never stands alone for long.  Other errors will follow it through the door.  The problems to be resolved in the long run will thus be seven times worse, and seven times more entrenched.  My own thinking is that ACNA must evolve into three effectively separate organization to survive:  1) AC 2) Evangelicals open to WO & 3) Evangelicals who reject WO

carl

[124] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 12:32 PM · [top]

When women were unlearned or teaching wrong doctrine, Paul wanted them to be silent.  They were to learn in quietness and full submission.  However, Paul commended those who were adequately equipped for the service they rendered.

Priscilla taught Apollos at a higher level for he already was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures.  Paul approved this and refers to her as a colleague.  Colleagues are seen as being at similar levels of capability.  When Paul went on from Ephesus, he left her and Aquila there to continue serving.  Priscilla was also like Paul in being a Roman citizen.

Phoebe is the only person (man or woman) refered to, by Paul as a deacon.  He refered to her as prostatis.  Whoever was prostatis was “up front” to lead or teach.

If one examines the Greek text for I Tim. 3, it can be seen to not exclude women in leadership.  Indeed special instructions are given to those women “similarly serious to this calling” to guard against slander.

[125] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-4-2009 at 12:46 PM · [top]

I hate to use the term ” bait and switch ” but I have had first hand experience in this as it pertains to ACNA.
The example I experienced was a former bishop in the continuum now in the REC trying to assuage my concerns on WO.. I was told that Apb Duncan was going to do away with WO and those in orders would just kind of fade away and then this would no longer going to be an issue.
With all the hoopla and confusion in this new jurisdiction I am delighted to be in one of the 3 major continuuing jurisdictions as I see only further problems that should have been dealt with prior rather than later in the ACNA.
I wish them well but right now TEC Lite comes to mind.
I pray Im wrong.

[126] Posted by Ron+ on 9-4-2009 at 12:46 PM · [top]

comment deleted..user banned for violation of comment policy

[127] Posted by Id rather not say on 9-4-2009 at 12:58 PM · [top]

#108

I know of no other Christians who claim to believe in both orthodoxy and WO.

Well, GB, now you know of one, at least. My archbishop is another one.

[128] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 01:12 PM · [top]

I would expect that the membership of Christ Church Plano in not unified in this move.  The more anglo-catholic or non pro WO evangelical may form a new parish.
The FIFNA Diocese and its church plainting efforts, plus the the REC (which recently absorbed a large number of APA Parishes) and AMIA not being pro-Wo should give the anti-Wo many options. It appears that WO is a minority position 22 out of 28 dioceses.  Does Nashatoa house admit women? the REC seminaries do not - it would seem hard to fathom that the ACNA is about to be overrun with female Priests.
Long term the problem may end up being two different dioceses in each geographic area.  I think it would be better to hash that out sooner rather than later - with Pastoral care being provided for female priests in non-wo dioceses by other Bishops.

[129] Posted by chips on 9-4-2009 at 01:20 PM · [top]

117—A dispasionate evaluation of the merits of WO is very difficult when there is a candidate that you know and love in your midst. Granted, the Rector of CCP may have made up his mind long ago on WO on theory. But when the issue is raised with others at a church with a known candidate the rejection of WO becomes the rejection of a particular person, which can skew the debate among others. That is precisely the tactic used by the proponents of Robinson at GC2003 (remember the buttons?).

“Much better to move ahead and do it . . . and continue to do it . . . since that’s what they believe.”  Well, thats certainly been the position of the revisionist wing in TEC in certain areas. On the other hand, it does bring clarity.

As Christian members of a parish within the ACNA, the CCP leadership certainly had the liberty to take this action.  That doesnt mean, however, it was the right decision in this context.

[130] Posted by Going Home on 9-4-2009 at 01:21 PM · [top]

I have also noted in many of the comments above that some seem to be equating WO with “leadership”.  I believe very strongly that women can and should be leaders in the Church; but that does not mean that they must or should be ordained.  Maybe it’s because of my rather Catholic sacramentality (check out my screen name for goodness sake), but the issue of WO is more about who is eligible and appropriate to impart the Sacraments (all 7 of them).  Apart from the responsiblilities that are specifically reserved for a priest in the Canons, a lay person, male or female, can provide a great deal of leadership, evangelism and outreach.  The great tragedy is that so many people believe that none of that is possible unless you wear your collar backwards.

[131] Posted by Sacerdotal451 on 9-4-2009 at 01:24 PM · [top]

This document reveals a fundamental weakness in an evangelical approach to the faith.  They are guided, they say, solely by scripture.  But they leave it to themselves to interpret scripture and decide what’s essential and what’s cultural.  There are no two people anywhere who agree 100% on what scripture actually says.  As other posters have noted, this is the same flawed “it’s all about ME” theological approach that made TEC go off the rails.

[132] Posted by David Veale on 9-4-2009 at 01:29 PM · [top]

I would still like to know if Christ Church Plano is still AMiA, whether AMiA has changed its policy, and which bishop will ordain this candidate.  Or is the parish planning to change its affiliation to a jurisdiction which will ordain her?

[133] Posted by Katherine on 9-4-2009 at 01:30 PM · [top]

“This document reveals a fundamental weakness in an evangelical approach to the faith.”

Um, no. It reveals the thinking of the leadership of Christ Church Plano.

“They are guided, they say, solely by scripture.  But they leave it to themselves to interpret scripture and decide what’s essential and what’s cultural.”

This comment reveals a “fundamental weakness” in your understanding of evangelicalism.

“There are no two people anywhere who agree 100% on what scripture actually says.”

“No two”? Really? None? Wow…Amazing analytical skills you possess.

Catholics, as we all know, are 100% unified behind the teaching of the Catechism…of course there are a number of different ways to read and understand the Catechism…and there are several priests in town who understand it in very different ways but hey, they are united, I guess, in the sense that the Catechism actually says things about the faith that they should pay attention too.

If only we evangelicals could be as united as Catholics.

“As other posters have noted, this is the same flawed “it’s all about ME” theological approach that made TEC go off the rails.”

Your grasp of evangelical theology is truly stunning.

[134] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 01:40 PM · [top]

Chips,
re: #131 The REC will admit women to their seminaries where they are welcome to get a degree (usually the Master of Arts in Religion), but they are not eligible to enter ordained orders.

[comment edited: again, the policy defined in the original post above is not a topic for debate or discussion]

[135] Posted by Lawrence+ on 9-4-2009 at 02:10 PM · [top]

Carl,

I don’t think this issue should be put on hold.

I agree with most of what you said in your earlier post, but find the one quoted above puzzling.  I think my point was, it’s not going to be put on hold, because ‘druthers notwithstanding, it can’t be put on hold. 

Like I said… I agree with most of what you said. 

Right.  But like I said .. I agree with most of what you said. 

I know.  But like I said ..

[136] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-4-2009 at 02:32 PM · [top]

LuxRex (#103),

I think you’ve got me mixed up with B’r Rabbit & TXThurifer (#40/41)?

[137] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-4-2009 at 02:35 PM · [top]

135
CCP is still AMIA and under the church of Rwanda. In his letter to the congregation on this, Fr Roseberry says that Archbishop Kolini supports the ordination of women to the priesthood.
http://christchurchplano.org/leaderboard/openletter/

There are many responses, pro and con to the letter. At least one of them calls Roseberry on the fact he has not given biblical justification for the move. To a good many it seems to be “this is what we want to do, so we are.”
Sadly, I think CCP will lose some members over this, whichever way it goes.

[138] Posted by Marie Blocher on 9-4-2009 at 02:41 PM · [top]

Katherine (122 & 135),
As I understand it, Archbishop Duncan will be the presider at the service. And yes, as far as I know, Christ Church Plano is an AMiA parish in the same network as my own, and no I do not know how this conflict can be reconciled. I do not believe Bp. Jones will be a participant, though.

[139] Posted by C Heenan on 9-4-2009 at 02:42 PM · [top]

It might be helpful (for the discussion) to read the text of the letter I sent to our church two weeks ago. 

David Roseberry
http://www.ChristChurchPlano.org

Dear Friends in Christ,
Subsequent to the recent announcement of the upcoming ordination of a woman to the priesthood at Christ Church, I received a variety of thoughtful responses from about 20 men and women of our church family. Some voiced their concerns; others indicated their support. I am deeply appreciative for the comments, and I have read them all. Since the concerns and questions followed a few common themes, it is my hope that this letter will serve to answer those who contacted me, as well as the rest of our church family.

We would all agree that men and women are co-equal and blessed children of God. But any student of the Bible knows that the roles and functions of men and women outlined in the Bible are different. Men and women occupy the exact same positions in the culture.  Pilots, doctors, teacher, nurses, contractors, lawyers and every other role or job you can think of is being done by either men or women. The issues of inequality between men and women in our culture are nearly gone.

The Bible, however, holds out a higher vision for male/female roles in two areas of life: the family and the church. Indeed, the Scriptures uphold and affirm the “headship” of a man in the family and in the spiritual life of the Body of Christ.
Both in the family and in the church, headship is not to be domineering or oppressive at all. Headship is to be life giving. See Eph 5:21 for a detailed description of this vision for the family and Christ’s headship over the church. (I addressed this issue at length in a recent seminar entitled “The Biblical Vision for Marriage.” DVDs are available in our bookstore.)

The Bible has this vision of headship for the early church as well: The spiritual head of a church body should be a male. Again, this is not a slight on women at all. But as Paul explains it, this is the order of creation: Christ as head of the man, the man as head for the woman. Paul’s instructions for the early church sometimes include warnings, injunctions, and commands about the roles of men and women.  Some of these commands are obviously culturally conditioned. For example, he forbids women to wear jewelry and makeup and to speak (except to their husbands at home.) There are obviously rules that he is enforcing on a different kind of society and within a very different set of circumstances. Wearing jewelry and makeup was (in the time of the New Testament) done by women of loose morals. We would all agree that his injunction would no longer apply in this culture.

Nevertheless, what seems to be constant through the New Testament is a vision of a church as a spiritual family of faith under the headship of a male leader. (See I Cor 14; 1 Timothy 2. ) I must tell you that I have been very sympathetic to this viewpoint. I remain convinced that God intends His church to function in this way.

How then can a woman be ordained in the church? Consider these points:

1) In the Anglican Communion, the concept of “church”, the Body of Christ, is much wider than a local congregation. The critical unit of organization is not the pastor, or the vestry, or the congregation. We are all under the authority and ministry of a bishop in the Church. In our case, the Rt. Rev. Philip Jones is our bishop and his office within the AMiA is the “organizing unit” under whose authority I (we) must abide. In other words, he is the “head” of Christ Church. The Constitution and Canons of the AMiA and its new federation, the ACNA, provide for the office of bishop to be selected from among male priests only. At Christ Church, all clergy, male or female, deacon or priest, are under the headship of a bishop in the AMiA.

2)  I cannot ordain anyone. It is not up to me but to the bishops of the AMiA. While the long and strenuous path of discernment, education, testing, prayer, and deliberation is done at the local parish level, that path is set forth by the bishops of the church, not by the local rector. When a woman is ordained in the Anglican Church she is ordained by a bishop of the Anglican Church for the Anglican Church. She is fully under the “headship” of a bishop.

3)  The ordination of women to the priesthood is not new. The Anglican Church (of which we are a part) is a worldwide communion. There are 38 Provinces around the globe comprising some 70+ million members. In some places, women are not allowed to be ordained at all. In other places, they can be ordained to the diaconate only. And in many other places, they are ordained to the priesthood. Christ Church is a member of the AMiA and attached to the Province of Rwanda. We are required to follow their rules, canons, and practices. Archbishop Kolini of Rwanda supports the ordination of women and has asked that the missionary outreach of his province (AMiA) provide for the ordination of women.

Finally, allow me to bring up a subject that might be on the minds of some. I have heard this from some in our church. It is usually expressed in terms of a “slippery slope” into the ordination of practicing homosexuals.

Women are regarded in the Bible with increasing favor. By the time the New Testament closes, the role of women is rather exalted. For instance, Jesus appeared first to women.  (Did you know that in Luke’s Gospel the first Easter appearance and announcement was given to a woman? Luke 24:1ff) Also, several women within the New Testament church show uncanny and thoughtful leadership. Indeed, the arc of the biblical narrative finds women in increasing favor, liberation, and in important critical roles. Frankly, the same can be said of slaves. By the time the New Testament closes, the seeds are there to call for the equal regard and freedom for all men and women. But the view of the Bible on active homosexuality never changes. The whole biblical story consistently calls upon active homosexual people to repent of their sins.
Therefore, there is no slippery slope at all. These are two very, very different subjects and should be viewed differently.

Finally, I want to say a pastoral word to all of you. The Body of Christ in its local [removed]the congregation) and in its wider [removed]in our case, the AMiA) is called routinely to strive for unity and grace with each other. Please pray with me that, even though this is an issue on which there is a range of belief, it would be a spiritual growth opportunity for us as a church family.

Yours in Christ,


The Rev. Canon David H. Roseberry

Rector

[140] Posted by Roseberry on 9-4-2009 at 03:20 PM · [top]

I applaud the candor and openness of Roseberry+, particularly for having an open leadership blog!

However, to assert that the male headship standard can be honored by requiring a male Bishop overlooks the fact that for the vast majority of congregants, the spiritual leader is the Priest. 

Far better to scratch this itch by ordaining female deacons, with whatever changes need to be made to accommodate the reasonable concerns of traditionalists on this issue. This would not satisfy all, but would better honor the “male headship” standard and the fact that there is no clear warrant for female Priests in the New Testament.

[141] Posted by Going Home on 9-4-2009 at 03:36 PM · [top]

Unless I’m misreading it looks like its time for someone to update the AMIA FAQ [italics and bold are mine]:
What is the Anglican Mission’s position on the ordination of women?
Based on a careful study undertaken by the Rt. Rev. Dr. John Rodgers, the Anglican Mission has determined that the most faithful response to the witness of Scripture and its teaching on headship would dictate that women be ordained only to the diaconate. While recognizing that the Church is presently seeking further clarity in this matter through a period of discernment and “reception,” the important concept of “headship” proved to be the most critical issue for us as we developed our policy on the issue of women’s ordination. AMiA Womens Ordination Study [dead link in original]

In 2007, the Anglican Mission expanded its structure at the request of Archbishop Kolini by creating the Anglican Mission in the Americas. This umbrella organization includes the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), the Anglican Coalition of Canada (ACiC) and the Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA). This structure embraces two countries (the US and Canada) as well as two positions on the ordination of women. Both the ACiC and the ACiA ordain women to the priesthood, as does the Province of Rwanda, while the AMiA maintains its policy of ordaining women only to the diaconate. The Anglican Mission in the Americas provides a way to maintain the integrity, and honor the consciences, of those with differing opinions and policies on women’s ordination.

Peace,
-ms

[142] Posted by miserable sinner on 9-4-2009 at 04:02 PM · [top]

And meanwhile in Rome, JPIIs Apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis remains the teaching:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_22051994_ordinatio-sacerdotalis_en.html

It’s #3 is worthy of thoughtful reflection:
3. Furthermore, the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, received neither the mission proper to the Apostles nor the ministerial priesthood clearly shows that the non-admission of women to priestly ordination cannot mean that women are of lesser dignity, nor can it be construed as discrimination against them. Rather, it is to be seen as the faithful observance of a plan to be ascribed to the wisdom of the Lord of the universe.

The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable. As the Declaration Inter Insigniores points out, “the Church desires that Christian women should become fully aware of the greatness of their mission: today their role is of capital importance both for the renewal and humanization of society and for the rediscovery by believers of the true face of the Church.”(10)

The New Testament and the whole history of the Church give ample evidence of the presence in the Church of women, true disciples, witnesses to Christ in the family and in society, as well as in total consecration to the service of God and of the Gospel. “By defending the dignity of women and their vocation, the Church has shown honor and gratitude for those women who-faithful to the Gospel-have shared in every age in the apostolic mission of the whole People of God. They are the holy martyrs, virgins and mothers of families, who bravely bore witness to their faith and passed on the Church’s faith and tradition by bringing up their children in the spirit of the Gospel.”(11)

Moreover, it is to the holiness of the faithful that the hierarchical structure of the Church is totally ordered. For this reason, the Declaration Inter Insigniores recalls: “the only better gift, which can and must be desired, is love (cf. 1 Cor 12 and 13). The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven are not the ministers but the saints.”(12)

Peace,
-ms

[143] Posted by miserable sinner on 9-4-2009 at 04:09 PM · [top]

Which version of Scripture is it that forbids women to speak except to their husbands at home?

[144] Posted by Lawrence+ on 9-4-2009 at 04:12 PM · [top]

I think this discussion is an important one in so far as it is carried on with mutual respect. No matter how much you may disagree with the leaders of CCP on this matter, I think Anglicans in America owe David Roseberry and Christ Church an incredible debt of gratitude for their leadership in standing firm for Christ and their fidelity to the word of God. Respectful disagreement is appropriate if you must disagree. Disdain is not.

[145] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-4-2009 at 04:14 PM · [top]

[143] Going Home

This would not satisfy all, but would better honor the “male headship” standard and the fact that there is no clear warrant for female Priests in the New Testament.

A woman who is a believer is a priest simply because she is part of the priesthood of all Believers.  What lacks biblical warrant is a sacramental priesthood that presumes to stand as mediator of grace between God and man.  There is already one High Priest available to perform this function.  Paul never refers to the leaders of the NT church as priests.  It wasn’t because he didn’t have access to the word.  There is a perfectly good Greek word for ‘priest’, and it can be found in Hebrews 9.  Paul simply didn’t use it.  He used the words we translate ‘elder’ and ‘overseer’ instead.  A woman can be a priest just like every other believer.  What she cannot be is an elder.

carl

[146] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 04:20 PM · [top]

Okay I confess:

I have just read the 32-page PDF file in its entirety. While the criticisms in the comments above alleging inadequacy of the document seemed to have merit based on the portion excerpted by StandFirm, I disagree with these criticisms based on a full reading.

It has been often admitted (and we have even more often alleged) that the homosexual apologists have not done the theological work required to change the teaching of the Church regarding homosexuality. While that is certainly true, the present document advocating a change in the teaching of the Church regarding women’s ordination makes a good beginning on the theological work required.

They begin by examining the epistemological approach and proposing a hermeneutical approach for the proper understanding of Scripture in its truest “literal” sense. Then they proceed to lay a theological foundation for their position in the theology of mission. Whle this seems unlikely on its face, their argument should not be dismissed before one has read the argument in its entirety. It is a valid approach. Time will tell whether it is the correct approach.

The document as it stands does not come close to satisfying the need for a fuller understanding of all the Scriptures relevant to women’s ordination. I suspect that this more complete examination would require another 90 pages, if not a full-length book.

They present their document in the same spirit as the Declaration of Independence, in that they owe the world an adequate explanation as to why they propose to change the order of things as found in the traditional church. They have made a good start, which must be respected.

I will forward this document to my bishop. I suspect he will forward it to my archbishop, who holds views similar to those in the document.

[147] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-4-2009 at 05:41 PM · [top]

I did not intend disdain, although I was probably overly sarcastic. I apologize if I offended anyone, and agree wholeheartedly that gratitude is owed those who have stood firm. Thank you all for all you have done by the Grace of God will continue to do.

It is precisely because of the immportance of the issue at hand and how critical it is that we retain fidelity to Scripture that I highlighted that comment because, to my eye, this: 

Some of these commands are obviously culturally conditioned. For example, he forbids women to wear jewelry and makeup and to speak (except to their husbands at home.)

does not look at all like this:

The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.

Is there not a disconnect there? I stand willing to be corrected if that is not the case.

[148] Posted by Lawrence+ on 9-4-2009 at 05:55 PM · [top]

#145 Miserable Sinner
The AMiA website FAQ is correct. What nows exists is an umbrella structure called the Anglican Mission in the America’s (AMiA, notice the plural “America’s”). Under that structure are 3 subgroups: the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA), the Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA) and the Anglican Coalition in Canada (ACiC).

In my mind, much of the confusion lies in the fact the the umbrella group and the subgroup both use the same acronym: AMiA. I would have to guess that CCP, since it is supportive of ordaining women as priests, is actually part of the subgroup “ACiC” while still being in the AMiA. Since almost all of the parishes in the United States are part of the AMiA subgroup, which still do not ordain women priests, this would make CCP an exception.

Beyond that, I’ll restate what I said earlier, holding up mission and culture as the reason for ordaining women as priests is unsettling. I especially find this ironic when the AMiA is ALL about “mission” and still settled on its position after the Bishop Rodgers’ study to not ordain women priests. I don’t think it has slowed us in the planting of a new church every 3 weeks for the past 5 years.

Lastly, all of this was written into the AMiA Charter last December:

Section 4:  The Anglican Mission accepts two theological conclusions regarding the ordination of women to the priesthood, and
is structured to accommodate both.  The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) believes Holy Orders to be a matter of both the
doctrine and the discipline of the Church, and receives the call of women exclusively to the diaconate as part of its common life. 
The Anglican Coalition in Canada (ACiC) and The Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA) accept Holy Orders as part of the
discipline of the Church, rather than a matter of doctrine alone, and receive the call of women in the priesthood and diaconate as
part of their common life.

[149] Posted by Shane Copeland on 9-4-2009 at 06:03 PM · [top]

Hey guys—just back in from some working out time . . . after a full day away from blogging .  . . . and in response to Katherine and others asking about the AMiA . . .

Here was a great summary of the things that the AMiA has done that has led to some confusion . . .

http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/24849/#390333

So as an AMiA priest, I agree with the AMiA’s WO study several years back. This led to the AMiA adopting a policy of not ordaining women to the priesthood. However, the connection with Rwanda, which does ordain women priests, led to a change in the structure. In 2007, the AMiA set up an umbrella organization called the Anglican Mission in the America’s (it unfortunately uses the same AMiA acronym which tends to confuse things).

Under this umbrella, are 3 separate entities. The original Angliacn Mission in America (AMiA), which still only ordains male priests (this encompasses the vast majority of all the parishes). But it also includes the Anglican Coalition in Canada (ACiC) and the newer Anglican Coalition in America (ACiA). Both of these groups ordain women priests.

It appears that Christ Church Plano must be a part of the ACiA grouping. I must admit that I was not aware of this, and quite frankly, am rather disappointed to hear they are moving in this direction.

[150] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 07:51 PM · [top]

You’re right, Shane.  Our AMiA parish has been all about mission and is also very openly opposed to women’s ordination. Being counter-cultural in that regard has not hurt our mission in the least.  We’ve grown from 250 to 750 in the last five years and have planted two new, self-sustaining daughter congregations.  The first one has grown from 4 to 250 in the six years since it was founded.  The second, formed two years ago in a lay catechist’s living room has grown from 4 to 60.  We also have a thriving year-old mission plant in the local refugee population with around 40 people from three different continents and nine different language groups.  Both daughter churches and our refugee mission have the same solid stance on not ordaining women.  We’ve found that you really don’t need to ordain women for the sake of mission.

[151] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 9-4-2009 at 08:20 PM · [top]

I had wanted to simply support observations and comments from #25ToAllTheWorld and #36TXThurifer, and also #92Sacerdotal451 (is that a play on the Vonnegut title?), when I quoted uncarefully part of a paragraph Alice Linsley wrote.  Overarching the intra-Anglican-evangelical positions that may be taken regarding the issue raised in the paper from CCP is the effect of witness to the rest of the Christian world, and there seems to be a spread of opinion about what that witness ought to be.  But it is most likely that making women rectors, even if not bishops (and how precisely would that development be prevented?), would constitute a barrier, rather than provide grounds for conversation, in the efforts toward catholic Christian unity that many Anglicans of varying persuasions are pursuing.

[152] Posted by TACit on 9-4-2009 at 08:24 PM · [top]

The fault lines between the Anglicans who hold to an Anglo-Catholic ecclesiology and those holding to a Protestant ecclesiology are simply too great to be overcome by the structures of ACNA.  I wish it were not the case, but the strong personal connections between Abp Duncan and Bp Iker will not prevent those in the new Missionary Diocese of All Saints, the remnant of Quincy, and traditionals in Ft. Worth and Central CA, and a very few REC folks from going their own way.  WO is not the real issue.  The real issue is the difference in ecclesiology by “orthodox” Anglicans.
In addition, there is the fault line between the Reformed elements and those holding to a Catholic/Arminian soteriology.  Drawing the tent ever larger to include everyone who despises the hersey of the TEC does not provide sufficient unity.  IMO the ACNA has significant problems to overcome, and WO is just a presenting issue.

[153] Posted by Tractarian on 9-4-2009 at 08:29 PM · [top]

#142. David Roseberry wrote:
  “By the time the New Testament closes, the seeds are there to call for the equal regard and freedom for all men and women. But the view of the Bible on active homosexuality never changes. The whole biblical story consistently calls upon active homosexual people to repent of their sins.”

Thanks for this clear statement.  It seems certain that Paul did ordain women to teach and lead (and to be the only named deacon in the New Testament), as I pointed out in post #127.  Further, he considered some of them as colleagues.  I am bewildered as to why this is given so little attention by we who consider ourselves orthodox.

Anyway, thank you for your letter,
—Stan Rasberry

[154] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-4-2009 at 08:46 PM · [top]

Fr. Roseberry is doing what is right in his own eyes. He is correct that a bishop’s hands are needed, but it is disengenuous to claim he “can do nothing.” There would be no “ordination” service scheduled had not Roseberry+ championed it.

Further, he seems blind to how he undercuts his own arguments.

By the time the New Testament closes, the role of women is rather exalted…Jesus appeared first to women…


These exalted women were not chosen by Christ to be among the twelve. These exalted women, including Mary, were not chosen by the eleven to be even a candidate to replace Judas. They were on one level, even more worthy, more holy, more honored than any men. Yet according to Christ’s pattern and St. Paul’s explicit teaching, they were not to be pastors/apostles.
Even though he lays out much evidence that Christ had already exalted women, Rosenberry has to deny that it was enough; as if, “Christ wasn’t shackled by culture—he honored them more than before; but he was on a cultural leash, for he would have exalted them even further as Apostles if he could have.” His argument boils down to 1) the implicit claim that the priesthood is more exalted than what others do, and 2) since the “arc” and “trajectory” and “seeds” of Scripture are to exalt women more as time goes by, they should be equally exalted with men now and eligible for the highest role of exaltation. The trajectory has reached its pinnacle: Equal justice! Equal freedom! Equal exaltation for all!

The problems are legion. His exaltation arc logically conquers the episcopate and family headship despite his protestations. It justifies all talk of rights and privileges, of human-judged exaltation and “feelings” of justice.

But lo and behold, if ordination is not a matter of higher exaltation and fuller equality, as it surely is not, then there’s nothing wrong with leaving Mary and all women as Christ did: properly exalted, equal in worth, and unordained.

[155] Posted by alfonso on 9-4-2009 at 08:48 PM · [top]

[156] CanaAnglican

the seeds are there

The phrase itself is a tacit admission that what you want to be there in Scripture is in fact not there. Instead you are suggesting that it lay dormant and hidden until the right generation comes along to discover it.  Except the generation that presumes to discover ‘the seed’ is steeped in its own presuppositions of egalitarianism.  Too convenient by half.  Nor do I accept the idea that headship can be shifted from an office established by Scripture to an office established by tradition simply to allow women to occupy the biblical office.  That turns the authority of Scripture on its head.

carl

[156] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 08:58 PM · [top]

And if I wasn’t clear, it’s obvious that Roseberry would claim that the episcopate is not a matter of exaltation and that it is “OK” for Christ to draw the line there, and with family male headship.

But if it is “OK” to draw the line there, there is no reason whatsoever to imply that Christ would be unjust by drawing the line at the priesthood. It is His call! Not ours. And he made it with his actions and His apostles’ teaching.

[warning: satire ahead, but I’m very seriously trying to impress how deadly wrong this is]

Instead, Fr. Roseberry’s Christology has our Lord saying, “Do as I say, but not as I do, for you can be even more fair than I was. I moved the arc along, but you can finally practice justice to women…Didn’t I said you’d do even greater works than me?, and by that, I meant you’d be even more fair than I was able to be. And while you’re at it, ignore that I had St. Paul base his women/church teaching on Holy Scripture and just chalk it up to his fear of fully standing up to culture, like I was with my Apostle picks.”

[157] Posted by alfonso on 9-4-2009 at 09:10 PM · [top]

#158. Carl,
It is there in spades.  Please see post #127.

#157. Alfonso,
All those chosen by Christ to be among the twelve were Jews.  I suppose this eliminates the possibility of ordaining Gentiles.  Please do not tell us the Scripture says ‘now there is neither Jew nor Greek,’ for it also says ‘there is neither male nor female.’

[158] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-4-2009 at 09:18 PM · [top]

“a tacit admission that it’s not there.” Bingo carl. Although I’ll quibble with, “it lay dormant and hidden…” Rather, it was there according to Roseberry+, not hidden, but only “just so far along” the “arc” of justice/exaltation. In other words, he is arguing it was imperfect under Christ, a seed needing our day and age to bear fruit.

[159] Posted by alfonso on 9-4-2009 at 09:18 PM · [top]

#151: You may well be right.  But, then just say so.  And if CCP is in the pro-WO part of AMiA et. al. no need to write 3 sentences, let alone 30 pages to justify its stance.  Ordain all the Godly women you discern to have been called to the priesthood. 

However, as a backdrop some of remember well all the claims of unity that came out of St. Louis back in ‘77.  History, told us different about that unity.  Not to be overly cynical, but, do excuse us if we think we’re beginning to have flashbacks.  Pray that our fears are unfounded.

Peace and prayers for ALL,
-ms

[160] Posted by miserable sinner on 9-4-2009 at 09:23 PM · [top]

CanAnglican: “Please do not tell us the Scripture says ‘now there is neither Jew nor Greek,’ for it also says ‘there is neither male nor female.’”

Neither were there slaves as Apostles, but St. Paul does not say that slaves are of the created order, nor that gentiles/greeks are of the created order, (nor rich/poor, etc.); but he does limit the role of women based on Holy Scriptures/created order.

Everyone should know that the slave/free male/female Jew/Gentile affirmations of St. Paul have nothing to do with roles in the Church, but salvation itself!

As for CanAnglican’s rejection of Christ’s example; he should not be so quick to do so. Just because I freely admit our Lord’s example does not prove this issue alone, it undermines, nay, destroys, most of the cultural pro-WO arguments of today. It is a heavy weight that must not be trampled underfoot.

[161] Posted by alfonso on 9-4-2009 at 09:29 PM · [top]

#161, Alfonso,
It was not dormant.  It was women such as Priscilla and Phoebe bearing fruit in the first century.  Please tell us the names of all the people Paul named as deacons in his epistles.

[162] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-4-2009 at 09:54 PM · [top]

I am not clear as to the meaning of the following sentence in the Christ Church statement’s point: “Instead, we will wait for this issue to be resolved through the process of reception.”  How does this differ from the “process” used by the TEC to justify its theological innovations?

[163] Posted by Tractarian on 9-4-2009 at 10:06 PM · [top]

I could certainly wish that Duncan would not be the presider in the ordination service. That hardly seems a way of maintaining unity to me. Some on this blog seem to think that leaders should always just go right ahead and do what they believe, and that not doing so is hypocritical. Duncan believes in WO so he should just ordain away. Roseberry believes it, so he should push ahead.  But I see restraint and sensitivity to be great virtues in matters like this, and having the archbishop preside in the ordination service seems not to be a display of these virtues.

[164] Posted by Geofrey on 9-4-2009 at 10:18 PM · [top]

Perhaps they believe that they would be “acting prophetically.” That would be okay then. Right?

[165] Posted by Athanasian on 9-4-2009 at 10:30 PM · [top]

[160] CanaAnglican

It is there in spades.

Right.  Which explains why you have to resort to ‘seed’ metaphors to describe its presence in Scripture.  “Sure, Paul says ‘No’ but it was a culturally conditioned thing.  See, there is this seed ...”

carl

[166] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 10:31 PM · [top]

RE: “But I see restraint and sensitivity to be great virtues in matters like this . . . “

I guess I don’t see anything at all that restraint and sensitivity would bring, since the *only* thing that would satisfy the anti-Woers in evidence on this thread is that people would [of course] never ordain women.

But . . . that will not happen.  Why?  Because the Pro-Woers strongly strongly believe it to be a good and wonderful thing.

The above being the case, my thesis is that the longer the delay the more enraged and furious will be the anti-Woers.  At each and every turn—despite the crystal clarity of the pro-Woers stances, so clear that even someone like me could see them—such clarity only brings outraged cries of “divisive” and “not now” and “not then either.”

Given that the anti-Woers will never believe *any* time is the right time, then delay merely makes anti-Woers think that it won’t happen in the future.  And when it did happen . . . the cries of deceit and prevarication and “but why now” would arise.  We even had those cries *on this very thread* about Bishop Minns, despite his frank and clear statements about WO, to the then-castigations of others.

[167] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 10:32 PM · [top]

I was opposed to women’s ordination until a woman was called to our parish. She was highly educated and possessed great gifts that I felt our parish needed. She certainly had a love for our Lord and a heart for ministry. At first it seemed very good, but in the second year, some very difficult problems were apparent. Much effort was made to solve these problems and it took a long time, several years before it was apparent to me that we fighting a battle against Scripture and tradition, not to mention reason.

There were questions of authority, the nature of the Biblical priesthood, and the relationship of the priest as representing Jesus Christ to the flock. It just did not work and now I believe it can never work. You can not take isolated parts of Scripture to defend women’s ordination. You must know the whole of Scripture from the time the priesthood was established and the purpose of priesthood. You must know the relationship of men and women that was established in Genesis and reaffirmed throughout the whole of Scripture.

My experience with a very godly woman who certainly tried with all her soul, heart and being to be a good priest taught me that it just can not work. It just defies so much of God’s teaching throughout the Bible.

I am now convinced that women’s ordination is a foundational issue. Women’s ordination is just not an option that can be considered, and I do not think I could be a communicant in a church that ordains women.

I admit I am not a little surprised that I have come to this conclusion. It does go against what I have believed and professed for many years. Women are not equal with men. We have a very, very special place in God’s heart and God’s plan. I pray that the church would do a little theological study about the special plan God has for women and would teach us to be what God has really “ordained” us to be. It is far greater than being a priest. I pray we women will soon find “our place,” and I am convinced that place is one of joy, love, peace and service. It has nothing do with culture, but everyting to do with serving God and giving Him the glory for the precious gift of creating us as women.

[168] Posted by 7Light on 9-4-2009 at 10:35 PM · [top]

Sarah,
I’d like to point out that for some of us ‘evangelicals’ it is impossible to ‘ordain’ a women to the presbytery/episcopate.

Being a ‘one-woman man/husband of one wife’ is not a requirement that a woman can meet.


Titus 1:5-9
I Timothy 3:1-7

While some of the things in the lists are slightly different, the same ‘one woman man/husband of one wife’ requirement is given in both lists. 

Also there is the difficulty in the wife being the one to keep the children in subjection (where is the headship in a household where a woman has to fulfill that role?), or managing ‘her own household’/acting as God’s Steward,

There are no female priests, no female bishops.
We need many more female deacon(esse)s.
We need women who can and will teach the younger women to love their husbands and their children.
We need to address the legitimacy of ministry without being an elder/overseer (presbyter/bishop).

We have let the idea that all ministers are ‘ordained’ distort our understanding of the roles of the members of the body.

[169] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 10:41 PM · [top]

RE: “I’d like to point out that for some of us ‘evangelicals’ it is impossible to ‘ordain’ a women to the presbytery/episcopate.”

Understood—in general on this thread I’ve used the words “purport to ordain” in the majority of my comments.

RE: “Being a ‘one-woman man/husband of one wife’ is not a requirement that a woman can meet.”

Indeed.  Nor can a single man.

I await with interest the cries against SM ordination.  ; > )

[170] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 10:46 PM · [top]

7Light

Women are not equal with men.

To be under authority is not the same as being unequal.  We are all created in the image of God.  Man in his sinfulness presumes that with authority comes superior value as a person.  But from the beginning it was not so.  Each one of us stands morally equidistant from He who is no respecter of persons.  That is the basis of our equality.  There is no other.  The one given authority is not closer, and the one under authority is not farther away.  But the one given authority will give an account for his stewardship.  He was given it for a reason.

carl

[171] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 10:48 PM · [top]

I find it interesting that Sarah alternates between describing herself as someone that opposes WO and refering to “Anti-WO” people in the third person.

Perhaps Sarah really means “Those irrational Anti-WO” people as opposed to “Us rational Anti-WO people,” or “Us Anti-WO people that don’t think it worth further conversation.” 

Or perhaps I’m missing the sublte difference between disagreeing with WO and being an “Ant-Woer.”

RE: “Being a ‘one-woman man/husband of one wife’ is not a requirement that a woman can meet.”

Indeed.  Nor can a single man.

I await with interest the cries against SM ordination.  ; > )

So which arguments against WO do you personally consider convincing, since you have stated that you do not find the arguments for WO to be convincing?

[172] Posted by AndrewA on 9-4-2009 at 10:53 PM · [top]

Sarah,
I meant primarily to stand firm in the faith with my Anglo Catholic brothers and sisters who likewise see WO as an impossibility.

I’m also firmly against the ordination of the single childless young man.  Husband of one wife, keeping his children in subjection, not a novice.  Let us not do this in parts, but the whole.

The fact that we have in our sin not followed the rules as given is not license to continue down that path, rather seeing how the promotion of our own traditions and culture over the clear teaching of Christ has now been again shown to be dangerous to us and the growth of Christ’s church, most especially in a culture that can see right through our shams.  We need to follow the whole counsel of God.  I look to a married male episcopate and presbytery, as the approved leadership model.

[173] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 11:01 PM · [top]

Or perhaps I’m missing the sublte difference between disagreeing with WO and being an “Ant-Woer.”

Oops, that should be “anti-Woer” which is a term Sarah uses in comment 169.  BTW, comment 169 seems to imply that further discussion, admonishments, and expressions of frank disapproval are ultimatly pointless because no one ever changes their mind about anything.

[174] Posted by AndrewA on 9-4-2009 at 11:02 PM · [top]

[175] Bo

I meant primarily to stand firm in the faith with my Anglo Catholic brothers and sisters who likewise see WO as an impossibility.

The error of WO (grevious though it may be) is far less significant then the soteriological errors wrapped up in sacramentalism.  You have more in common with an Evangelical who supports WO then you do with an AC who doesn’t.  That’s not to say unity is possible, and that’s why I said ACNA has to create a third thread to differentiate the two mutually-exclusive streams of Evangelicalism.

I look to a married male episcopate and presbytery, as the approved leadership model.

There was that Paul guy, remember.

carl

[175] Posted by carl on 9-4-2009 at 11:08 PM · [top]

RE: “I find it interesting that Sarah alternates between describing herself as someone that opposes WO and refering to “Anti-WO” people in the third person.”

Hi AndrewA, I thought I’d been pretty clear that I was referring to those on this thread who are anti-WO and members of ACNA, as with, for instance, this line here: “since the *only* thing that would satisfy the anti-Woers in evidence on this thread.”  But I can see how that might not still be clear.

But I mean . . . it’s kinda obvious that, since I’m just fine being in TEC [a topic already well-covered on other threads!] I’m not one of the anti-Woers who’s going to be all shocked and appalled and outraged when somebody announces they’re going to “ordain a woman.”  So I do not at all identity with the other anti-WOers on this thread.

Further . . . and to your later point . . . I find many of the arguments against WO by and large to be pretty pathetic, poorly reasoned, and highly emotional.  You’ll find several of them in evidence on this very thread, such as for instance, “I’ve had some awful experiences with female clergy.  It’s therefore wrong.”  Or “no church has ever remained orthodox and purported to ordain women”—completely ignoring the numerous non-Anglican churches, and then the Anglican provinces, who engage in such practices.  I’ve often listed those denominations on other threads . . . but it did no good.  At best, people will say “duh—of course they’re not orthodox, they’re not Anglican!”  And with such circular reasoning, one cannot really, er . . . argue.

My great fear is that such “arguments” were the ones made in the General Conventions of the 1970s. 

On the other hand, I think scripture is pretty clear.  Men are to lead in the church.

Period. 

One may speculate as to reasons why that is . . . and often when people—particularly men—do speculate as to those reasons they reveal their own biases and fond illusions.

But I’m not so insecure as to particularly worry about the reasons why God gave those commands.  Sometimes things are just not particularly understandable, but are merely to be obeyed without understanding. 

Still and all . . . keep in mind that it’s not something that I’m all fired up on either way.  I think it’s unbiblical.  I don’t think it should be done.  But there we are.  There are quite a lot of things that Christians do that I think they shouldn’t do.  I’m perfectly fine with being in an organization where Christians do some of those things . . . but not the ones that are of salvific importance.

If I believed that WO were of salvific importance then I would not have joined TEC.

[176] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:12 PM · [top]

Sarah, RE: “I guess I don’t see anything at all that restraint and sensitivity would bring, since the *only* thing that would satisfy the anti-Woers in evidence on this thread is that people would [of course] never ordain women.”

I was speaking of ++Duncan’s role in this matter. Of course we all know that he has supported WO, but it is really profitable for ACNA as a whole for him to be front and center in a service which apparently marks a monumental change for AMiA in the US, and which, unless I’ve misread things, goes against a sizable majority of what their priests believe?

[177] Posted by Geofrey on 9-4-2009 at 11:13 PM · [top]

Someone wanted to learn about deacons, besides those six named along with Stephen in Acts 6. I think the assumption was that Phoebe was the equivalent of an ordained deacon and that she was the only named “deacon” in Paul’s epistles. That assumption was wrong.

A smattering, avoiding repeats:

Rom. 15:8 “Jesus Christ was a deacon of the circumcision for the truth of God…”
I Cor 3:5 “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but deacons by whom ye believed.”
Php 1:1 “Paul and Timothy, the deacons of Jesus Christ”
Col. 1:7 “Epaphras…is for you a faithful deacon of Christ”
Col 4:1 “Masters, give unto your deacons that which is just.
Col. 4:7 “Tychicus is a faithful deacon and beloved brother.”
Also, Mt 22:13 “Then said the king to the deacons, ‘Bind him hand and foot…’ ”
Acts 19:22 “[Paul] sent into Macedonia two of them that deaconed unto him, Timothy and Erastus.
Rom 16:1 “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a deacon/servant…”

“Deacon” means “servant.” The word could mean any servant to any higher authority. Paul refers to several people as his servants(deacons), and as servants(deacons) of God. They were often messengers for him to the cities of his missionary journies. Such were Phoebe, Erastus, Epaphras, and Tychicus. There were Apostolic/episcopal-role deacons, including Timothy, Apollos, and Paul himself, and Jesus commended the twelve to “deacon” multiple times. And of course Christ our Lord says that he himself is a deacon. All of these are different than, and none of these have to be on the same par as, and have the same role as, the seven named deacons of Acts 6.
We do not know the degree of overlap these different kinds of servants had.
That said, Phoebe was a servant, she passed messages along for Paul, she had a reputation of positively serving the Church in other undefined ways; and she should be held in high esteem.

[178] Posted by alfonso on 9-4-2009 at 11:13 PM · [top]

A couple of observations:

First, the Christ Church letter affirms that the ordination of women to the priesthood is not prohibited by Scripture, but asserts that “we do not see Scripture permitting women to serve as bishops….”  (Pp. 3, 11.)  But the Letter cites no passage from Scripture distinguishing the priesthood from the episcopate.  (In fact, the two two offices seem to be not clearly differentiated in the New Testament.  [See, e.g., 1 Peter 5:1-4.])  Given this lack of citation to Scriptural distinction between the episcopate and the priesthood, how can the Letter arrive at its conclusions on the basis of Scripture?

Second, the Christ Church letter dismisses the relevance of Christ’s selection of men alone as his apostles.  It asks rhetorically, “Isn’t it just as likely that Jesus and the apostles were merely attempting to accommodate the message of the gospel to their own, patriarchal culture as much as possible in order not to avoid [sic] unnecessary barriers to acceptance of the gospel…?” (P. 27.) Unfortunately, the Letter doesn’t attempt an answer to its question, apparently assuming that an affirmative answer is obvious.  But such an answer is far from obvious.  In 1976, the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith answered these precise questions in its “Declaration on the Question of Admission of Women to the Ministerial Priesthood” (Inter Insigniores), which stated in part:

Jesus Christ did not call any women to become part of the Twelve. If he acted in this way, it was not in order to conform to the customs of his time, for his attitude towards women was quite different from that of his millieu, and he deliberately and courageously broke with it.
For example, to the great astonishment of his own disciples Jesus converses publicly with the Samaritan woman (Jn 4:27); he takes no notice of the state of legal impurity of the woman who had suffered from hemorrhages (Mt 9:20); he allows a sinful woman to approach him in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Lk 7:37); and by pardoning the woman taken in adultery, he means to show that one must not be more severe towards the fault of a woman than towards that of a man (Jn 8:11). He does not hesitate to depart from the Mosaic Law in order to affirm the equality of the rights and duties of men and women with regard to the marriage bond (Mk 10:2; Mt 19:3).

In his itinerant ministry Jesus was accompanied not only by the Twelve but also by a group of women (Lk 8:2). Contrary to the Jewish mentality, which did not accord great value to the testimony of women, as Jewish law attests, it was nevertheless women who were the fist to have the privilege of seeing the risen Lord, and it was they who were charged by Jesus to take the first paschal message to the Apostles themselves (Mt 28:7 ; Lk 24:9 ; Jn 20:11), in order to prepare the latter to become the official witnesses to the Resurrection.

It is true that these facts do not make the matter immediately obvious. This is no surprise, for the questions that the Word of God brings before us go beyond the obvious. In order to reach the the ultimate meaning of the mission of Jesus and the ultimate meaning of Scripture, a purely historical exegesis of the texts cannot suffice. But it must be recognised that we have here a number of convergent indications that make all the more remarkable that Jesus did not entrust the apostolic charge to women. Even his Mother, who was so closely associated with the mystery of her Son, and whose incomparable role is emphasized by the Gospels of Luke and John, was not invested with the apostolic ministry. This fact was to lead the Fathers to present her as an example of Christ’s will in this domain; as Pope Innocent III repeated later, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, ‘Although the Blessed Virgin Mary surpassed in dignity and in excellence all the Apostles, nevertheless it was not to her but to them that the Lord entrusted the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.’....

When [Peter and the Eleven] and Paul went beyond the confines of the Jewish world, the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian life in the Greco-Roman civilisation impelled them to break with Mosaic practices, sometimes regretfully. They could therefore have envisaged conferring ordination on women, if they had not been convinced of their duty of fidelity to the Lord on this point. In fact the Greeks did not share the ideas of the Jews: although their philosophers taught the inferiority of women, historians nevertheless emphasize the existence of a certain movement for the advancement of women during the Imperial period. In fact we know from the book of Acts and from the letter of St.Paul, that certain women worked with the Apostle for the Gospel (Rm 16:3-12; Phil 4:3). Saint Paul lists their names with gratitude in the final salutations of the Letters. Some of them often exercised an important influence on conversions: Priscilla, Lydia and others; especially Priscilla, who took it on herself to complete the instruction of Apollos (Acts 18:26); Phoebe, in the service of the Church of Cenchreae (Rm 16:1). All these facts manifest within the Apostolic Church a considerable evolution vis-a-vis the customs of Judaism. Nevertheless at no time was there a question of conferring ordination on these women. [Footnotes omitted.] 

[179] Posted by slcath on 9-4-2009 at 11:20 PM · [top]

RE: “BTW, comment 169 seems to imply that further discussion, admonishments, and expressions of frank disapproval are ultimatly pointless because no one ever changes their mind about anything.”

Generally speaking I think that true of most firmly held—and passionately held—beliefs which involve mutually opposing foundational worldviews.  I don’t think debate changes such views very often at all.

You will therefore see me say similar things about “debates” between 1) socialists and capitalists, 2) pro-LGBT-sexual relationships and anti-LGBT-sexual relationships, and various other debates.

I think it’s *possible* for pro-WOers and anti-WOers to switch sides . . . but most likely not the ones represented in ACNA.  Why?  Because these guys are hardened warriors.  Unlike many, they’ve done a lot of thinking about such matters and they’re not generally shallow or cowardly.  They may be *wrong* but these are not lightly held decisions.

No, I think it highly unlikely that either side will change significantly.

I stated this belief some years ago in a loooooooonnngggggg exchange here at SF, detailing what I believed would end up happening with the various parties . . . and so far . . . I’ve been dead right.

[180] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:21 PM · [top]

carl, thanks for demonstrating why you aren’t an Anglican and why you aren’t in the ACNA. 

For our next act, we will have some Roman Catholics come in and talk about how the grievous error of not being in Communion with the See of Peter is far worse that the error of WO

For the finale we will have some good old fashion Baptists (as opposed to conservative ecumenical minded High Church Anglo-Baptists like Bo) come in an rail against the evils of Calvinism, weekly communion, liturgy, infant Baptism, established churches, robes, confirmation, and using wine instead of grape juice for the Lord’s Supper.

[181] Posted by AndrewA on 9-4-2009 at 11:24 PM · [top]

RE: “. . . in a service which apparently marks a monumental change for AMiA in the US . . . “

Oh . . .  I wouldn’t say that.  ; > )

AMiA positions on WO have changed with the wind.  Until their “study”—commissioned with a leader opposed to WO—they supported WO heartily and happily.

Then after their “study”—they announced they were opposed.

Then—what with some, er . . . changing demographics and markets, so to speak, they created their current three entities.

And yeh . . . I’m that cynical.

Indeed—I was that cynical the very day that their “study” came out.  ; > )

And then of course . .  . when the latest configuration came out that allowed all sorts and conditions of parishes to j’ine up . . . my cynicism was nicely provided with further evidence.

I see your larger point regarding Bishop Duncan.  But again, my larger thesis is that there really is nothing ultimately that the pro-WOers can do, short of announcing their conversion to anti-WO and ceasing the practice.

[182] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:29 PM · [top]

“since the *only* thing that would satisfy the anti-Woers in evidence on this thread.”

Oh, I see now.  The less than subtle distinction you made which completely escaped my notice what “in evidence on this thread.”  Oh well.  I’m still glad I asked the question.  Your answer was illuminating.

[183] Posted by AndrewA on 9-4-2009 at 11:33 PM · [top]

RE: “and using wine instead of grape juice for the Lord’s Supper. . . . “

Cigars and alcohol in general are ungodly and unbiblical, too [she squeaked, and scuttled away . . . ]

[184] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:33 PM · [top]

RE: “The less than subtle distinction you made which completely escaped my notice what “in evidence on this thread.”

Yes, I was not clear enough.  But I had thought it was obvious that I do not identify with the anti-Woers here because . . . I’m in TEC!

[185] Posted by Sarah on 9-4-2009 at 11:34 PM · [top]

It is so very very dangerous to be willing to forgo a Biblical teaching based on “cultural change.”  That just gives me the shudders.  I also can’t believe that they are willing to uphold the traditional marriage roles but not translate that to the Church.  Is not the Church the Bride of Christ and isn’t the marriage analogy applicable here?  Obviously, I don’t believe in women’s ordination to the priesthood.  I believe it places women in a role of authority over men that isn’t part of God’s plan.  Our culture has gotten away from traditional roles in marriage and I believe it is to the detriment of our families and our society. The Church should not follow suit.
Looking at this another way…I do believe that there are women called to ministry in the Church.  I, myself, have discerned a call to ministry to children and families—especially mothers.  And while I have exercised that ministry, I have found it difficult to be taken seriously because I am not ordained and I don’t have that collar that people seem to be looking for.  I can’t help but wonder how many of the women seeking ordination have discerned a very real call to ministry, but don’t see a way to exercise that ministry without being ordained.  I see women with great gifts in children’s ministry or family ministry or women’s ministry who also find themselves obligated to the other priestly duties because of their ordination.  Their gifting is obviously in their other ministry (women, children, etc.) and their obligation to celebrate every second or third Sunday isn’t the joy that it should be.  Whereas you have a priest who truly feels called to the priesthood and lives to celebrate the eucharist and provide the other sacraments…  If only the women called to ministry felt as if they could have a “serious” and professional ministry without the ordination.  The reason to seek the ordination is to do the sacraments.
I apologize for rambling somewhat, but I feel so passionately about this.  Guys, if you see a woman in your congregation who is called to ministry, encourage her in that.  Support her.  Take her seriously.  Pay her more than the secretary.  Don’t send her flowers on administrative professionals day.  And for goodness sake, don’t push her to seek ordination.

[186] Posted by millie on 9-4-2009 at 11:34 PM · [top]

Thus spoke Millie

.... If only the women called to ministry felt as if they could have a “serious” and professional ministry without the ordination….

Amen.
We have it messed it up.
Badly.

Andrew,
I actually have no troubles with the the cup containing grape-juice. smile smile - I did in fact recuse myself from the cup for many a service in the Anglican meeting (taking only the bread), for fear awaking again in me my addiction to alcohol.  Grape juice instead of wine is a discipline with a basis that I can understand.

As to the rest, I have to very careful infant baptism.  Into the household of faith, but not into the faith itself it is.

(I’d would, in fact, advocate for a ‘confessor’s baptism’ as part of/soon after confirmation.)

Carl,
To the extent that the Anglo Catholics do the right thing, from the right motive, I an willing to postulate that the rite thing they do is indeed a right thing (yes I meant to spell it that way).  The mystery of the Lord’s supper is deep, but I have no less division with those who hold it to be ‘meaty bread’ than I do with those who hold it to be ‘merely bread’.

[187] Posted by Bo on 9-4-2009 at 11:48 PM · [top]

Carl,
I consider it a blessing that I am not equal with men. Men, especially those in authority, do have a great responsiblity. In Scripture, God puts little demands on women. He mainly just loves us. That is probably because women are typically child bearers, but in Isaish 54 God promises even those of who are barren that we will be blessed with more “children” than can be imagined. 

It is pretty clear that people who think God thinks women are second class citizens have never really studied the whole Bible. Men and women are not equal in God’s sight. Women do have a special place. Sorry about that for you men. I just wish more women knew what a privileged and holy place they have in God’s sight.

[188] Posted by 7Light on 9-4-2009 at 11:53 PM · [top]

[183] AndrewA

carl, thanks for demonstrating why you aren’t an Anglican and why you aren’t in the ACNA. 

What I said was independent of membership in the Anglican church.  If sacramentalism is a soteriological error, then it is an error regardless of who advocates it.  So what exactly did I say that was false, as opposed to ‘unAnglican?’  Are you asserting that an error in soteriology is less significant than an error in ecclesiology?  Are you asserting that sacramentalism is not an error?  Are you asserting that to be Anglican is to be a sacramentalist?  Or are you suggesting that a good Anglican would just pretend the whole thing is a distinction without a difference in the name of institutional unity? 

carl

[189] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 12:05 AM · [top]

I think a good resource for many questions is JPII’s Theology Of The Body or The Theology Of The Body For Beginners by Christopher West.

[190] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 12:06 AM · [top]

I guess I don’t see anything at all that restraint and sensitivity would bring, since the *only* thing that would satisfy the anti-Woers in evidence on this thread is that people would [of course] never ordain women.

But . . . that will not happen.  Why?  Because the Pro-Woers strongly strongly believe it to be a good and wonderful thing.

The above being the case, my thesis is that the longer the delay the more enraged and furious will be the anti-Woers.  At each and every turn—despite the crystal clarity of the pro-Woers stances, so clear that even someone like me could see them—such clarity only brings outraged cries of “divisive” and “not now” and “not then either.”

Sarah, a few problems—
1. What cause do you have to say that those of us opposed to WO are “enraged and furious?”  I don’t see rage and fury demonstrated here by a particular side of this debate.  Sure, there is a comment here and there, but one could argue that your posts are getting closer to that benchmark than many.
2.  You seem to think that the anti-woers are being very closed-minded and unwilling to move on this issue and that that is a bad thing.  I will remind you that we believe that our position here is based on Scripture—the Word of God—as well as tradition and that there is a sound theological basis for it.  Do you expect us to just abandon that?  Would we be any more likely to abandon our stance on the Trinity or the authority of Scripture?  We hold this position for good reason and we are not unreasonable just because we aren’t swayed by your argument.  Sorry, but we don’t agree with you on this one.  It’s not that we don’t love you and it’s not that we don’t agree with you on a lot of other issues—we do.  But we’re sticking to our stance on this one and we’re doing it with good reason.  You should respect that.

[191] Posted by millie on 9-5-2009 at 12:07 AM · [top]

7Light,
Have you noticed that there is no ‘because you have done this’ clause in the place where the pain of childbirth is first mentioned?

From the straight reading of the text, the woman is no more punished for error than the animals who skins were taken. 

All the horrors of the fall, are laid at the feet of Adam, and the soon to be gone feet of the Serpent (in so far as they are laid to anyone’s charge).  No charge is brought by God against the woman - only her husband does so (and he also charges God in the same accusation).

[192] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 12:14 AM · [top]

wink Those silly Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglo-Catholics, and Traditional Classical Protestants…we need to teach those 2 Billion how to grow the church and do mission.

[193] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 12:31 AM · [top]

Precisely so, Bo. The sin has been charged to Adam. While Eve did suffer some consequences from her disobedience (painful childbirth), she did not appear to be held as accountable as was Adam.

I need to do more study, but it seems that God has been more lenient with women and I do not think it was a cultural thing then or now. From the beginning, the woman proceeded from the man, and before Eve disobeyed God, she disobeyed Adam. God’s response is the important thing. He held Adam accountable.

I do know any where in Scripture where God, himself, deals severely with women, though there were women who did receive the just result of their sin. For the most part the idea of “woman” is treated with respect and even glory. Wisdom is usually portrayed as a feminine attribute. I am not sure why God gives special grace to us women, but I am convinced that he does. Why we women want to throw that away and be equal with men is beyond understanding!

[194] Posted by 7Light on 9-5-2009 at 01:10 AM · [top]

Millie (#188 & 193)

I couldn’t agree more.  Particularly with this:

I have found it difficult to be taken seriously because I am not ordained and I don’t have that collar that people seem to be looking for. 

[195] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-5-2009 at 03:56 AM · [top]

Indeed.  Nor can a single man.

I await with interest the cries against SM ordination.  ; > )

Oh yeah, I had forgotten how much Paul rails against the problem of celibate, single people going into ministry as full-time vocations. 

Oh wait… it’s the other way around. 

Oh no!  Looks like there is a problem with the text.  The solution is clear:

There are at least two Pauls.

wink

[196] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-5-2009 at 04:28 AM · [top]

Re: #6 of the paper, I would like to see an expression of openness to the idea of ordaining a woman as bishop once the Church reaches a consensus on the issue. ACNA’s constitution can be amended, and individual components can opt out at any time. So it seems to me that within ACNA the issue of episcopal ordination of women is theoretically open but off, unfortunately, in the distant future.

As a matter of full disclosure, I grew up in a small Protestant denomination (Wesleyan Methodist) that ordained women from the late 19th century on. That denomination (called the Wesleyan Church since 1968) recently elected a woman to serve as one of its three international “General Superintendents.”

As an evangelical who walked the Canterbury trail in the early 1990s, I do not consider TEC’s position favoring the ordination of women to all three orders to be a problem unless it is forced on a particular diocese or parish that opposes such ordination for reasons of conscience.

[197] Posted by dickwire on 9-5-2009 at 05:33 AM · [top]

198 Moot…concur…

[198] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 05:40 AM · [top]

No time to read this in full or to read all the comments here, but I found this excerpt very very very troubling.

And from my quick skimming of the early comments (I got up to Dean Munday’s #25), I see I’m not alone, i.e. 11, 14, 24, 25.

AMiA already put years of study into the WO question.  What gives Roseberry & Christ Church Plano the right to issue their own position?

Point #1 of the excerpt is just hideous.  I can’t believe I’m reading it from leaders at Christ Church Plano - it reads like an Integrity document.  Scary scary stuff.

[199] Posted by Karen B. on 9-5-2009 at 06:16 AM · [top]

So what exactly did I say that was false, as opposed to ‘unAnglican?’  Are you asserting that an error in soteriology is less significant than an error in ecclesiology?  Are you asserting that sacramentalism is not an error?

I’m making no assertions about the falseness or correctness of any particular doctrinal viewpoint.

[200] Posted by AndrewA on 9-5-2009 at 06:24 AM · [top]

196. 7Light,

I do[n’t] know any where in Scripture where God, himself, deals severely with women

How about [Ananias and] Sapphira and Lot’s wife?

[201] Posted by Fr. Dale on 9-5-2009 at 06:52 AM · [top]

RE: “Oh yeah, I had forgotten how much Paul rails against the problem of celibate, single people going into ministry as full-time vocations.”

Oh no—whatever will Bo do now?  ; > )

It appears that he will need to modify his original interpretation, rendered in this comment: “Being a ‘one-woman man/husband of one wife’ is not a requirement that a woman can meet.”

Fortunately, I do not have the same problem as he—I interpret that verse in light of Paul’s statements and *state* as well.  But Bo will have quite a challenge there.  Again, if he interprets that verse as he does and as he claimed above, then all those like him will need to send up a rousing challenge to SM ordination.  And indeed, Bo is consistent—he proclaims himself against SM ordination.  Let us all hope that those who believe the way Bo does will be as consistent and honorable.

[202] Posted by Sarah on 9-5-2009 at 07:39 AM · [top]

Hi Millie, my thesis was that the longer the delay the more enraged and furious—why?  Because it would be only right and understandable to be enraged and furious were the pro-WOers to attempt to lead down the primrose path the anti-WOers and pretend as if they’re going to change their mind or not practice what they believe. 

As I’ve stated a number of times over the past five years, I think the time for clear statements and assertions is now.  We don’t need people to fudge or be unclear or say one thing that can interpreted multiple ways.  That was my only point in that comment—not to say “look at all the rage and fury on this thread” but to say “you guys need to say and do what you believe, and not engage in the typical TEC fudge and spin or there will be greatened and more rage and fury.”  We’ve seen too much of that already.

That’s why—as a side note—it is so disturbing to me when I hear cries from various commenters or leaders that an objection to something or other amongst conservatives is “divisive” and such objections should not be said aloud or publicly.

RE: “You seem to think that the anti-woers are being very closed-minded and unwilling to move on this issue and that that is a bad thing.”

Not at all.  I don’t think they should move one bit.  They should continue building protective areas where their beliefs and practices will survive and flourish.

But at the same token—they joined ACNA.  And ACNA has been crystal clear.  And all the parties in ACNA have been crystal clear—[although one has been “dust in the wind” so to speak.]

So if every time we have another cluster of WOers doing what they believe we are also going to hear “ain’t it awful and how could theys and we’re so surprised” I will admit that I will look with a jaundiced eye upon it eventually, as I am beginning to do now. 

However it is great that we have another WO thread for people to engage in eagerly.  These are clearly oases in deserts at StandFirm for both the antis and the pros.  ; > )

RE: “Sorry, but we don’t agree with you on this one.  It’s not that we don’t love you and it’s not that we don’t agree with you on a lot of other issues—we do.  But we’re sticking to our stance on this one and we’re doing it with good reason.  You should respect that.”

I have no idea why you said any of the above, and can only assume that you haven’t read the comments on this thread or any number of other comments and posts I’ve made over the years with respect to WO.

[203] Posted by Sarah on 9-5-2009 at 07:45 AM · [top]

Millie,

Sarah happens to be against WO. So I am not sure what you disagree with her about?

[204] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-5-2009 at 08:09 AM · [top]

Sorry, Sarah, I did read almost the entire thread, but maybe I wasn’t reading your comments clearly.  It really sounded like you were saying that you couldn’t understand why the anti-WOers wouldn’t change their position because it was “crystal clear” that they were wrong.  That is how it came across to me in reading what you wrote.  So I was just pointing out that the belief is firmly held and that an expectation that it would change now that it has been explained to us is not reasonable.  I am not in the ACNA at this time but am watching those who are and I often wonder how it will hold together considering the differing views on WO.  I totally agree with you that the time for clear statements is now.  If we put together a new entity (ACNA or any other) without addressing key issues like this in a lasting way, that entity is going to break up just as TEC has and is now.  But somewhere there is a way here that is in God’s will and God’s plan.  Oh that we would seek that way and follow it…

[205] Posted by millie on 9-5-2009 at 08:16 AM · [top]

Many thanks, Moot [39}, for the much-needed humor.  It is noteworthy that teachable moments and humor are so very often linked!

[206] Posted by Anglicat on 9-5-2009 at 08:32 AM · [top]

[199] dickwire

So it seems to me that within ACNA the issue of episcopal ordination of women is theoretically open but off, unfortunately, in the distant future.

I think this exposes the raw nerve of the conflict.  Is the Evangelical potion of ACNA destined to become an organization that ordains women, while tolerating those who object, or an organization that refuses to ordain women, while tolerating those who would advocate for WO?  To paraphrase the Great Emancipator:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  I believe this organization cannot endure, permanently half pro-WO and half anti-WO.  I do not expect the Evangelical part of ACNA to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided.  It will become all one thing or all the other.  Either the opponents of WO will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all places.

I wonder if this reaction to CCP isn’t really about setting the long-term trajectory - to determine which side is normative, and which side is tolerated.  In a single organization, one side or the other must dominate.  And the dominating side will over time attrit its opponent into insignificance.  For even if the losing position is tolerated, it will become progressively more difficult for the losing side to find a church that instantiates its position.

carl

[207] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 08:43 AM · [top]

In English, there are some words that have both a masculine and a feminine form, indicating the sex of the person(s) to which the noun refers.  This is actually much more common in other languages than it is in English.  “Priest,” is one of those words.  It baffles me why a woman purported to be in holy orders would take offense at the proper use of the feminine form of the word.  Referring to any woman supposedly in priestly orders by the make form, assuming she accepts and values her femininity, would be like calling her “Mr.”  I would expect that would cause much more offense.  Beside, using the masculine to refer to a woman is simply improper English!  The idea that the source of offense stems from the fact that there were pagan women referred to by the feminine form of the word seems just plain silly.  After all, there were more men who were pagan priests than women, and our male priests don’t take offense at it.

[208] Posted by Warren M on 9-5-2009 at 08:51 AM · [top]

Oops!  “by the MALE form” in the 5th line, not the “make form.”

[209] Posted by Warren M on 9-5-2009 at 08:53 AM · [top]

As a supporter of WO and a priest in CANA I am surprised to see the amount of heat this has generated. Province’s throughout the Anglican Communion resolved many years ago to accept that there are two valid theological positions on WO and that those holding either would respect the conscience of the other.

The reason for not consecrating bishops is an ecclesiological one. It will create a new level of inquiry as to the validity of the ordination of priests who desire to transfer from one ACNA jurisdiction to another. It is not a theological dispute. It is a practical one.

The third element of argument here that distresses me is the number of folk who use the “slippery slope” argument”. Why would we have gone through all that we have endured only to recreate TEC in a new place? It makes no logical sense.

The reason Christ Church released this document was to explain their decision to their congregation. I am sure they also hope that it will serve to assist in the theological discussion that we need to have in ACNA. I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with trying to force this issue upon those who do not wish to have women priests.

Finally, I have great respect for those who do not believe that women can be ordained to the priesthood. I do understand their positions. I just do not agree. I believe that God calls those who he chooses to serve the Church and that if that can be demonstrated to be a woman then the rest of us should support her in her ministry. In my parish I have a women priest and I have those who cannot accept women as priests. We HONOR one another. We work together. I strive to make sure they can receive the sacrament consecrated by a male priest. They work with her in many other areas of ministry. This is where I pray ACNA can be.

We do not serve Christ by breaking into “camps”. Let us not allow this to divide us. Let’s honor one another and serve the Lord!

Ron Baird+

[210] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-5-2009 at 08:53 AM · [top]

CCP has been very effective in mission up to this point without a woman ordained to the priesthood. Therefore I find the argument that it is “missional” to ordain a woman silly, really, and self-justifying. Indeed, I think the fact that Carol Brooks, their Deacon, has ministered publicly and quite effectively to be the correct example of proper headship (for the more Evangelical) and sacramental reality (for the more Catholic-minded.) It is very clear on the whole, whether in the Episcopal Church or Protestant denominations that have gone the route of ordaining women that such a step has indeed not been “missionally effective”(as all are in decline) or to the benefit of the church as a whole. A truly prophetic and biblically faithful position in this age would be to have gifted,called, intelligent and compasssionate women serve as Deacons, fully compensated and with benefits. THAT would be a witness to the culture which is both MISSIONAL and PROPHETIC.

[211] Posted by periwinkle on 9-5-2009 at 08:57 AM · [top]

I am one of those who is concerned about our ecumenical relations between Anglicanism and the Churches of Rome and Orthodoxy, and that is why I oppose women’s ordination to the priesthood.  “That we all may be one” is paramount here.

[212] Posted by Cennydd on 9-5-2009 at 09:02 AM · [top]

Hi WarrenM,

We all take offense at “silly” things now and then. As I mentioned in my original warning. This policy is not up for debate…nor is it new. Please do not continue in this line of discussion. There is plenty to be said about the subject at hand without using words that, reasonably or not, have always led to the unraveling of threads and a descent to the pejorative.

[213] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-5-2009 at 09:07 AM · [top]

Moot, Sarah,
“Oh yeah, I had forgotten how much Paul rails against the problem of celibate, single people going into ministry as full-time vocations. “

You point out not a problem in the text, but, rather, that the problem of wrongly equating ministry with priest/bishop is not limited to women. 

Women wishing to go into ministry has its male expression as well.  Priest/Bishop is NOT the only position of ministry. Nor must one be a Priest or Bishop to serve the Lord and the Church in Ministry. 

We have the roles of the members, the gifts of the Lord to His church so messed up.  We make as if called to ministry and called to be priest were the same thing,  Most even treat the ordain deacon as a ‘stepping stone’ or ‘half-way house’ rather than its rightful distinct position (Dcn Dale, best a recall being a notable and praiseworthy exception).

Evangelist, for is example is another clear ministry.  One need not be in a position of authority in the church to be a minister to those in the local body, those in the larger body, nor those outside the body.

To reflect directly on this, let us turn to St. Paul.  Paul the Apostle, celibate minister, Apostle, evangelist, tireless exhorter, traveling missionary, left (apparently, according to a list he was pen-man for) husbands and fathers to manage the churches he had established.

Single men, women, children, are all called of God to ministry - that does NOT mean all are called to be Priest/Bishop, Presbytery/Episcopate, or in my ‘native tongue’ Preacher/Senior Pastor.


7Light,
Don’t forget Miriam, the first busybody of free Israel who got herself a goodly case of leprosy for fussing about her brother’s choice of wife.

[214] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 09:38 AM · [top]

PS,
Sarah,
Many of us are ‘change resistant’ but I know that I have come to understand some of how badly I had been guilty of linking service with priesthood by the efforts of folks here.  Dr. Turner especially has helped to enlighten me to the vast field of non-pastoral (non presbytery/episcopate) ministry.

I have come now to see that just as there are many positions for men who are single, there are also many positions for women. 

It is only that neither of these are as positions of authority over the church.  Being anti-WO, is not being anti-‘Women in Ministry’, no more than being anti-SO is being anti-‘Singles in Ministry’.

[215] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 10:07 AM · [top]

[212] Ron Baird+

It truly is astonishing to see the type of argumentation you are using.  It is almost word for word the argumentation that revisionists use to justify homosexual ordination.  Simply by changing a few nouns, I could translate your post onto Thinking Anglicans, and no one would be the wiser.  Do you not see this? 

In my parish I have a women priest and I have those who cannot accept women as priests. We HONOR one another.

That’s a nice sentiment.  But the fact remains that a woman is acting in the role of an elder week after week, and in so doing demonstrates the church’s active public repudiation of what those who reject WO hold to be true.  The normative condition of female eldership is established.  Those whose consciences are offended will leave.  (I guarantee you that the day a woman acts as an elder in a church is the day I leave that church.)  A remnant will stay, but that remnant will only be tolerated and accommodated.  It will not be allowed to change the normative condition of the church.  What it believes about WO will be denied both in practice and in teaching every day of every week of every year. Over time even the remnant will disappear.

We do not serve Christ by breaking into “camps”. Let us not allow this to divide us. Let’s honor one another and serve the Lord!

No, the separate camps are necessary.  They allow fences to be built, and common actions in the public square to be taken without conflict over fundamental issues.  One goes to the left, and the other goes to the right.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t still family.  It just means they aren’t immediate family.

carl

[216] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 10:13 AM · [top]

The reason for not consecrating bishops is an ecclesiological one. It will create a new level of inquiry as to the validity of the ordination of priests who desire to transfer from one ACNA jurisdiction to another. It is not a theological dispute. It is a practical one.

Wow. This is a most interesting statement. To say that having only male bishops in ACNA is simply for practical reasons and not theological ones is astounding. Even CCP in its position paper states clearly that they hold to theological reasons for not having women bishops. The theological reason CCP gives is on the issue of “headship.” Where I disagree is that I see headship to be an intrinsic part of the office of Presbyter.

I agree with the earlier comments about the fact that in the NT, the office of Priest (presbyteros) and Bishop (episkopos) were interchangeable (see 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 20:17-35).  I have no problem engaging in theological discussion over WO, but many of the pro-WO arguments being put forth here (the CCP paper and this thread), are based upon mission, culture and pragmatism. As to the Scriptural arguments put forth, I simply disagree with seeing Gal. 3:28, etc.  as a mandate for WO.

[217] Posted by Shane Copeland on 9-5-2009 at 10:34 AM · [top]

[216] Bo

Are you suggesting that Paul the Apostle was not qualified to lead the very churches he established?  That he couldn’t (for example) teach in those churches?  That the one who appoints the elder is himself incompetent to be an elder?

carl

[218] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 10:46 AM · [top]

It is common in Roman Catholicism and much of Anglicanism to view the Catholic office of bishop as being the successor to the office of apostle.  Many Protestants disagree with this view. 

However, Bo seems to be equating the St Paul’s role as an Apostle to the office of missionary or traveling revival speaker.  I agree with carl’s response that the person that appointed the elder would himself would be qualified to be an elder.  Certainly Paul, as an apostle, exercised leadership, oversight and headship over the Church, collegially with the other apostles.

[219] Posted by AndrewA on 9-5-2009 at 11:02 AM · [top]

212 said: “As a supporter of WO and a priest in CANA I am surprised to see the amount of heat this has generated. Province’s throughout the Anglican Communion resolved many years ago to accept that there are two valid theological positions on WO and that those holding either would respect the conscience of the other.”

Why are you surprised at the heat?  Why are people surprised?  Surely people know by now that if this generated such passion in the past, it will continue to…because it’s IMPORTANT.  And this has been far from “resolved” and will never be set neatly on two cubbies on the same shelf…let’s be honest here…this kitchen is very warm and getting warmer.  Maybe it has been “resolved” on paper by conventions and committees, but obviously NOT across the Communion and across the Church Catholic. To assume that people should all just accept that all people left in the Anglican Communion have accepted the “two integrities” isn’t reality…they haven’t.  Some believe that both cannot be valid, because they believe if one is valid, the other, by consequence, cannot be.  In TEC we were told to just “play quietly and look the other way” when we saw something we didn’t agree with.  That won’t work anymore.  Sure, the Continuum is unrelenting on WO…but that does not mean ALL of that same mind have left TEC or ACNA…they haven’t.  That’s a fantasy.

[220] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 11:14 AM · [top]

There seem to be at least five positions on WO
1. Women may serve as Deacons, Priests (and Rectors) and Bishops. 
2. Women may serve as Deacons, Priests (and as Rectors) not as Bishops
3. Women may serve as Deacons, Priests (but not as Rectors)
4. Women may serve as Deacons (not as priests)
5. Women may not be ordained to any office in the Church

In the ACNA any of the above positions may be held by the ordained, but position 1. is not currently allowed to be practised.

I think AB Duncan holds to position 1, but am not sure.  He certainly believes in and allows for women rectors.  CCP seems to hold to position 3.  The AMiA position paper written by Bishop Rogers held to position 4. The REC holds to position 5.

The above 200 some comments seem to me to show that the ACNA can hold together only if there be not further changes to their rules!  If the majority of Bishops would decide not to allow women priests for example, the unity would break.  It would also break if the majority of Bishops would allow for women Bishops.

Overall it appears to me that the strong opposers to WO should not have united in ACNA, because the ACNA will never go that way without breaking apart.  There are plenty of other Anglican communions in the USA who hold to their anti-WO position, which did not join ACNA and could have used the new members.  I do not understand why the REC ever joined the ACNA unless they plan to change their position on the matter

[221] Posted by Eugene on 9-5-2009 at 12:23 PM · [top]

#219, re: “the office of Priest (presbyteros)”:

Shane and others, serious damage is done to faithful Bible translation when you equate “priest” with “presbyteros” in New Testament passages. There is a perfectly good Greek word used for “priest” in the New Testament, ‘iereus (hee-yair-ous), and it is quite distinct from presbyteros. Neither the Thayer nor the Bauer/Danker Greek lexicons recognize “priest” as a valid meaning for this word. Although Wiki reports “priest” as an alternate translation, such a translation is simply incorrect.

There are two meanings for presbyteros in the New Testament. The first is “a person relatively advanced in age” or sometimes “the men of old” (Hebrews 11:2). The second meaning is “an official”, generally regarded as among the older or the wiser. Presbyteros is comparable to the Latin senator, with a meaning derived from an ancient form of social organization in which decision-making powers were reserved for the eldest men. The members of the Jewish Sanhedrin were regarded as presbyteroi, not for their sacerdotal roles (many of them were priests) but for their decision-making roles.

I know of no evidence in the New Testament of Christian presbyteroi (elders) being assigned or officiating in sacerdotal (priestly) roles.

While we participate in the priesthood of all believers, the assignment of specific sacerdotal roles to anyone other than Christ himself or the episkopoi (overseers) is a post-Biblical development. Toward the end of the first century, the episkopoi began to demand for themselves the sole right to officiate at the Eucharist. We see this in the letters of Ignatius, Bishop (episkopos) of Antioch.

Around this same time, bishops would assign certain persons with the authority to conduct the Eucharist under the covering authority of the bishop. It was not until the end of the second century that these men began to be called “priests.”

While it is true that the English word “priest” is derived etymologically from the Latin word presbyteros, this occurred many centuries later, and is irrelevant to Bible translation, indeed irrelevant to Bible study.

As you can see, the proximate origin of the Christian priestly order is the Church, and not the Bible. Those who speak of a Biblical foundation for the Priesthood must look for indirect scriptural support, since there is no direct support for such a role.

As I posted above,  I fully recognize the right of the Church to create the role of Christian Priest, and to further define that position using Biblical guidance. I also recognize the right of the Church (capital “C”) to modify and further define that position, using the same guidance.

Therefore, in support of an all-male Priesthood, it is germane and useful to cite Paul’s qualifications for a presbyteros, as long as we remember that these persons were not Priests as you and I know them today.

[222] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-5-2009 at 12:37 PM · [top]

Once you “ordain” women, you can no longer claim “Catholicity.” This is a slippery slope and will be the undoing of the ACNA as many have feared. It is similar to the issue of ordaining practicing homosexuals in that the Church Universal has said “no.” When you depart from ancient, apostolic Christianity it’s ball game over.

[223] Posted by JerryKramer on 9-5-2009 at 01:34 PM · [top]

Carl,
Paul could most certainly teach in the church - as an Apostle.

Paul held authority as an Apostle, not a Bishop.  The office of Apostle is not currently in the church visible.

The ‘progression’ from deacon to priest to bishop isn’t backed by scripture (deacons are a different position, priest and bishop are interchangeable), there is no reason to presume that a ‘progression’ would exist between bishop and Apostle either - the jobs were different, the qualifications were as well.

The different offices and ministries aren’t ranked in some hierarchy, were qualifications build on each other, and one works up from Deacon to Bishop.

Just as the eye can not become an ear, and has different ‘qualifications’ for the job, so to must we come to see that the members of the body have different ministries to each other and the world, and there is no ‘progression’ from one ministry to another. 

A deacon who becomes a priest hasn’t ‘moved up’ he has ‘moved over’.  A senior pastor who becomes a missionary hasn’t ‘stepped down’ he has ‘stepped over’.

We do err when we try to make every minister a deacon, priest, or bishop. 

The scripture lists the ‘office’ of ‘widow’ with its own set of requirements.  Completely different from that of either Deacon or Elder/Overseer. 

Widow of the Church (or Widow on the roll) is an ‘office’ too often left unrecognized and unfulfilled.  I can assure you that the widows of the churches where I have been a member are the leading edge of the intercessory prayer ministry, as well the fount from which most of the benevolence committee workers come.  Would to God that such ministers were recognized more often.

[224] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 02:14 PM · [top]

Better late than never to this discussion and I will be brief. With all due respect to Fr. Roseberry, Christ Church Plano, and all others who find the approach offered to be the correct one, the issue of WO must be determined ONLY in a conciliar fashion, and once done we all live with it or without it.  I have always believed, rightly or wrongly, that the forging ahead with WO violated the spirit, if not the letter of article XX of the Articles of Religion.  The argument always put forth for justification of the novelty has been that it is not clearly contrary to scripture.  But the converse was, and always has been held to be true too: that it is contrary to scripture.  It is the lack of conciliarity on this issue that has rendered asunder the communion on this subject and will continue to do so.  It is not what Christ Church Plano intends to do or what Fr. Roseberry has said on the subject that will increase the lack of cohesiveness in ACNA.  It is very existence of WO in some portions thereof.  I have said before and continue to say, and sadly I have yet to be proven wrong: WO is the single most divisive issue in the church today.  As many wisely have observed above it is a short leap from the rationale used to justify acceptance of Wo to acceptance of other “culturally mandated” issues as well.  We all must pray harder than ever for God’s hand to be revealed in what is happening to Anglicanism.

[225] Posted by aacswfl1 on 9-5-2009 at 02:41 PM · [top]

In my opinion, and I’m sure that of many others, the reestablishment of the Order of Lay Deaconess would go a long way toward solving the question of women serving Christ and His Church.  For proof of that, we should look at the example of the Deaconesses of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

One of my former rectors told me that one need not be ordained in order to serve the Church, and he was right.  I see no reason whatever for not reestablishing lay deaconesses in the ACNA and phasing out the ordination of women.

[226] Posted by Cennydd on 9-5-2009 at 03:45 PM · [top]

Carl

I am most certainly NOT repudiating the position of those who disagree with WO. In fact I affirmed in the post that it is considered valid by The majority of Provinces around the world. The only “repudiation” I can see is from those who insist that their view is the only valid one in spite of the common mind of the whole of the Anglican Communion. Why do you insist that others must do as you do? Is it not enough that I can affirm your position and respect it? The only one trying to force this issue are those who take the “my way or the highway” approach. In fact the conciliar work has been done by our council of bishops. Are those who object to this “both and” approach eager to break communion with Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, and other western provinces too? If so, how could we claim to be a Communion at all?

JerryKramer
You stated that my position abandons any claim to Catholicity. I disagree and affirm my Catholicity. The only denial of this could be the break with Rome. However, being outside the Roman Church breaks the Catholicity in that sense. The first break came between east and west a millenium ago. My Catholicity is by virtue of being a part of Christ’s universal Body, not by the correctness of my position on WO.

Finally,
My position regarding WO is not interchangable with TEC’s argument on homosexuality. WO is not prohibited by Scripture, homosexuality is.
ACNA’s position paper on WO clearly leaves the door open for women as bishops IF concensus across the Communion can be reached and not before. I seriously doubt I will see it in my lifetime but I am willing to support that concensus whether it is my position or not.
Perhaps fewer attacks on those who hold a different position and more genuine theological discourse will lead us to greater clarity. I know that I am open to having my position changed on the issue if someone can theologically convince me of the correctness of their view. Thus far I am not convinced. Are those of you who are opposed to WO similarly open minded?

[227] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-5-2009 at 03:59 PM · [top]

TEC had “deaconesses” in the 19th century and in the 20th century up until General Convention in Houstin in 1970s.  GC then declared that deaconesses were “within the diaconate.”  Previously deaconnesses had been “set apart” by bishops with solemn prayer and the laying on of hands, but were not ordained (whatever that meant).  I knew a couple of deaconesses from those days.  I doubt that having deaconeses again would solve anything.

[228] Posted by Rudy on 9-5-2009 at 04:10 PM · [top]

Just curious… Why should women women get a special lay order of “deaconess” without a similar order for men? Is there something special about servanthood—for that’s what a deacon is—that is peculiar to women or excludes men? And why would a lay order be differentiated according to gender anyway?

[229] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-5-2009 at 04:28 PM · [top]

[229] Ron Baird+

I am most certainly NOT repudiating the position of those who disagree with WO. In fact I affirmed in the post that it is considered valid by The majority of Provinces around the world.

I didn’t say that you repudiated the opposing position.  I said the church repudiates it each and every day by allowing a woman to function as an elder.  It is a functional repudiation that renders null and void any verbal affirmations to the contrary.  What is the opponent of WO to do but tolerate the offense each day, or leave?  He may be allowed certain sacramental accommodations, but the church will still act and teach on the assumption that he is wrong.  He may be secure in his own conscience, but he will never see his conscience reflected in the public life of his church.  Instead, he will see a woman teach and preach and hold authority no matter what accommodations he may receive.

WO is not prohibited by Scripture, homosexuality is.

But that’s the root of the argument, isn’t it?  My entire opposition is predicated upon scriptural prohibition.  I find no lack of clarity in Scripture on the matter.  But I do find disturbing parallels in your argument.  Homosexual apologists say the same thing as you: “Homosexuality is not prohibited in Scripture.”  And then they proceed to deconstruct Scripture to achieve the pre-determined outcome driven by adherance to extra-biblical morality.  I see advocates of WO similarly deconstructing Scripture to arrive at a similar pre-determined outcome driven by similar loyalty to extra-biblical norms.  Egalitarianism may be less objectionable than sexual license, but it is still insufficient to overturn Scripture.  It is this exegetical threat that so disturbs me; a hermeneutic that warps Scripture to the tones of present day culture.  Once adopted, it will not be controlled, but will seek out new doctrines that tickle the ears. 

carl

[230] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 05:05 PM · [top]

#229 “WO is not prohibited by scripture”.  To state that as a given principle is presumptuous.  It is a matter that has not been determined definitely.  There are multiple scriptural references to the contrary.  As the CCP position paper would like us to believe these have been definitively culturally limited by the context of the historical context.  But not so fast!  Exegesis which ignores the entirety of scripture is probably not complete.  As stated in a doctoral thesis entitled “Created Order, Created Chaos” by Fr. Corchran one cannot over look the fact of God’s created order in determining the issue of WO.  This theory was the basis of Hauke’s WOMEN IN THE PRIESTHOOD? A Systematic Analysis in the Light of the Order of Creation and Redemption, Ignatius Press 1988, which concluded the novelty was contrary to the overall canon of scripture.
the Church Catholic has just not ever stated it agrees with your statement that WO is not prohibited by scripture.  Until it does, it is not a fact.

[231] Posted by aacswfl1 on 9-5-2009 at 05:07 PM · [top]

I would like to recommend a book by a friend, Karl Paul Donfried, Who Owns the Bible?  Towards the Recovery of a Christian Hermeneutic.  Prof. Donfried, a well known Pauline scholar, deals with how a truly Christian hermeneutic is developed (in contrast to the alien hermeneutic that is alive and well today in mainline churches), and then applies this Trinitarian hermeneutic to a couple of problems.  He concludes that the ordination of women is acceptable and that homosexual behavior is not.  An excellent book that deals with the nub of the problem: how we move from exegesis to the use of exegetical insights in church life.

Rudy+

[232] Posted by Rudy on 9-5-2009 at 05:24 PM · [top]

Corchran’s book was Created Order, Sacred Chaos.  sorry.

[233] Posted by aacswfl1 on 9-5-2009 at 05:31 PM · [top]

#180.  Alfonso,

Thanks for the great list of deacons.  I am glad you included Phoebe among those recognized and perhaps even ordained by Paul.  No one can say which of the six listed he did ordain—perhaps Priscilla ordained Apollos.  Certainly he had no hand in ordaining the seven in Acts 6, for as we all know he had not walked the Damascus road by that time.

All of these people were servants and ministers.  In Rom. 16:1, Phoebe is given the title deacon without any diminishing note.  Alfred Marshall translates this from the Greek as “minister,” the same as for the men.

Best wishes, —Stan

[234] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-5-2009 at 06:28 PM · [top]

I question my own thoughts here because the issue and especially the response seems off the chart out-of-proportion to me.  I am an antiWO, catholic Christian who is a member of a Dallas parish aligned with the Diocese of Ft. Worth, but I don’t understand why everyone is upset about something that is in only a small way a surprise. 

ACNA was formed as an alliance of refugees from TEC (some long-term) who did not agree on WO but had common cause to try for an alternate Anglican province for North America that did not ordain practicing homosexuals. We knew at the start that proWO folks were part of the deal, but we accepted it because at least these folks were willing to accept a conscience clause that wouldn’t push it down our throats.

The surprise was that CCP was ACiC, not ACiA as advertised, but that was a fluke because the parent of both is ACiA. Nothing has changed.

I won’t recieve from a lady priest (is that term ok?), but I don’t get upset if someone else wants to. I don’t like the mixture, but I accepted it as a marriage of convenience. I pray that we don’t have to do this all over again in a few years.  BTW, my objection is not scriptural it is traditional (another leg of the stool).  If the Romans and EOs suddenly decided to accept WO, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Getting the Romans to accept married priests will be a big one, too, but I’m ready to stand up and fight for that one.

[235] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-5-2009 at 09:04 PM · [top]

Rudy, if Lay Deaconesses can function well in the Reformed Episcopal Church, why can’t they do the same in the rest of the ACNA?  Lay Deaconesses and ordained deacons are two historically different entities.

[236] Posted by Cennydd on 9-5-2009 at 09:12 PM · [top]

CanaAnglican,
Priscilla and Aquila were the ones to show the fullness of the Lord to Apollos, there is nothing to indicate that they did so in public (rather that they took him into their home), nor that she acted other than under the authority of her husband when so doing.

RicardoCR,
Rome has and does accept married priests - they currently have them in the Anglican Use Rite Parishes, some of the ‘uniate churces’ as well, they’ve historically had them (and married bishops up through at lest the time of Anslem in England), and presently maintain that the celibate priesthood is a discipline and not a doctrine.

Ron Baird+,
The plain reading of the text does seem to bar the ordination of women to the ‘elder/overseer’ office.

How do you get past the ‘one woman man’ requirement, the created order argument, and the holding their children in subjection requirement?  Your claim that the scripture doesn’t bar women in the office of the presbyter / the episcopacy requires that these verses be ‘explained away’ in some manner.

[237] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 09:28 PM · [top]

237 said…“The surprise was that CCP was ACiC, not ACiA as advertised, but that was a fluke because the parent of both is ACiA. Nothing has changed.”

CCP is AMiAs, not the original AMiA.

We may just have to “do this over” in a few years…not thrilled to, but willing to.  In the end, I would rather be working on communion with 1.75 billion Christians, than pleasing a tiny minority of Christendom.  I took wayyy more encouragement from ++Metropolitan JONAH’s talk, than almost anything else at ACNA Assembly.

[238] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 09:29 PM · [top]

RicardoCR (#237) writes:  “If the Romans and EOs suddenly decided to accept WO, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. “

Whatever position one takes in the WO debate, one thing should be clear:  WO just ain’t gonna happen in the Roman Catholic Church, not now, not ever.  If anyone has doubts on this score, he or she might want to consult the 1995 Responsum ad Dubium of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

[239] Posted by slcath on 9-5-2009 at 10:03 PM · [top]

From an Anglo-Catholic perspective, a Anglican woman ordained to the “priesthood” has the same standing as a woman minister in the Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian churches.  This is something different from the character of a priest as understood in the apostolic churches (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches).  This issue will not go away for the Anglo-Catholics.  They will either leave or die out before accepting women as priests and bishops.

[240] Posted by Tractarian on 9-5-2009 at 10:16 PM · [top]

239 Bo - Yes I know that appx 1.0x10-9% of the Roman priests throughout time were married, mostly via “Anglican Use” and Uniate churches, but many Roman priests in the 99.99999999% of the rest of the church don’t like it. Some have told me that Anglican Use is either a gracious, merciful reaching out to those in need or poaching from the protestants. The Romans are not even thinking abstractly about the possibility of mainstream priests marrying, ever, ever, ever.

240 TXThurifer - I did read your #34 comment about AMiAs, but I also read #151 by Shane Copeland that described the structure.  He used AMiA as the abbr for “Anglican Mission in the Americas”.

BTW, I loved ++Metropolitan JONAH’s talk! It was the highlight for me, too.

[241] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-5-2009 at 10:22 PM · [top]

241…same goes for the Orthodox…except there are diaconal exceptions…but priests and bishops…never.

[242] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 10:22 PM · [top]

#239. Bo,

Paul’s praise for Priscilla is notable and so also is the fact that he listed her name ahead of Aquila’s in such a patriarchial society.  Did you mention Phoebe, as a deacon, earlier?

With respect to “one woman man”: another translation is “unified woman man” and may have been a construct for monogamous.  (Mias can mean unity.)  Certainly the responsibility for the conduct of the children and the management of the household was that of the woman.  How do you treat the fact Paul used “anthropos” (persons) rather than “aner” which would have clearly defined the office to be for males?  Why does the Greek say “the women similarly serious to this calling must additionally guard against slander”?  Why did Paul recognize Phoebe as a “deacon”?

[243] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-5-2009 at 10:29 PM · [top]

241 Silver Lake Romanist - I hope that you are right. We came out of a mass at Westminster Cathedral, London, a couple of years ago and were met by a crowd of women with picket signs that read, “Where are our women priests?”  There is a movement within the Roman church for WO, but hopefully they are no match for the College of Cardinals or the Curia.

[244] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-5-2009 at 10:31 PM · [top]

New Testament scholar Scot McKnight unpacks this view in a helpful and understandable manner in part 4 of his recent book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible.

I saw this and immediately thought of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg. It may not be the same theological viewpoints but it is the identical way of thinking.

[245] Posted by D Hi on 9-5-2009 at 10:36 PM · [top]

RicrdoCR,
As the uniate churches are long established, the existence of married priests in communion with Rome is not going to go away,

Anglican Use Rite parishes ability to ordain new married priests is another matter….

My main point is (and was) that it is not ‘counter to dogmatic statements’ to have married Priests and Bishops when in communion with Rome - WO is.  Best I recall, WO is banned by a infallible pronouncement - Rome can not approve women as priests, much less Bishops, without ceasing to be Rome.  Non western rite churches in communion with the Bishop of Rome already have married priests and bishops, the western rite has had both in the past, restoration of it would only require a change in discipline - an unlikely but not impossible event.  In other words Rome would not find a married Bishop to be an impossibility (only highly irregular), they would of course find a woman as priest or bishop to be an impossibility.

The Old Catholic ordinations are, I think, counted as valid if illicit still, provided that the right words are used, with the right intent, and with the right matter (males as the ones consecrated).

[246] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 10:37 PM · [top]

231   Br_er Rabbit, men are included in non-ordained religious orders in Anglicanism:  They’re called lay brothers, or monks.

[247] Posted by Cennydd on 9-5-2009 at 10:49 PM · [top]

Regarding WO and Scripture: Where is the explicit prohibition. Where does it say that WO is an “abomination” as Scripture clearly does regarding homosexual activity? I certainly know of know such verse. Add to that God’s clear intent for sexuality to maintain the possibility of procreation it would be difficult to “exegete” a different outcome from the passages on Homosexuality. OTOH, what is there inherent in the Created Order in women that would prevent them from priestly functions? To compare sexual behavior and presbyteral function is comparing apples and oranges.

As to how I deal with the “one woman man” requirement and “children in subjection” requirement, I do not see this as necessarily being gender specific.  I would see it as the same as 1 Timothy 3:12 (“A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. “) As we have seen in some of the above posts Phoebe was a Deacon. Would not this passage from the same Book disqualify her for this ministry if it were meant to be gender specific? Is call merely contradicting himself? I think not.

Paulinus, I do not believe that anyone else has to accept the ministrations of a woman priest. There is no need to depart as we have fully incorporated non WO dioceses as well as FIFNA. There clearly is a place of solid standing in the ACNA for both sides on this issue.

I will repeat my question from above, “Perhaps fewer attacks on those who hold a different position and more genuine theological discourse will lead us to greater clarity. I know that I am open to having my position changed on the issue if someone can theologically convince me of the correctness of their view. Thus far I am not convinced. Are those of you who are opposed to WO similarly open minded?”

[248] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-5-2009 at 10:49 PM · [top]

#245.  CanAnglican, I’m not sure which Greek text you’re using, but the ones I have use only “aner” (or the accusative form “andra”), referring specifically to a “male person,” in the description of qualifications for elder/overseer/bishop in both 1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6.  Had Paul chosen to use “anthropos” instead he certainly could have—but he didn’t.

[249] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 9-5-2009 at 10:53 PM · [top]

246…in spite of the picketers you spoke of, the VAST VAST VAST majority of every day Roman Catholics across the world are opposed to WO…that is a very western cultural issue in Europe and America, where the church is declining…not the case where it’s growing.  The WomenPriests groups on YouTube can attest to that.  They don’t even use orthodox liturgies, so how will they convince church authorities that they are orthodox???

[250] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-5-2009 at 10:55 PM · [top]

Likewise, the plural “andres” or “male persons” in 1 Timothy 3:12.  You can’t get much more gender specific than that.

[251] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 9-5-2009 at 11:01 PM · [top]

CanaAnglican,
I’ve not implied that Paul’s mention of Priscilla wasn’t notable.  I’ve pointed out that she didn’t work alone, nor in the church-meeting. 

I’ve not fussed about Deacon(esse)s being female.

The man has been held to account for his family since Adam.  Headship in the home is not a ‘novel idea’ that the Apostles came up with.

My Greek is lousy so I may well be missing the point you’re trying to make:
My Greek Text has (in Titus 1)

“6ει τις εστιν ανεγκλητος μιας γυναικος ανηρ τεκνα εχων πιστα μη εν κατηγορια ασωτιας η ανυποτακτα”

which I think uses ‘aner’ - ‘ανηρ’ while I find no ‘anthropos’ ‘ανθροπος’ am I missing the transliteration somehow?

I use English translations commonly known for their literalness - the NASB has ” 6namely, (W)if any man is above reproach, the (X)husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of (Y)dissipation or (Z)rebellion.”

The Timothy passage does also include the office of Deacon (from verse 8 down).

I have no troubles with the Deaconesses so having the requirement of ““the women similarly serious to this calling must additionally guard against slander”” isn’t a problem for me - though it might offend some that it is the women applicants who have the ‘no gossip/slander’ check-box…

Deaconesses aren’t Priests nor Bishops, the Deacon/Deaconess serves without authority, the Priest/Bishop is charged with the discipline of the Church, a position and role of authority.

[252] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 11:27 PM · [top]

[250] Ron Baird+

Where is the explicit prohibition.

You know every well the case against WO.  I will quote the verses, and you will say “Those verses don’t mean what you think they mean.”  What will that accomplish? 

I know that I am open to having my position changed on the issue if someone can theologically convince me of the correctness of their view. Thus far I am not convinced. Are those of you who are opposed to WO similarly open minded?


No, I am no more open to changing my mind on this issue then I am to changing my mind on homosexuality.  And for the same reason.  In general, I have found proclamations of the virtue of an open mind to be overrated.  The only things about which people truly have an open mind are other peoples’ presuppositions.  But never their own.

carl

[253] Posted by carl on 9-5-2009 at 11:33 PM · [top]

Ron Baird+ 250

The explicit prohibition is contained in the list of the requirements, a list that no woman can qualify for (as priest/bishop).

Being a woman is not sin, being a woman who has ‘usurped authority over a man’ is.  Being homosexual is not sin - having homosexual sex is, and true enough that sin is an abomination, but then so is having haughty eyes.  We are all abominable. 

Deaconess and Priest aren’t them same deal - but I’ll concede the point - I’m not opposed to the ordination of deaconesses.  They of course are not servants with authority…..

If the text, the history and traditions of the church and the present consensus of the church is not enough to convince you that you’re involved in a theological novelty, there is nothing I can possibly do to help you see truth, save prayers for your eyes to be opened.  Is it OK with you that I pray that both our eyes become ever more clear, seeing that a darkened eye leads to darkened soul?

[254] Posted by Bo on 9-5-2009 at 11:45 PM · [top]

#249 Cenntdd, Thanks!

[255] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 05:49 AM · [top]

Barbara Gauthier

In 1 Timothy 3:1 which sets the subject of the verses you mention it says

Pistos ‘o logos; ei tis episkopes oregetai, kalou ergou epiqumei.

Literally translated this is “In the truth of the word, if one desires to do the work of an overseer, that one desires excellent work.”

The operative word for our topic is “ei tis” which is translated “one” or “whosoever”.

The understanding of male gender is an example not a prescriptive.

Carl,

I am saddened that you are unable to engage in actual discourse on this. It would seem your position is fixed and nothing can change that. I do appreciate your honesty, Thank you for offering that. I remain open to persuasion but still remain unconvinced by the arguments

Bo

A woman does not “usurp” that which is readily given to her. The present concensus of the Church of which I am a part does recognize WO. Perhaps Romanism and Eastern Orthodoxy do not but then they also do not recognize me as part of Christ’s One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I greatly appreciate your prayers that my eyes become ever more clear. It is what I strive for daily.

Fr. Ron+

[256] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-6-2009 at 06:00 AM · [top]

Ron Baird+,
I understand what ACNA is seeking to do, and I am aware that your statement represents ACNA’s desire.
You wrote: “Paulinus, I do not believe that anyone else has to accept the ministrations of a woman priest. There is no need to depart as we have fully incorporated non WO dioceses as well as FIFNA. There clearly is a place of solid standing in the ACNA for both sides on this issue.”
I am concerned how ACNA will move forward if a number of its members (individual and dioceses) who view women officiating at a service (at best) providing a memorial rather than an Eucharist.  Officiants who are not in a position to really pronounce absolution.  Officiants are ontologically deacons filling the role of priest.  Live and let live, does not appear to be a long term solution.  I do not expect ordained women to be pleased with this situation, nor the AC.
Peace.

[257] Posted by Tractarian on 9-6-2009 at 06:04 AM · [top]

Rome and Constantinople might recognize us or take steps towards recognizing us as part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church if we’d stop monkeying around with ordination matter.  Look at ++Metropolitan JONAH’s address to ACNA Assembly.

[258] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 06:21 AM · [top]

Re: Deaconesses, I just thought I’d pass along the link to a very good article on the topic. It’s well written, and should provide food for thought anyway. http://www.reformedprescambridge.com/articles/Deaconess.03jul02.pdf

[259] Posted by GSP98 on 9-6-2009 at 08:48 AM · [top]

TX Thurifer,

You seem to be under a misapprehension.

RE: “Rome and Constantinople might recognize us or take steps towards recognizing us as part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church if we’d stop monkeying around with ordination matter.”

I have no desire to be “recognized” by Rome or Constantinople.  I—nor much of Protestantdom—cannot recognize them.

Rome would need to repent of a number of heresies before I would want to share communion with them, including 1) papal infallibility, 2) the justifying nature of the sacraments, 3) the ridiculous notion that the Mass is a sacrifice, and various others both large and small.  The main one would be Rome’s silly appropriation of “The Church” for itself when it is of course . . . not.

The above list is, naturally, not an AngloCatholic list.  And there we are.

There are two rather interesting parts of Anglicanism [other than the foaming non-Christians who are in our midst and attempting to “lead” us].  Those who think Rome is the bees knees [why they don’t go to Rome I don’t know] and accept Rome’s claims about itself [obviously I don’t] and those who do no such thing.

I—and scads of others all over Anglicandom—am in that latter group.

As I’ve said a hundred times before, it’s not going to be WO that divides ACNA.  WO is, in fact, a settled issue in ACNA despite the grousings that will apparently take place every single time that a woman is purported to be ordained in ACNA.

There are far far far deeper issues that will divide ACNA [if ACNA is divided and we’ll see about that].

[Note: all of the above said with the utmost respect for the many Roman Christians who read StandFirm—I utterly repudiate that church’s mistaken ideas, but not the Christians.]

[260] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 08:52 AM · [top]

If anyone wants to read a good article that actually uses the New Testament to support the ordination of women, Kenneth Bailey wrote one which can be found here http://www.theologymatters.com/TMIssues/JanFeb00.pdf

As others have pointed out, the Plano document here is way out in left field.  It uses all of the postmodern arguments that culture can trump scripture when necessary for mission.  I do not think we want to go there.  Plano would have been better off simply directing people to Bailey’s argument, leaving the heavy lifting to a heavy theologian. 

Now one can still disagree with Bailey, but at least he is taking the text of scripture seriously, saying scripture, not culture or tradition, is the ultimate measure of truth.

[261] Posted by revrj on 9-6-2009 at 09:01 AM · [top]

[258] Ron Baird+

I am saddened that you are unable to engage in actual discourse on this.

It’s curious that you would consider a willingness to be persuaded to be a prerequisite for discourse.  That more or less demolishes the entire point of apologetics, doesn’t it?  I doubt you would apply that standard to yourself.  When you talk with homosexual apologists, do you keep an open mind about the possibility that homosexuality may in fact be morally good behavior? 

carl

[262] Posted by carl on 9-6-2009 at 09:17 AM · [top]

[258] Ron Baird+

I noticed that you didn’t correct my transliteration of the passage in Titus.  Does that mean that you agree the text does actually say ‘any man’ rather than ‘anyone’?

If she assumes an authority in God’s Church counter to that authorized her by Christ and His Apostles she is an usurper.

How are you defining ‘Church’?  The one Church Universal (all the saved of all the ages, not members necessarily of any one communion-circle) has not reached consensus.  It isn’t just Rome and the East that don’t recognize the validity of women pretending to be priests/bishops (elders/overseers) - the Baptist don’t either.  When Rome and the SBC can agree on something, when both point to scripture as the basis for that agreement, it is not a matter to be easily dismissed.

You’ll have to pray for my clarity of vision as well.  If you don’t mind, pray also that I can hear the shepherd’s call and respond.

[263] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 09:44 AM · [top]

[263] Posted by revrj
He starts off shakey - we’re going to ignore tradition, while paying attention to the fact that the New Testament was heavily influenced by the first century middle eastern culture.  That is not the way to inspire confidence that the author hasn’t chosen his ending before he begins his readings.

He doesn’t address Titus 1 at all, and seems to give St. Paul short thrift ‘argument by exaggeration?’

He is the first person (other than myself) I have seen make mention of the ‘office’ of widows in the church’ when discussing female roles in ministry.

Of course he ‘does a number’ on the traditional translation of the first two verses of chapter 5, in order to reach his desired conclusion (while admitting that the traditional translation is a perfectly valid one, he suggests the use of a ‘method 150 years old to change its meaning).

His summary (page 5) is rather interesting.  The ‘it is possible’ line is where he departs from the position I have taken.  It might be ‘possible’ if you hold your eyes just right and squint, but I’m a ‘plain text’ man.

[264] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 10:14 AM · [top]

Sarah- As a Catholic reader of SF I was disappointed to read your comments in 262.  Was it really necessary to call Catholic doctrines “ridiculous” and “silly” to make your point?  Your disclaimer that you respect “Roman Christians” doesn’t help much. (BTW that is a term members of the Catholic Church, by which I mean the Church headed by the Pope, probably would not use—we are “Catholics” or (most of us) “Roman Catholics” or “Catholic Christians”.) Since as Catholics our individual beliefs and what the Church believes are one and the same (at the level of dogma and doctrine, at the very least), describing our church’s doctrines in such a manner is the same as describing an individual Catholic’s views in such a manner.  I recognize that these are small points but as SF notes for all posts, remember Matthew 5:43-45.

PS- The Catholic Mass is not “a sacrifice”—if you mean by that each Mass is an individual sacrifice.  If so, this is a common misconception.  Rather for Catholics, the Eucharist “re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross…” (Catholic Catechism para 1356).  “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice.” (CCC 1367).  In short, “The sacrifice on the cross is commemorated and mysteriously made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church” CCC, Definition of Sacrifice). 

If your objection, however, is to the Mass having a sacrificial nature, then all I can say is what the Catechism states:  “The sacrificial character of the Eucharist is manifested by the very words of the institution: ‘This is my body which is given for you.”  (CCC 1365).

[265] Posted by Already Gone on 9-6-2009 at 10:40 AM · [top]

RE: “Was it really necessary to call Catholic doctrines “ridiculous” and “silly” to make your point?”

In order to communicate with clarity—yes it was.

RE: “BTW that is a term members of the Catholic Church, by which I mean the Church headed by the Pope, probably would not use—we are “Catholics” or (most of us) “Roman Catholics” or “Catholic Christians”.)”

According to Rome, yes.  But then, as I’ve already asserted, Protestants don’t believe what Rome asserts to be true.  Protestants do not grant the word “catholic” to the sole use of Rome, and so I usually refer to Roman Catholics not as “Catholics”—since so many Christians not of Rome are “catholic”—but as “Roman Catholics.”  I referred this time to “Roman Christians” in order to clearly assert that there are Christians in the Roman Catholic church.

RE: ““Since as Catholics our individual beliefs and what the Church believes are one and the same (at the level of dogma and doctrine, at the very least), describing our church’s doctrines in such a manner is the same as describing an individual Catholic’s views in such a manner.”

That’s fine—but then I don’t equate repudiation of *ideas* to be also repudiation of the *individual who believes those faulty ideas*.  If I did, I’d have to repudiate a whole bunch of Christians not of Rome too!

[266] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 10:49 AM · [top]

PS: if someone would like to describe equivalent Protestant doctrines as “silly” or “ridiculous” in order to communicate their complete and utter disbelief in them, I promise to be indifferent and unoffended.

As I’ve said before, I think it’s important that we be crystal clear in our beliefs so that there are no miscommunications and so that nobody is led down the primrose path of believing that somehow some kind of “compromise” on our differences could be attained, such that there is a massive disappointment at the end of the trail, which would lead to *justifiable outrage and anger* by those so led down the primrose path.

To get back on topic, there’s really not going to be a “compromise” on the actual beliefs in question, in my opinion, regarding WO.  So the only “compromise”—the one that ACNA appears to have rightly found—is in the *permission* of the various belief sets to act as they please regarding WO within protected enclaves.

[267] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 11:09 AM · [top]

I want to thank Matt, Sarah, Greg, Jacki and David for being such strong voices for some many core Christian beliefs that we share.  And I am glad that overall you have been so welcoming to those with whom you do not always agree. 

But I have noticed a definite change in tone towards Catholics on SFIF and I am being generous and will include Anglo Catholics in that concern.  Where once it was polite disagreement, even when quite robust, with reasoned arguments set forth for such disagreements.  It has now become sniping comments about the ridiculousness(Sp) and silliness of Catholic Doctrines.  I can understand the former and respect it.  The latter strains my charity towards those I do not want to feel any ill will towards.

I think it best then to take a break.  Keeping all of you in my prayers and wishing nothing so much that you find peace of soul in whatever your decision is regarding the tumble of TEC right now.

Thanks again for being such wonderful hosts.

[268] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 9-6-2009 at 12:36 PM · [top]

#263 revrj wrote:

It uses all of the postmodern arguments that culture can trump scripture when necessary for mission.

Revrj, I can see how you would characterize some of their arguments as postmodern. However, they are explicit in saying that culture can never trump Scripture. They do claim, in detail, that culture can trump Tradition. I am afraid you have mischaracterized their arguments.

Of course one man’s exegesis is another man’s eisegesis—or heresy—so perhaps you see something in their hermeneutic that shows them using culture to trump Scripture. If so, could you please cite that from the article? Thanks.

[269] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 01:01 PM · [top]

Hi Paula, please know that describing Protestant doctrines as “silly” or “ridiculous” if that’s what someone believes—in particular if we have a commenter talking about “what it will take for Protestants to recognize Rome”—which is the reverse of what TX Thurifer did—won’t strain my charity at all.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the years.  Enjoy your break!

[270] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 01:15 PM · [top]

[substantive comment about theology behind differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants deleted—please see Father Kimel’s blog for discussion]

[271] Posted by FrKimel on 9-6-2009 at 01:18 PM · [top]

RE: “If this is the doctrine that Sarah is repudiating, then Sarah must be deemed guilty of material heresy.  Again, I say this with all respect.”

No offense taken—that is, of course, the reason why the differences between Roman Catholics and Protestants represent such a chasm.  You also missed a key difference—there were four that I mentioned, and that fourth was the “silly” one that I mentioned earlier.

However, this post is not about the chasm between Roman Catholics and Protestants. 

I’ll give you time to copy your comment above and post it to your own blog before I delete it, and then direct future responses to it over to your blog as well, so that this post remains on topic.

[272] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 01:30 PM · [top]

On the paper’s statements about express and implied meanings of Scripture, I wrote the following on my blog:
I’m still reading this thing, and want to understand it thoroughly. I have read enough, at this point, to note that they disdain biblical exegesis of implied meaning as “weak” and therefore insufficient to counter their arguments for women’s ordination. At one point, they quote the esteemed Jefferson Davis on slavery as a way of arguing their point. It is evident that their thinking is clouded.

First of all, it is the Reformed position that Biblical truth is equally authoritative be it expressly stated or derived by “good and necessary consequence.”* Now, the reformers knew the laws of Logic; they were classically educated. They knew that there was such a thing as a bad use of Logic. They believed that if something in Scripture could be proven by “good and necessary consequence”, not just any consequence, then it was to be held. In this, they follow the example of the Lord Jesus Himself in Matthew 22 when he confronted the Sadducees for not knowing the Scriptures. Jesus quotes a verse that has nothing expressly to do with the Resurrection and holds the Sadducees at fault for not seeking the appropriate “good and necessary consequence” of God’s word.

Secondly, the irony of the Jefferson Davis quote is that Davis is listing express statements of Scripture! The Bible expressly affirms what Davis is saying. Therefore, to use Davis as an example of the weakness of implied meaning of Scripture is for the authors of this paper to turn their argument upon its own head. Indeed, it was the implications of Scripture that lead to the Christian position against slavery! The authors of this paper on women’s ordination are failing to use “good and necessary consequence” in their arguments and therefore - at least in this portion of their paper - failing to prove their position.

* Vide The Westminster Confession of Faith, I. vi.

[273] Posted by dnbeckmann on 9-6-2009 at 01:56 PM · [top]

Sarah,

This lifelong Anglican wholly endorses Fr. Kimel’s response. His point was that according to ancient and Anglican principles and formularies, you are wrong. These things which you think silly are as Anglican as Cranmer and Laud.  Its just a shame it took an Roman to defend a truly Anglican position. Why the offensive reaction. If it was wrong and off topic of him to refer also to the (shared) Catholic position, then maybe it was off topic for you to breach the subject in the first place, to which he was replying. Perhaps you will consider deleting your post as well?

[274] Posted by Holy Catholic Terp on 9-6-2009 at 02:24 PM · [top]

Ron Baird-

As one of the few women clergy on here I would like to thank you for asserting your belief in WO and giving Biblical support for it. It is infrequent-in my experince-that men who do support it will speak up. I usually skip most of the discussion on the issue because after 20 years of hearing it and debating it, I am tired of it. I also find the comments get very acrimonious and I can do without that too.

Grace and peace to you in the Lord Jesus Christ

[275] Posted by FenelonSpoke on 9-6-2009 at 02:31 PM · [top]

Carl,

Their can be no real dialogue if both parties are not open to the persuasive position of the one another. That would merely be two people talking at each other, not a conversation. Apologetics is exactly this kind of reasoned discourse.

I am open to persuasion regarding the morality of homosexuality in my conversations with those more liberal than I on the topic. However, I have yet to hear an argument that I find persuasive.

Bo,

I assume you mean Titus 1:6. The word here is also “ei tis”. This is the same as 1 Timothy and therefore the translation would be the same as I mentioned above. “Aner” is used as the example meaning “husband” which obviously would be male. However, as an example the principle would be the same if the passage were translated “If one is blameless, the wife of one husband….”. It is also the case that “aner” would not apply to a celibate male. I believe you would agree it would not be the case here to say that a bishop must be a husband.

I will certainly pray for you to hear the Shepherd’s call. If we could and would all hear his voice clearly and do that which he gives us to do we may even find our way through this maze.

[276] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-6-2009 at 02:40 PM · [top]

RE my post 261 - at the risk of being considered obsessive-compulsive, I just wanted to elaborate on it a bit (I dislike making vague posts); the link is to a paper written by Dr. Christian Adjemian, Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies at Farel Reformed Theolgical Seminary. I’m not a credentialist, but agree or disagree with him, its well written and from a learned yet humble perspective.
Just wanted to add that. Thanks.

[277] Posted by GSP98 on 9-6-2009 at 02:47 PM · [top]

I honestly wish you had left Fr. Kimel’s comments here.  For one thing, as far as I know, he hasn’t put anything up on his blog for a long time, and I always like to read what he writes. 

But more to the point, I think it is a mistake to say that the thread isn’t about the differences between the Catholic and Protestant beliefs about the Eucharist and about the meaning of the ordained priesthood,  because these are of the essence to the debate about women’s ordination. 

True, some Protestants oppose women’s ordination because of headship issues.  But within Anglicanism are many who oppose it because they share the Catholic   understanding of the priesthood.  And for the purposes of this comment, the Catholic understanding is that held by the Roman Catholic Church , the other Catholic Churches in Communion with Rome, the Orthodox churches, and as far as I know also the Oriental Orthodox churches, that is,  by about 3/4, at least, of professing Christians in the world.  Perhaps the rest of them are not pertinent on this blog, but I hope those within Anglicanism who hold this position still are.  Therefore, I don’t see why this position should not be stated here.  Fr. Kimel long held this position as an Anglican and can clearly explicate it with reference to the Anglican tradition. 

And as I said,  it is a position eminently relevant to this thread.
Susan Peterson

[278] Posted by eulogos on 9-6-2009 at 02:49 PM · [top]

eulogos (#280),
You are exactly right in everything you said.  I second the motion.  Let us see what Fr. Kimmel said!  And, yes, the Oriental Orthodox do hold the same belief.  Well over 3/4 of the Christians in the world believe the same.

[279] Posted by Warren M on 9-6-2009 at 03:01 PM · [top]

#280, #281, others, and that is why TXThurifer’s #260 was on topic and relevant.  I don’t expect to see the unification of all Christians in my lifetime, but I have to look at anything which moves us in that direction, although we still disagree, as a good thing, and anything which deepens what Sarah calls the “chasm” between Roman Catholics (and all the Orthodox) and Protestants as a bad thing, a mistake.

[280] Posted by Katherine on 9-6-2009 at 03:12 PM · [top]

RE: “then maybe it was off topic for you to breach the subject in the first place, to which he was replying. Perhaps you will consider deleting your post as well?”

No because then I would have to delete the comment to which I responded, which was TX Thurifer’s expostulation about being “recognized” by Rome.

RE: “you are wrong. . . . “

I am confident you believe so, and am unoffended by that assertion.

Nevertheless this post is not about the massive differences between Rome or Anglicanism.  It’s about WO and the CC Plano paper.

We’re just not going to have the debate that Father Kimel enjoys having on this thread although we’ve certainly had that on other threads.

Susan—I also emailed a copy of the comment to him so that I could be assured that he had it.

All,

Further comments will be deleted about this issue.  Perhaps I should have deleted TX Thurifer’s original comment, but I didn’t and here we are.  Just as Matt was determined about the attempted-offense of a certain word, so I am determined about this topic on this thread.

[281] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 03:16 PM · [top]

278 Ron Baird+
1) The word at issue is now ‘el tis’ and not ‘‘anthropos’’ as you originally stated, right?

2) I would NOT agree. 

Celibate priests and Bishops, though common and ‘traditional’ are not in accord with the plain text of scripture.  A Bishop must be a one woman man/ husband of one wife.  The must keep their children in subjection, so the childless are out too.  The must manage their own household well, the bankrupt need not apply either.

I think I am hearing His call, calling me to ministry, and this struggle with ministry outside the office of Bishop/Priest is helping me greatly in clarifying that. 

I’m a married man, not a novice, solvent, and my children (at home) are no cause for scandal.  I am however a remarried man (the first wife I divorced under the sanction given in Matthew). 

I am struggling through the text, trying what I think I hear the Spirit saying to me against Scripture, clearing my mind of ‘traditions of men’ and studying what the Holy Spirit has preserved for us.  Hence my earlier statement ‘we do err when we try to make every minister a deacon, priest, or bishop’.  Evangelist, Missionary, Teacher (distinct from pastor-teacher), and other areas of ministry are available to me - as they are also available to women.  It does the text less torture to make ‘one woman man’ fit my condition (I never cheated on a wife, have had only one at a time, and the first divorced under Christ’s own exemption) than it would to permit a woman to be the husband of one wife.

Your prayers, and those of all others who approach the throne of the Father in the name of the Son, praying in the Spirit are coveted.

[282] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 03:18 PM · [top]

Sarah wrote (#262);

The main one would be Rome’s silly appropriation of “The Church” for itself when it is of course . . . not.

Am I allowed to respond to this, or would that be off-topic?  I need a ruling from the chair.

[283] Posted by slcath on 9-6-2009 at 03:29 PM · [top]

Well over 3/4 of the Christians in the world believe the same.

Ah, if it were only that simple. Then we could merely vote on it (with the vote for certain entire denominations, of course, csst by their respective leaders). It was not that simple in the day of Martin Luther, and is not so today.

My point is that the Christ Church Plano proponents of WO do know well that this theological innovation is a minority postition that goes against the grain of tradition. That is the reason that they have given the Christian world the courtesy of explaining and defending their action. It would be easy enough to just go ahead and do it—they have the necessary support of their two archbishops. I applaud their courage in publishing this document—as weak or as strong as it may be.

[284] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 03:29 PM · [top]

Today I mentioned this subject to Bishop John Rodgers, who has been unaware of CCP’s intention. He mentioned in reply that Abp. Kolini has always been supportive of CCP’s position.

[285] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 03:38 PM · [top]

Hi Silver Lake—sorry but the rabbit trail between me and TX is off-topic.

[286] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 03:59 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit,
If we let the whole church vote, we’d be counting absentee ballots from beyond the mortal coil.

If Christ Church Plano had found scripture to support ‘Bishops MUST be women, or even women Must be admitted as Bishops, then perhaps forging ahead would be the right and proper thing.  The best they can offer though is ‘we can answer the arguments against it, and we wish to do it’.  That isn’t the proper way to respond on a issue so important to the unity of the church visible.

[287] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 04:16 PM · [top]

Goodness…aren’t I the trouble maker.  wink  But for what it’s worth I am glad I have been tolerated. Jolly fun…righto!!!
Thank you 270, 276, 280, 281, 282, and anyone else I left out…maybe I’m not crazy. Nuts, yes. wink What y’all said is what I was getting at…it is relevant.

[288] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 04:35 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit [286]

The Anglican Mission in America (USA) put a moratorium on the ordination of women presbyters but the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the AMiA umbrella organization, and the Anglican Church of Rwanda, its parent province, permit women’s ordination. The Anglican Coalition in Cananda (the Canadian branch of the Anglican Mission in the Americas) also ordains women. On the other hand, the Rwandan canons are Catholic in doctrine and largely Catholic in ecclesiology and ecclesial governance. St. James the Less Anglican Church in the AMiA (USA) has been lobbying Archbishop Kolini to place a moratorium on the ordination of women deacons in the AMiA (USA). If you read carefully the paper on women’s ordination that Bishop Rodgers authored, in which the moratorium on the ordination of women priests in the AMiA (USA) was recommended, the primary reason for the moratorium was to maintain unity in the AMiA.

The following was taken from the proposed constitution of the Anglican Missionary Province in North America (AMPNA), which was the AMiA’s proposed name for a new North American Province. It is no longer on the Internet.

ARTICLE V. Provisions for Transition

Section 1- the question of the ordination of women to the priesthood and Episcopate.

In ECUSA the ordination of women was initiated without a serious provincial study and in disregard of the existing resolutions of General convention. This has led to a continuing practice of the imposition of the ordination of women in ECUSA on those who are convinced theologically that it is not in accord with Scripture nor found supported in tradition. For this reason the Anglican Missionary Province will not initially ordain women to the Priesthood (Presbyterate) or Episcopate in any of its Dioceses or Missionary Jurisdictions.

However, this is a time of examination and reception of the ordination of women in the Anglican Communion. Thus, within a two-year period from the beginning of the Province a serious and widespread study of the appropriateness of the ordination of women will be undertaken on all levels of the Province. This study could take a lengthy period since it cannot begin with this particular question, but must be conducted on the basis of a shared commitment to and understanding of the authority of Scripture. In other words, before we can hope to discern and agree upon an answer to the question of women’s ordination, we must examine and come to a common mind on such things as the nature of Scriptural authority, the nature of the Church, the doctrine of man and woman in Christ and in the Church, and the doctrine of the ministry and the ordained ministry in accord with our theological norms and formularies. At the conclusion of the study the Province as a whole will take a position on the matter through action of its highest governing body expressed in a 2/3 vote at Provincial Synod and confirmed by a 3/4 vote at the next meeting of the Provincial Synod.

The practical diversity existing on this question during the period between the formation of the Province and the final decision on this matter will have the following limitations: (a) No Diocese or Congregation will ever be required to receive, license or ordain anyone against theological conviction and (b) in gatherings where Dioceses and/or Congregations which do and Dioceses and/or Congregations which do not affirm the ordination of women are participants, celebrants of the Eucharist will be male so that all may receive.

In the event that the decision of the Province is that women may not be ordained, those ordained women already working within it may elect to remain in place until they retire, or to accept ministries which do not require ordination. In any event the Province will ensure that they undergo no material deprivation as a result of its decision and particularly will ensure that they are fairly provided for in its retirement systems. In the event that the Province determines that the ordination of women is appropriate and in what specific manner that they may serve, those clergy that remain theologically opposed may remain in place or choose to leave the Province with no penalty. Such clergy, whether they remain or leave, may remain in the retirement program as long as they wish and are able and willing to meet its financial requirements.

[289] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 9-6-2009 at 04:35 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit [286]
The most recent paper on women deacons in AMiA to my knowledge was written by The Rev’d J.S.S. Patterson, Rector, St. Andrews Anglican Church, Asheboro, NC and is on the Internet at: http://pbsusa.org/index.php/online-books-and-pamphlets/69-pamphlets/158-ordaining-women-as-deacons-a-reappraisal-of-the-anglican-mission-in-americas-policy-revised.html. I recall an earlier paper on the same web site written by a member of the clergy at St. James the Less. However, I have not been able to find it.

[290] Posted by AnglicansAblaze on 9-6-2009 at 04:46 PM · [top]

How does one send a private message or email to the moderators?

[291] Posted by FrKimel on 9-6-2009 at 04:56 PM · [top]

RE: “Goodness…aren’t I the trouble maker.”

TX, no no—good comments on this thread from you.  Others simply wanted it to go in a direction that it’s not going to go.

[292] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 04:56 PM · [top]

Hi Fr. Kimel—I sent you a message.  Please respond—I’ll delete these comments after you’ve had a chance to see it.

[293] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 04:59 PM · [top]

Er . . . do you still have the same email address with which you registered, Father Kimel?

[294] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 05:00 PM · [top]

Sarah, my emails to your standfirm.com address keep getting bounced back to me.  I have tried to email you from two different accounts (hotmail.com and cox.net).  Your email system isn’t working right.

[295] Posted by FrKimel on 9-6-2009 at 05:05 PM · [top]

Fr. Kimel, have you received my emails?

[296] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 05:23 PM · [top]

If anyone would like a copy of Fr. Kimel’s comment, email me at JohnChapt3v3 at yahoo dot com and I will be happy to send it to you.

[297] Posted by Theodora on 9-6-2009 at 05:32 PM · [top]

Thanx Sarah.  grin

[298] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 05:42 PM · [top]

Okay, here we are, almost 300 comments on the issue and I fail to detect any movement by anyone (as far as their comments illuminate their position) on the topic. Is that normal?  I think that there is value in hearing everyone’s position, just to know where we all stand.  Further, I enjoy seeing clever repartees rebound off of the intenet backbones because it is stimulating. 

I am forced to conclude, however, that CCP will go ahead with their plans and some here will be happy about that, but most will not.  I’m among the latter, but I don’t attend their church and we won’t be inviting the newly ordained person to preach anytime soon.  Is that a fair assessment?  Is there anything else to add?

[299] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-6-2009 at 05:43 PM · [top]

[278] Ron Baird+

Their can be no real dialogue if both parties are not open to the persuasive position of the one another. That would merely be two people talking at each other, not a conversation. Apologetics is exactly this kind of reasoned discourse.

Would the Apostle agree that apologetics presumes a willingness to be persuaded?

... always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15


Are we to believe that the hope within us rests simply on the best evidence so far presented?  Is truth ultimately rooted in God’s revelation, or man’s ability to verify God’s revelation?  The logic of your position reduces the Christian faith to a set of propositions that can never be called true because they can never be isolated from the possibility of falsification.  You could never so much as debate the resurrection without conceding that you might be persuaded that it didn’t happen.  But the Gospel is not “Christ is Risen with 99.999999999% confidence.”

carl

[300] Posted by carl on 9-6-2009 at 05:45 PM · [top]

Doncha hate typos?  “internet backbones”

[301] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-6-2009 at 05:46 PM · [top]

Anglo-Catholics are very much oriented to a bodily ecclesiology.  So even if we aren’t “going to that church” or “inviting them to preach”, we are still in ecclesial ties with then…so what they do affects the whole Body in our view.  That is why when my TEC bishop told us that nothing connected our diocese to NY(815), I took exception to that.  But that’s another topic.

[302] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 05:50 PM · [top]

Understood, TXThurifer.  I’m sorry if I was short.

Concerning WO and it’s reverberations, I have attempted to post a history of the whole thing on my blog and I would like to have opinions and corrections.  Look for the “What’s up with the Episcopal Church?” feature.

[303] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-6-2009 at 05:59 PM · [top]

“Fr. Kimel, have you received my emails?”

Yes.

[304] Posted by FrKimel on 9-6-2009 at 06:05 PM · [top]

#291 Anglicans Ablaze, it is easy to see why the proposed constitution by AMiA was not adopted, viz., it would promote further division on the North American Continent rather than further unity. For similar reasons, the Creed of Athanasius was not adopted by the Church Universal, which opted instead for the compromise language of the Nicene Creed.

[305] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 06:06 PM · [top]

RE: “Okay, here we are, almost 300 comments on the issue and I fail to detect any movement by anyone (as far as their comments illuminate their position) on the topic. Is that normal?”

RicardoCR—yes it’s entirely normal and has been for the past four years of blogging.  Prior to my blogging—about 15 years ago—I had several long and careful conversations with otherwise orthodox, devout, believing Episcopalians who strongly believed in WO.  That was when I realized that there would be no real substantial shift in positions on this matter.  They believe it to be scriptural.

RE: “I am forced to conclude, however, that CCP will go ahead with their plans and some here will be happy about that, but most will not.  I’m among the latter, but I don’t attend their church and we won’t be inviting the newly ordained person to preach anytime soon.  Is that a fair assessment?  Is there anything else to add?”

Yes.  I think that’s a pretty fair assessment.

[306] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 06:12 PM · [top]

305…oh, I didn’t take it as “short”.  No worries.  wink

[307] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 06:16 PM · [top]

Thanks, Sarah, for your comment. It scares me when I talk to really smart kids who tell me that the Bible was written a long time ago and the writers couldn’t have understood that the “civilized” part of the world would get rid of customs that prevented women from doing “exactly the same in every way” as men.  They see that as liberating, but I argue that, even if you can’t accept that scripture is the inspired Word of God, women don’t have it so much better these days.  What family do you know where both parents don’t have to leave home and work all day just to have enough to survive?  Women have gained the privilege to work, but at the expense of losing the freedom not to (outside the home, that is).

The liberation has been good for industry, because the pool of workers has doubled.  How long will it be before the freedom to join the Army turns into the duty to be drafted?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not wanting to go back to the past, but I think that we should see both sides of the issue of liberation.

I will shut up now and read the comments of others for a while.

[308] Posted by RicardoCR on 9-6-2009 at 06:29 PM · [top]

Maybe this has been asked before in the other 300 threads (but I am a bit lazy to read them all) - since when does the Church take a check on its’ practices from culture? Can we not look at historical documents, writings, and Scripture to validate a faithful Orthodox approach to the question? Jusy asking…

[309] Posted by Festus on 9-6-2009 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Hi RicardoCR . . .

RE: “It scares me when I talk to really smart kids who tell me that the Bible was written a long time ago and the writers couldn’t have understood that the “civilized” part of the world would get rid of customs that prevented women from doing “exactly the same in every way” as men.”

That was not their argument, however, at all.  The “good” arguments that I have read or heard are fairly cohesive and approach scripture quite respectfully.  Obviously I haven’t memorized those arguments since I did not find them convincing in the end.

But the fact that they were carefully thought out and passionately held led me to believe that they wouldn’t be changing.

Just to repeat my comment 182:

Generally speaking I think that true of most firmly held—and passionately held—beliefs which involve mutually opposing foundational worldviews.  I don’t think debate changes such views very often at all.

You will therefore see me say similar things about “debates” between 1) socialists and capitalists, 2) pro-LGBT-sexual relationships and anti-LGBT-sexual relationships, and various other debates.

I think it’s *possible* for pro-WOers and anti-WOers to switch sides . . . but most likely not the ones represented in ACNA.  Why?  Because these guys are hardened warriors.  Unlike many, they’ve done a lot of thinking about such matters and they’re not generally shallow or cowardly.  They may be *wrong* but these are not lightly held decisions.

No, I think it highly unlikely that either side will change significantly.

I stated this belief some years ago in a loooooooonnngggggg exchange here at SF, detailing what I believed would end up happening with the various parties . . . and so far . . . I’ve been dead right.

[310] Posted by Sarah on 9-6-2009 at 06:50 PM · [top]

Re; 184
<blockquote> AMiA positions on WO have changed with the wind.  Until their “study”—commissioned with a leader opposed to WO—they supported WO heartily and happily. <blockquote>

Sarah,
Could you document this assertion?  It is my recollection that prior to the study, AMiA did not ordain women, period. (they “grandfathered”  existing female clergy pending outcome of the study) After the study, they would ordain them to the diaconate, not the priesthood.


As for the larger issue, although I am personally opposed to ordaining women to the presbyterate, it seems to me that if you are an Anglican, you are in communion with folks who practice WO. Even some of the African primates do.  So, why are we scandalized by WO, if we are in communion with the GAFCON grouping within worldwide Anglicanism? 

If we cannot live in the same house with WO, it seems to me that Anglicanism itself is not an option for us.  I guess I say this because I have determined that although I am opposed to WO, I can live in the same house with those who disagree. 

CCP is only doing what Rwanda and many others, even in the conservative sectors of Anglicanism, already have been doing.  It seems to me that the beef, to the extent there is one, should not be with CCP, nor AMIA, nor ACNA but with the very Anglican experiment itself.

[311] Posted by Father Bob Hackendorf on 9-6-2009 at 06:51 PM · [top]

That is one of the central questions, Gladstone. (I recommend that you read the CCP position paper, at least.) The first-order question is whether the proscription against Women’s Ordination is founded on Scripture, or whether it came about in the Tradition of the Church. The second question, if—and only if—the proscription is a matter of Tradition is, “When, if ever, should the Church re-evaluate its Tradition in light of culture?” The paper attempts to answer both questions, but leaves many aspects unexamined.

[312] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 06:57 PM · [top]

Sorry, that was to #311 Gladleft

[313] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 06:58 PM · [top]

Wow.  After all these comments I’m not sure I can say anything new, constructive or useful that hasn’t been already said.  Yet, because I’m a junkie for this type of thing, I feel obliged to say a few things.

For starters, I say this as from the perspective of being on the Outside Looking In.  Yet from my observaions of the population of ACNA and TEC opponents of WO (and I count my self among those against WO, though I’m not currently affiliated with either), I have reached the following conclusions.

The first is that it is true that many, perhaps most of those that have joined ACNA have already spent decades in a church that ordains women (TEC) so it is not inconcievable that many, perhaps most have, like Sarah Hey, concluded that WO is something that they are against but that they are willing to be in a church that ordains women.  Many will continue to tolerate WO silently and politely, and will not cause much fuss in ACNA about this.

However, I find it ironic that some of the supporters of WO in ACNA are suprised that there are people in the ACNA that opposs WO and do so with passion and vigour. 

The reason I find it ironic is that there are many liberals in TEC that can’t seem to grasp that many still in TEC oppose sexual immorality, and will continue to oppose it with passion and vigour, rather than sitting quitely in the corner and occasionaly spouting platitudes about how great and wonderful it is that their views have been accomondated.

[314] Posted by AndrewA on 9-6-2009 at 07:16 PM · [top]

One other thing:  Women working is not a product of feminism.  From a strictly historical perspective, it is highly innaccurate that until only recently have women confined their labours to the domestic tasks of their own household.  This is particularly true once you expand your study of historical women past the uppermost classes.

[315] Posted by AndrewA on 9-6-2009 at 07:22 PM · [top]

Bo, I must respectfully disagree with you that the Bible absolutely requires that a person be married or have children to be a minister.  Your interpetation is eccentric and not supported by the practice and official doctrine of any major denomination I know of.

[316] Posted by AndrewA on 9-6-2009 at 07:26 PM · [top]

The first-order question is whether the proscription against Women’s Ordination is founded on Scripture, or whether it came about in the Tradition of the Church.

Let me see if I understand you correctly. 

You seem to be saying,
“Not ordaining women is a tradition of the church.”
You seem to be saying this the same way you might say
“Pointed arches are a tradition of the church.”
Or, “Advent candles are a tradition of the church.”

Br_er Rabbit, considering that the notion you have in your mind is clearly does not include Tradition, but mere traditions, you might want to reconsider your use of the capital letter.

[317] Posted by AndrewA on 9-6-2009 at 07:34 PM · [top]

It is entirely feasible that people on different sides of this divide can share a common organization so long as one important condition is maintained.  Both sides must be able to find a local church that agrees with their understanding.  If all the local churches are pro-WO, the the anti-WO people are going to depart for more agreeable climes.  What should not be expected is that anti-WO will attend pro-WO churches and be satisfied with ‘accommodations.’  That isn’t likely to happen.  Whether the reverse is true, I am not sure.  I suspect it is.  But I shall defer to the pro-WO commenters to say whether they would be satisfied in an anti-WO church.

carl

[318] Posted by carl on 9-6-2009 at 07:39 PM · [top]

316AA…good points, especially the last 2 paragraphs.

[319] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-6-2009 at 07:45 PM · [top]

[318] Posted by AndrewA,
I don’t hold ‘married to minister’.

I do hold ‘married to be a priest/bishop elder/overseer’, and I know that’s not official anywhere. 

But at least the Anglicans generally followed it in practice, even if it wasn’t a ‘hard and fast rule’.  The SBC comes close to holding that same position - how many singleton senior pastors do you know of?


I can ‘understand’ as ‘biblical’ the understanding of the text to be the husband of only one wife - with the implication that it bars both serial marriage and polygamy, but does not require a first marriage.

In other words, I can understand how the text can be seen to read ‘husband of no more than one wife’ - but I can’t see how one could make the text seem to say ‘wife of one husband’ without serious neck cramps.

The whole bit after ‘NOT agree’ is a personal view, and not one that I expect to find agreement on.  I’m sorry that I didn’t place the proper caveats around my statement on it earlier. smile

[320] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 08:06 PM · [top]

Actually, AndrewA, I believe I’ll keep the capital T in Tradition. Some of these traditions go back to the very apostles who walked with Jesus. The issue of leadership in the church is surely one of those issues. Changing such an ancient Tradition should be approached with the utmost of caution. But thanks for offering.

[321] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-6-2009 at 09:14 PM · [top]

Andrew A- (316)

“The first is that it is true that many, perhaps most of those that have joined ACNA have already spent decades in a church that ordains women (TEC) so it is not inconcievable that many, perhaps most have, like Sarah Hey, concluded that WO is something that they are against but that they are willing to be in a church that ordains women.  Many will continue to tolerate WO silently and politely, and will not cause much fuss in ACNA about this. However, I find it ironic that some of the supporters of WO in ACNA are suprised that there are people in the ACNA that opposs WO and do so with passion and vigour.”

Twenty years ago, I accepted the teachings of my church supporting WO without much scrutiny.  However, the events of the last twenty years have taught me, in the words of the Apostle Paul, to “test everything”.  After years of reading everything I can get my hands on, including what has been published here, I don’t see any Biblical warrant for anything other than a female diaconate role.  I wish I did, because it would make life a lot easier.

I agree this is not an issue of salvation. But in taking this path, one has to approach Holy Scripture in a manner that may prove dangerous on another issue.  For what purpose?  To honor the female Christian leaders in our midst?  They already have the highest honor, in my book.

[322] Posted by Going Home on 9-6-2009 at 10:20 PM · [top]

If a woman was good enough to give birth to Jesus, then a woman can celebrate Mass.  I cannpt imagine how in 2009 we still have people opposed to ordaining women, when women serve at all levels of ohe secular world with distinction. This is a no-brainer.

When I was driving w/ my 2 kids and husband earlier today, one of my kids (11 and 15) said I’m more closely related to them than to my husband becs we’re related by blood.  I said some might argue I’m more related to him becs we’re related by sacrament. 

The secular and spiritual approach to things are very different. 

And, w/ reference to the “best understanding” argument of the Plano paper, isn’t it better to hold off on something till it IS clear, rather than going ahead w/ a “best understanding” approach?  viz the “best understanding” being that the culture today is vastly different from the culture of Corinth/Ephesus/etc in 1st c, therefore it’s OK to change things?  (Isn’t there an argument of “homosexual activity” being different now from what it was then, ergo, it’s OK?)

What about being “in the world but not of it”? 

I think many people who are interested in ministry in a church have come to see that to have “validity” or to be accepted in a given area of ministry, they need to be ordained.  That’s something the church leadership needs to address.  If, for example, Anne has been the head of children’s Sunday school for years, but feels called to work w/ adults, will her “identity” as children’s ministry make her unable to work w/ adults w/o ordination providing the validity?

[323] Posted by maineiac on 9-6-2009 at 10:36 PM · [top]

Carl,
If there were no SBC churches about, and my choices for assembly with believers were limited to Roman, Eastern, Anglican with WO (and a male priest/bishop in regular attendance), and Pentecostal, I’d be at the Anglican one. 

I can take communion with an ‘ordained woman’, I just can’t take it from her.

Going Home,
We are agreed that it is not ‘salvic’ in nature (though there are those with more sacramental understandings to whom it is ‘salvic’.  I know of no one who thinks a women priest is required.  The question at that point is “Why then do those who can ‘eat the meat’ of WO, not exercise their liberty in love with those of us who cannot, and forebear?”

[324] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 10:40 PM · [top]

Thus spoke maineiac

....I think many people who are interested in ministry in a church have come to see that to have “validity” or to be accepted in a given area of ministry, they need to be ordained.  That’s something the church leadership needs to address….

Mary wasn’t ordained to be Θεοτόκος (theotokos)!!!!

[325] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 10:44 PM · [top]

Can’t we just agree with Richard Hooker, the classic Anglican theologian? 

To make women teachers in the House of God were a gross absurdity, seeing the Apostle hath said, “I permit not a woman to teach”

And besides the Apostles teaching it is probably a good idea because

woman therefore was even in her first estate framed by nature not only after in time but inferior in excellency also unto man

And for good measure

... it putteth women in mind of a duty whereunto the very imbecility of their nature and sex doth bind them, namely to be always directed, guided and ordered by others

By “others” I’m pretty sure he means men.  I read these passages to Mrs. Nevin this afternoon grin

[326] Posted by Nevin on 9-6-2009 at 10:54 PM · [top]

Nevin,
My wife would object to the second part of the second quotation, our excellency is of differing natures, but not of differing measure.

She and I would also correct the last bit of the third quotation by striking ‘imbecility’ and replacing ‘others’ with ‘her husband’.

You may wish to have these revisions close to hand when discussing the matter with “she with whom you have become one”.

[327] Posted by Bo on 9-6-2009 at 11:00 PM · [top]

Since Junia was most likely an apostle (indeed a well known apostle) along with her husband Andronicus (Romans 16:7), and since Phoebe was a minister (Romans 16:1) as well, it’s difficult for me to exclude the ordination of women.

Note that in the authentic letters of Paul, the Apostle uses “diakonos” to mean minister, not “deacon” in the technical sense as was used in 1 Timothy and Titus.  In other words, Paul used a relatively “secular” term to mean somebody who serves in the church, without specifying rank or authority or anything else.  Thus he uses “diakonos” of himself and Apollos—who were surely apostles.

The authentic letters of Paul also use “episkopoi” and “diakonoi” but, to my memory, don’t use “presbyteroi.”  Acts 20 seems to equate the Ephesian presbyteroi with episkopoi.

Hence, the identification of how different NT writers use the several technical terms for ministers would be a cornerstone of any critical discussion of whether women should be ordained or appointed to any ministries in the church.

The understanding of 1 Timothy and Titus as pseudonymous (if not also 2 Timothy) is very well established in NT scholarship.  By no means is it some kind of ultraliberal position; see the commentaries of Martin Dibelius, Norbert Brox, A. T. Hanson, Burton Scott Easton (the latter two Anglicans), and others.  I. Howard Marshall argues that nonPauline authorship ought not to be assumed but he does not finally conclude that the Pastoral Epistles are by Paul (if I remember correctly).  His student William D. Mounce has written the lengthy Word commentary on the Pastorals, however, arguing for Pauline authorship; I think many if not most NT scholars disagree with his reading of the literature on pseudonymity.  See most NT introductions, especially the fine one by Raymond E. Brown.

So my view is that Paul used terms that were relatively “secular” terms (they had not really been Christianized) to denote people who did ministry.  Paul used these terms, probably except for “apostle,” relatively interchangeably.  A big favorite of his is “fellow worker” (synergos).  Later, after his death, the next generation of church leaders tended to want to standardize particular ministries in the church and state definite qualifications for them that would be valid in all geographical regions of the church.  That’s what we see in 1 Timothy and Titus.

I believe that the ordination of women is a decision that churches can legitimately make and several have legitimately made.

[328] Posted by Rudy on 9-7-2009 at 08:05 AM · [top]

Oh no—whatever will Bo do now?  ; > )

Difficult to say.  It seems that he transmorgrafied into me, then changed back into himself again. 

wink

[329] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-7-2009 at 08:13 AM · [top]

# 328. Nevin,
Are you out of the hospital yet?  Reading your wife #330, by Rudy, may help prevent recurrences.  Best wishes for a speedy recovery,
—Stan

[330] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-7-2009 at 09:17 AM · [top]

the authentic letters of Paul

Rudy, the non-Pauline attribution of the Pastoral letters is highly dependent on stylistic and vocabulary differences between those later letters and the earlier letters of Paul. These opinions of “pseudonymity” were somewhat predetermined by earlier scholarship dating back to Germany in the mid-1800’s. In that view, most of the New Testament was not written by the attributed authors, but only reached its final form after much alteration (and even invention) by the early church. This approach has become more discredited today as Evangelical scholars are coming into their own, after shunning academia in the early 1900’s.

In the case of the so-called non-Pauline letters, especially the Pastorals, earlier scholars gave too much weight to technical considerations and not enough weight to 1) the natural progression due to Paul’s age, 2) His changed life cirdumstances, i.e. sitting in a Roman jail with his power to move freely among his church plants taken away from him, 3) the increasing likelihood that he was facing the end of his life and ministry , and 4) the possible changes due to the use of a different secretary/scribe.

I support most of the conclusions, and all of the methodology, of J.A.T. Robinson in his Redating the New Testament, which places the creation of the books of the New Testament within the timeframes when the traditionally attributed authorships were reasonably possible.

I also consider that no book of the New Testament is pseudonymous, although the book of Matthew is a second edition, Greek translation of the Hebrew original (which may or may not have included the birth narrative). Even the Second Letter of Peter, in my view, exhibits a connection, although somewhat tenuous, to the final oral instructions of St. Peter in the tumultous days when Christians were being driven out of Rome and/or crucified. It was evidently commited to ink on papyrus shortly after St. Peter’s death, possibly in Egypt where many Christians had fled, including St. Mark.

Finally, I see no reason to conclude that the pseudonymity of the Pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus is an assured result of “modern” Bible scholarship. As you illustrate, there is no consensus on this conclusion. Assigning different weight to various Bible books based on their purported pseudonumity is a grievous error.

[331] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 09:26 AM · [top]

Since Junia was most likely an apostle (indeed a well known apostle) along with her husband Andronicus (Romans 16:7), and since Phoebe was a minister (Romans 16:1) as well, it’s difficult for me to exclude the ordination of women.

Of course, there is an alternative reading of Romans 16:7, equally consistent with the greek, that Junia and Andronicus were merely well known to the Apostles rather well known as apostles, which has a number of advantages over the reading given in the above post: (1) it explains why this supposedly well-known and great pair of apostles left no mark in either scripture or the fathers except in this one reference and (2) it is consistent with 1 Tim 2:12 (and the various other passages of scripture which speak either directly or indirectly to the matter at hand) allowing us to continue to obey article XX. (3) It allows us to understand why the early Church didn’t use Junia as a precendent for ordaining female successors to the apostles or even mention her when the matter came up (for example in the battles with the gnostics, e.g. Tertillian).

From this, it seems that Junia (if, as is probable but not certain, this reading of the name is correct) was not in fact an apostle. The alternative reading just fits the external facts much better. Phoebe is, of course, not a suitable precedent for WO as others have already demonstrated.

[332] Posted by Boring Bloke on 9-7-2009 at 09:35 AM · [top]

The consensus of NT scholarship is precisely that the Pastorals are pseudonymous.  It’s not unanimous, but nothing in NT scholarship is.

A book that shows the differences between the situation between the Pastorals and Paul is Margaret Y. MacDonald, The Pauline Churches: A Socio-Historical Study of Institutionalization in the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline Writings.  SNTS published this Cambridge dissertation as vol. 30 in its monograph series in 1988.  She shows that the social situations are quite different by doing a sociological analysis, not dependent on the style or vocabulary.

[333] Posted by Rudy on 9-7-2009 at 10:27 AM · [top]

So persuasive…“the assured result of modern scholarship” is that Paul did not write the pastorals…who can assail such an argument?

[334] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-7-2009 at 10:32 AM · [top]

Possibly we could in turn assert that the assured result of third and fourth century scholarship was that Paul did write the pastorals.

[335] Posted by Boring Bloke on 9-7-2009 at 10:43 AM · [top]

Ah but boring bloke, how can we possibly compare those ignorant primitives who came up with all of those antiquated “creeds” bereft of the scholarly insights of contemporary academia with the consensus of today’s intellectual giants…indeed the scholars of today are sitting on the shoulders of midgets.

[336] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 9-7-2009 at 10:56 AM · [top]

Yes. If only Eusebius had access to Schweitzer and Strauss rather than Papias and Hippolytus, think how much more he would have known about the first century church!

[337] Posted by Boring Bloke on 9-7-2009 at 11:47 AM · [top]

#335 I would be interested to read Ms. MacDonald’s treatise. But in #330 you write,

Later, after [Paul’s] death, the next generation of church leaders tended to want to standardize particular ministries in the church and state definite qualifications for them that would be valid in all geographical regions of the church.  That’s what we see in 1 Timothy and Titus.

The above is typical of the speculative reasoning that underlies much of the argument of pseudonomity. The speculation could just as justifiably be re-written:

Later, as Paul approached his imminent death, He wanted to standardize particular ministries in the church and state definite qualifications for them that would be valid in all geographical regions of the church. In his earlier ministry he emphasized his own personal authority as an apostle to maintain discipline in his church plants, sometimes with almost disastrous results during his absences, such as the situation described in 1 Corinth 1:10-17. It became clear to him that each church locality needed strong, local leadership. That’s what we see in 1 Timothy and Titus.

By late in Paul’s life, not only Paul’s outlook but also the sociological position of the Christian churches would have begun to change.

[338] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 11:53 AM · [top]

thus replied Bo:

Thus spoke maineiac
  ....I think many people who are interested in ministry in a church have come to see that to have “validity” or to be accepted in a given area of ministry, they need to be ordained.  That’s something the church leadership needs to address….

Mary wasn’t ordained to be Θεοτόκος (theotokos)!!!!

No, Mary wasn’t ordained - poor thing, didn’t have to go through interviews w/ diocesan standing committees, internships, etc, so may have misunderstood her calling. wink 

But there does seem to be a need for church leadership to affirm the validity of lay ministry, and to affirm that legitimate, serious, genuine ministry does not necessarily require ordination.  There’s relatively little that requires ordination. 

Is it possible to be called to a different area of lay ministry and stay in the same parish? That may be a more sharply focused version of my original question. Is someone so identified w/ the ministry they’ve done for however many yrs that other parishioners can’t accept them in a new ministry? 

I have seen people go from being active lay people to quitting their jobs, going to seminary (being divorced somewhere in the process) and being ordained becs they’ve no longer felt there was any level of ministry for them other than w/ the funky collar. They’d gone to the indaba-style bible study; they’d gone to the mid-wk eucharist; served on the vestry; read the lessons; served as an acolyte. Just leaves ordination, right? I’ve no idea what their understanding of the faith was or if they’d say they had a relationship w/ Jesus. Somewhere along the line, married the former curate (divorced becs of mental instability in the spouse and danger to themselves and esp their child) at their original parish that sponsored them for seminary.)

and TEC wonders why it’s shrinking?

[339] Posted by maineiac on 9-7-2009 at 11:55 AM · [top]

But there does seem to be a need for church leadership to affirm the validity of lay ministry, and to affirm that legitimate, serious, genuine ministry does not necessarily require ordination.  There’s relatively little that requires ordination.

Amen and Amen!

[340] Posted by AndrewA on 9-7-2009 at 12:00 PM · [top]

It is convenient for Bible scholars to characterize individual authors as one-dimensional and unchanging. With this supposition in hand, they can make comparative studies highlighting differences between individual books and end up justifying assignment of different works to different peoples and times.

It would be interesting to make a detailed comparison of Harry Potter #1 and Harry Potter #7. We might be able to come up with enough differences in style and content to cast doubt on the authorship of #7 and claim pseudonymity.

But, as Matt and “Boring” point out, since we have the author still alive among us, we will have to wait for a few centuries to pass before we can believably make such an allegation.

[341] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 12:09 PM · [top]

Moot,
No Morphing, just displaysing my confusing and possibly self-contradictory positions…...

maineiac and AndrewA
Yes, Yes, Yes.
We now have a threesome, can we call for the question and settle it as ‘Women can be and have been Ministers.  They cannot be ordained as elders/overseers priest/bishop ?’

[342] Posted by Bo on 9-7-2009 at 01:03 PM · [top]

#314, 315 to Br - I did read the paper. In fact, I have read several papers. In none, NONE of them, have writings by the ante-Nicene fathers been quoted, not have decisions by the the councils of Nicaea, Laodicea, Nimes and the first council of Orange (441) have been cited. Nor have the Ecumenical Councils of Chalcedon and Trullo. In most there is only a hermeneutical discussion of the interpretation of Scripture. In a few there is citation of doctrines or writings of the early Church, but in none have I found any reasoning of the two together and standing on the stool of Anglicanism of Scripture, tradition, reason AND experience. Until that is done by all sides, you’ll have partial reasoning, perhaps reaching a correct conclusion, perhaps not, but never understanding the validity of one’s conclusion.

[343] Posted by Festus on 9-7-2009 at 01:29 PM · [top]

Well Said, GladILeft.

One of the first places I go after Scripture is The Apostolic Fathers edited by Holmes. I used to have the full collection of Ante- and Post-Nicene fathers (all 38 volumes) but it just wasn’t going to fit in the car when I left on my missionary assignment. I did cite from each of the above in my master’s thesis on Jude. We do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants, and I am loathe to include the German scholars of the 1850’s in that list.

[344] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 02:08 PM · [top]

Has this thread broken a record yet for number of comments?

[345] Posted by Jill C. on 9-7-2009 at 03:48 PM · [top]

I’m sure it would be quite interesting to inquire as to what Ignatius of Antioch would have to say as to whether presbyteroi were the same as episkopoi!

[346] Posted by Rudy on 9-7-2009 at 04:58 PM · [top]

I sure hope not! wink

[347] Posted by Roseberry on 9-7-2009 at 04:58 PM · [top]

Recent post (#348) directed to post #346 not #347… smile

[348] Posted by Roseberry on 9-7-2009 at 05:00 PM · [top]

#348 Rudy: I’ll get right on it.
Sorry, Fr. Roseberry.

[349] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 06:17 PM · [top]

That was quick. Ignatius’ Letter to the Ephesians 2:2.

It is proper, therefore, in every way to glorify Jesus Christ, who has glorified you, so that you, joined together in a united obedience and subject to the bishop and the presbytery, may be sanctified in every respect.

Presbyteriw is singular dative, an indirect object in the sentence. Although the word is singular, Lightfoot translates it as if it were a singular group.

This follows the common assumption (justified, I believe) that the presbyteroi (board of elders) functioned in leadership as a conciliar group, whether they were led by a bishop or not. Their relationship to the bishop according to Ignatius is made specific in 4:1. First he leads with(3:2), “...bishops appointed throughout the world are in the mind of Christ.” Then:

Thus it is proper for you to act together in harmony with the mind of the bishop, as you are in fact doing. For your presbytery, which is worthy of its name and worthy of God, is attuned to the bishop as strings to a lyre. Therefore in your unanimity and harmonious love Jesus Christ is sung.

Again, presbyterion is singular accusative, the direct object of the sentence. Lightfoot’s use of the group sense is justified by Ignatius’ simile, where he likens the board of elders to the xordai (strings, plural) of a lyre.

Elsewhere, there is no indication that the presbyteroi are charged with any sacerdotal roles. In his Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8:1 Ignatius states,

Only that Eucharist which is under the authority of the bishop (or whomever he himself designates) is to be considered valid.

[350] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 07:27 PM · [top]

Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, c. 107 AD

So then I was permitted to see you in the persons of Damas, your godly bishop and your worthy presbyters Bassus and Apoloonius and my fellow servant, the deacon Zotion; may I enjoy his company, because he is subject to the bishop as to the grace of God and to the presbytery as to the law of Jesus Christ.

Indeed is is right for you also not to take advantage of the youthfulness of your bishop but to give him all the respect due him in accordance with the power of God the Father, just as I know that the holy presbyters likewise have not taken advantage of his youthful appearance but yield to him as one who is wise in God; yet not really to him, but to the Father of Jesus Christ, the bishop of all….

Since therefore, in the persons mentioned above I have by faith seen and loved the whole congregation, I have this advice:  be eager to do everything in godly harmony, the bishop presiding in the place of God and the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles and the deacons, who are the most dear to me since they have been entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ, who before the ages was with the Father and appeared at the end of time…

Let there be nothing among you that is capable of dividing you, but be united with the bishop and with those who lead, as an example and a lesson of incorruptibility….

Be eager, therefore, to be firmly grounded in the precepts of the Lord and the apostles, in order that “in whatever you do, you may prosper,” physically and spiritually, in faith and love, in the Son and the Father and the Spirit, in the beginning and at the end, together with your most distinguished bishop and that beautifully woven spiritual crown which is your presbytery and the godly deacons.

[351] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 9-7-2009 at 07:33 PM · [top]

Although the point may be of little interest to most readers, I wish to clarify the record on one matter.  The Christ Church paper, relying on a 1977 report of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, states that “It is worth noting that the Roman Catholic Church itself has officially determined that Scripture does not conclusively prohibit or allow women’s ordination.”  (P. 14.)  What the paper doesn’t state, however, is that in 1995 the authoritative Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith stated, with the approval of the Pope, that:  “This teaching [that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women] requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium ....”  (Emphasis added.)

[352] Posted by slcath on 9-7-2009 at 07:46 PM · [top]

Thank you Silver 355.

[353] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-7-2009 at 07:54 PM · [top]

In Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:1 I take presbyterion as the subject of the verb sunermostai rather than the direct object, hence the correct translation that the presbytery “is attuned.”  I don’t have many books here with me, but I’m taking sunermostai as a passive verb.  You could even translate it “is tuned together with the bishop.”

I was being a bit tongue in cheek when I suggested this, because several posters had expressed their opinion that the presbyteros was the same as the episkopos in the Pastoral Letters.  I believe this is manifestly not the case in Ignatius.

[354] Posted by Rudy on 9-7-2009 at 08:15 PM · [top]

It would seem that the presbyters functioned much as a vestry or standing commitee does today.

[355] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-7-2009 at 08:20 PM · [top]

I think the presbyterion was a conciliar body but more in a spiritual sense than vestries usually are today, since they are charged with being the agents of the parish for business and property matters.

I enjoy the phrase “spiritual crown” from Magnesians 13:1 as a reference to the presbyterion.

[356] Posted by Rudy on 9-7-2009 at 08:32 PM · [top]

Mad Potter,
I think it will depend mostly on boundaries and overlapping dioceses.  If the anti-WO and the WO camps can both feel safe in their parish, and their can parishes for both in the areas where they are needed, then the ‘joined at the male bishop’ idea can work, until and unless the WO folks get tired of ‘waiting’ on us anti-WO folks to join them on this issue of ‘justice’ and the need for women bishops as well.

We’ll have to wait and see.  It will take decades to prove the positive, the negative would take much less time.

[357] Posted by Bo on 9-7-2009 at 08:44 PM · [top]

Fireworks

[358] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-7-2009 at 09:10 PM · [top]

Even if a diocese were to elect a female bishop, it’s not likely that she would be able to serve as a bishop in the ACNA, whose canons specify that a candidate for bishop must be a male presbyter at least 35 years of age. Also,  the College of Bishops would have to consent to the election, which at least for the time being, isn’t likely to happen. Whether it will be more likely 10, 20 or 50 years from now, who knows?

If a diocese insisted on electing a female bishop despite the canons and without the consent of the college of bishops, I suppose it could always withdraw from the ACNA. To my knowledge, the ACNA has never taken the position once a diocese joins, it can’t leave.

[359] Posted by Paul Powers on 9-7-2009 at 09:31 PM · [top]

Lady bishops in ACNA?  With the exception of Mainline Protestants and some Charismatic denominations, the ecumenical pool would become limited.  REAL dialogue with Rome and Orthodoxy would be cut…the CofE will be, if they’re not careful.

[360] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-7-2009 at 09:49 PM · [top]

And it would also give more fuel to the people that said ACNA’s formation was “all about gay sex”...which it wasn’t…but moves like this would add to that perception.

[361] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-7-2009 at 09:51 PM · [top]

Thanks to Silver 355 in setting the Roman Catholic Church record straight.  Fr.Roseberry and his folks must be commended for their effort.  But this effort is like setting the TEC clock back a few years and moving forward with the same game plan.  It is fundamentally flawed.

[362] Posted by Te Deum on 9-7-2009 at 10:05 PM · [top]

Thank you for your continued comments on this thread.  For the most part, I have been thankful for the level of engagement with our paper and the thoughts behind it.

I do want to emphasize one thing: neither the ACNA or AMiA envision any female bishops…at all, at any time in the future.  In this new world, our bishops are not elected in a traditional sense.  They are selected (as in the case of the AMiA) and voted upon by the Rwandan House of Bishops.  These men are then seated on the councils of the ACNA.  In other jurisdictions, bishops can be voted on (as with, for example, my friend Neil Lebahr) but his election must be ratified by the ACNA Bishops.  There is no ‘pure democratically’ elected bishop that will be seated on with the ACNA.  All elections must be ratified by an all male council of bishops…and as such, the House will remain male (if I may be so crass).

This was the penny that ‘dropped’ for me when I considered women’s ordination.  Within the TEC system, the whole process explicitly denied male headship.  Women could be elected rector, bishop, and, as we seen now, PB.  When I saw that both the AMiA and the ACNA had insured the ‘order’ issue by having a ‘male headship’ model in place throughout the church in the line of bishops, I began to see that priests (who are all under the authority of a male bishop) could in some cases be female.

I think our paper has exposed a tender fault line within the ACNA which some had preferred might go away.  I hope that we are able to remain in communication about this issue.  What Christ Church is proposing is within the current canons of the ACNA and the AMiA.

Again, I deeply appreciate your attention to this issue.  I trust we all are agree that we love our church, believe the gospel, and trust His Word.

Pax,

David+

[363] Posted by Roseberry on 9-7-2009 at 10:29 PM · [top]

Bo,

In #284 you asked if I am no longer quoting “anthropos”. Actually, I never used that because the text does not.

In #360 you comment on those of us in favor of WO getting tired of waiting for the anti-WO to join us on this “justice” issue. Just to be clear: I do NOT believe it is a justice issue. It is an issue of being faithful to the call of the Spirit. Many pro-WO would say the same.

Carl,
<Are we to believe that the hope within us rests simply on the best evidence so far presented?  Is truth ultimately rooted in God’s revelation, or man’s ability to verify God’s revelation?  The logic of your position reduces the Christian faith to a set of propositions that can never be called true because they can never be isolated from the possibility of falsification.  You could never so much as debate the resurrection without conceding that you might be persuaded that it didn’t happen.>

The very nature of theology rests in faith in the Revelation of God and the correct understanding of it has been debated from the beginning. I would contend that the Apostle would indeed say this “defense” he calls for is exactly the kind of discourse that I speak of. In fact we should always be open to God’s refinement of his revelation to us in Christ just as the Church has done in admitting Gentiles, defining the nature of Christ and the Trinitarian nature of God, as well as, the establishment of the canon of Scripture which is the primary source of this Revelation.

Ron Baird+

[364] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-7-2009 at 10:34 PM · [top]

#367 Fr. Roseberry says: “I think our paper has exposed a tender fault line within the ACNA which some had preferred might go away.  I hope that we are able to remain in communication about this issue.  What Christ Church is proposing is within the current canons of the ACNA and the AMiA.”

Yes…there is a fault line.  Yes…communication is good…but let’s be sure it doesn’t become a “listening process”.  From this last sentence CCP plans on moving full steam ahead because it technically can…but this was already assumed.

[365] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-7-2009 at 10:51 PM · [top]

#345, GladILeft - a whole host of problems has arisen since “Hooker’s stool” has had the “experience” leg added.  “Reason” can be warped enough, but I don’t want to make any decisions of the magnitude talked about here based on “Experience.” 

Had an abusive father?  Not to worry, God’s the Holy Mother as well….. No need to seek healing, god understands where you’re coming from. 

Time to amputate, go back to the 3 legs.

[366] Posted by maineiac on 9-7-2009 at 11:02 PM · [top]

and, no, the 3 legs aren’t the same length!

[367] Posted by maineiac on 9-7-2009 at 11:08 PM · [top]

[368] Ron Baird+

I would contend that the Apostle would indeed say this “defense” he calls for is exactly the kind of discourse that I speak of.  In fact we should always be open to God’s refinement of his revelation to us in Christ just as the Church has done in admitting Gentiles, defining the nature of Christ and the Trinitarian nature of God, as well as, the establishment of the canon of Scripture which is the primary source of this Revelation.

You have employed an equivocation here.  I referred to the resurrection of Christ in my example, and you have subtly moved away from that issue.  No wonder.  You cannot make the argument that Paul or Peter would begin a defense of the faith with the statement “Of course you may be able to persuade me that I am wrong but ...”  Once you admit that point, you must also admit that discussion is possible without first admitting that you might be persuaded.  So what then do you say about this?  When you defend the Christian faith to an atheist, do you tacitly admit he might be right? 

carl

[368] Posted by carl on 9-7-2009 at 11:11 PM · [top]

[367] Roseberry

When I saw that both the AMiA and the ACNA had insured the ‘order’ issue by having a ‘male headship’ model in place throughout the church in the line of bishops, I began to see that priests (who are all under the authority of a male bishop) could in some cases be female.

This is simply a shell game.  The problem is not that women must be kept under the authority of men in the hierarchy of the church.  The problem is that women will exercise authority over men in the local church.  A bishop at some higher level does not mitigate this fact.  You have also deliberately shifted the Scriptural requirement of male headship for leadership in the local church to an office established only by tradition in order to get around the requirement.  It’s a clever legal argument, but it doesn’t change the words on the page. 

carl

[369] Posted by carl on 9-7-2009 at 11:50 PM · [top]

Yes…the problem we have had, when we ended up in more neo-evangelical circles due to our parish realignment, has been that many in the culture of our diocese/cluster/entity/subprovince/whatever believe the Priesthood to be merely an office one fills…a job…NOT a vocation and “becoming” with an ontological change.  One of our bishops SAID in a meeting of aspirants that he does NOT believe in the ontological change of ordination…and he is, BTW, pro-WO.  YET there is an interesting irony of clericalism in this same population that you might not expect of evangelicals that befuddles me.  It seems less sacramental and more about WHO is giving WHO authority to do this or that.  The word AUTHORITY is beaten to death, oddly enough.  But authority as WHAT?  So if they can’t agree on WHAT a priest becomes ontologically as an instrument, then I can see why they may be confused on WHO can be a priest.

[370] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-8-2009 at 12:36 AM · [top]

Ron Baird+ [368]
Sorry, for the misatribution.
It was CanaAnglican in 245 that sent me down the ‘anthropos’ / ‘aner’ path. 

Also sorry, but I see the campaign as a ‘Justice’ issue one.  The pro-WO side seems to take the position that we in the Anti-WO camp are not doing ‘justly’ when we deny that a woman has heard a call to the presbytery / episcopate (They may have heard a call to ministry, but not to the office they think.) 

I hope my support for the ministry of women in other offices (including that of deacon/deaconess) is more clear that those two issues were.

If the church held undivided council again, (not going to happen, but as the engineers say, assume a pencil) do you think this ‘WO’ position would receive approval of the Bishops/Senior Pastors of the Church?
 
If not, then perhaps the comparisson isn’t to Trinatarianism, but to Arianism.

[371] Posted by Bo on 9-8-2009 at 02:07 AM · [top]

TXThurifer,
This evangelical (I should suppose), sees it wrapped up in authority.  The authority presiding over communion is the same authority required to deny communion (as in I Corinthians 5 ).  This one cannot disassociate the two.  Hence my objection to deacons presiding (as Sydney apparently wants) as well as my objection to a woman in that position of authority.  Let deacons be deacons, let the elders/pastors be elders/pastors, the women minister in other ways.

[372] Posted by Bo on 9-8-2009 at 03:46 AM · [top]

I stand by what I said earlier, that in the NT, the terms presbyter and episkopos are used interchangeably. Titus 1:5-9 and Acts 20:17-35 demonstrate this most clearly.

I do agree however, that Ignatius did not seem them this way in his letters. However, I don’t at all think Presbyters acted merely as as a “vestry council.” Igantius compares Presbyters to the Apostles in his Letter to the Magnesians:

Be eager to do everything in godly harmony, the bishop presiding in the place of God and the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles

As an evangelical Anglican, I would argue that the Office of Bishop developed after the Apostles went home by separating from the NT office of Presbyter/Bishop. So I don’t think the office of Presbyter lacked “headship authority” either in the NT, nor in the post-apostolic age. As such, Carl’s post #373 is right on.

Lastly, I am an ordained Anglican Priest (Presbyter).  I am not an Anglican Priest (‘iereus (hee-yair-ous).I believe that the Anglican Church has viewed the office of Priesthood to be the NT office of Presbyter. As John Stott+ states in the “Cross of Christ” (p.262).

...Cranmer was determined to be consistent in its application. The ordained minister could still be called a ‘priest,’ because this English word is simply a contraction of the word ‘presbyter’ (elder).

[373] Posted by Shane Copeland on 9-8-2009 at 10:15 AM · [top]

Following up on Shane Copeland’s comment.  In the Presbyterian Church there are ruling elders (the session of presbyters) and teaching elders (the preachers).  I noted in #375, Bo’s support for women deacons.  Does not Paul only mention deacons—never priests?  It seems that the deacons were the ministers and servants who moved the church forward in that era.

[374] Posted by CanaAnglican on 9-8-2009 at 10:47 AM · [top]

CanaAnglican, you are correct, there are no Christian “priests” in Paul or elsewhere in the New Testament.

[375] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-8-2009 at 12:45 PM · [top]

[374] TXThurifer

One of our bishops SAID in a meeting of aspirants that he does NOT believe in the ontological change of ordination…and he is, BTW, pro-WO.

No protestant accepts the idea of ontological change in ordination because Protestants reject a sacramental priesthood.  We deny that men stand as sacramental mediators of grace.  Thus there is no need for an ontological change.  This is independent of any opinion on WO.  Every Protestant on this thread who (like me) rejects WO also rejects (like me) a separate ontology for priesthood.  The two positions are not even correlated, let alone casually dependent.

carl

[376] Posted by carl on 9-8-2009 at 01:00 PM · [top]

And to a Catholic Anglican who embraces a sacramental priesthood, the notion of WO is an impossibility. ++ Duncan may lay hands to ordain women until the cows come home, but nothing will happen when he does because women are not proper matter for ordination.

[377] Posted by via orthodoxy on 9-8-2009 at 01:18 PM · [top]

Shane, thank you for your complete and thoughtful response. Your position is certainly defensible based on Titus 1:5 vs. Titus 1:7 and Acts 20:17 vs, Acts 20:28.

I would like to offer another potential interpretation, which would only be a slight modification of yours.

First, in Acts 20:17 it is Luke as narrator who tells us from his personal experience that “From Miletus [Paul] sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.” Later, in verse 28, Luke quotes Paul: “Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own son.” It is possible that Luke had in mind a group of elders which included some overseers.

In Titus the two references are contextually closer. Hoewever, following the most common usage elsewhere, elders is in the plural, while overseer is in the singular. It may be possible that an overseer is an instantiation of an elder.

In short, elders may be a larger group of which overseers are a part. I grant that in the view of Paul, they are not very far apart. I agree that the office of elder included headship authority, which is why I would be hesitant to vote for a woman as rector.

The differentiation between elder and overseer did certainly become accentuated in the post-Biblical church, but I think the seeds of a differentiated level of calling, at least in degree of authority, can already be found in the Biblical text.

I agree with your definition of an Anglican Priest/Presbyter; that is also my bishop’s view. I get some sense that the Anglo-Catholics have a different appreciation of what a priest is, ontologically.

The contrast I use is this: A Prophet stands before the people on behalf of God. A Priest stands before God on behalf of the people, for instance, to offer a sacrifice. But I have only one mediator and advocate, Jesus Christ our one Great High Priest, and he has already offered the full and complete sacrifice for my sin.

[378] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-8-2009 at 01:25 PM · [top]

And then there was the church at Philippi that had only Bishops and Deacons!

[379] Posted by Eugene on 9-8-2009 at 02:05 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit,
In addition to the work of a prophet - speaking forth the word, the elder/overseer must also administer discipline in the local church.  We know of women in the new testament who were prophetesses, we have no indication that these women were made elders or overseers.

I harp on the same point again and again.
There is much ministry conducted without being a deacon, elder, or overseer.

Why do we try to force the gifts of God into one of three ‘baskets’?

The body has need of eyes, and ears, and feet, and hands, and uncomely parts.  Yet too many seem to want to wear the badge of a ‘higher calling’, when there should only be seeking to find our own proper place in the body, and obeying the One calling us to be that part.

[380] Posted by Bo on 9-8-2009 at 02:06 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit Said: “I agree with your definition of an Anglican Priest/Presbyter; that is also my bishop’s view. I get some sense that the Anglo-Catholics have a different appreciation of what a priest is, ontologically.”

You would pretty much be right in your assumption, especially with the Anglo-Catholics I know…although some charismatics and evangelicals have been known to take the Catholic position, too.

[381] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-8-2009 at 02:20 PM · [top]

My reference is to #381.  Well put and to the point.  God is not on strings doing the bidding of a bishop simply because the bishop offers a liturgical prayer.  The bishop’s intention must be in line with Christ’s good plan and intention for His Church and His sacramental ministry.  The ordination of women is not in the “plan.”  Never has been and never will be.

I will go further and suggest to Fr. Roseberry and to his committee that drafted this study that they read “The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood” by Fr. Thomas Acklin, OSB and a solid companion to this book is “The Priestly Office: A Theological Reflection” by Avery Dulles, SJ.

The work has been done.  Just read and believe.

[382] Posted by Te Deum on 9-8-2009 at 08:39 PM · [top]

Te Deum said: “My reference is to #381.  Well put and to the point.  God is not on strings doing the bidding of a bishop simply because the bishop offers a liturgical prayer.”

Good point, there.

Are we doing everything possible to discredit Anglican Orders, so that they can never be conditionally received by anyone in the rest of the Church Catholic???  Looks like we’re working on it.

[383] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-9-2009 at 03:45 AM · [top]

For TXThurifer, I hope not.

[384] Posted by Te Deum on 9-9-2009 at 09:31 PM · [top]

Carl

<You have employed an equivocation here.  I referred to the resurrection of Christ in my example, and you have subtly moved away from that issue.  No wonder.  You cannot make the argument that Paul or Peter would begin a defense of the faith with the statement “Of course you may be able to persuade me that I am wrong but ...”  Once you admit that point, you must also admit that discussion is possible without first admitting that you might be persuaded.  So what then do you say about this?  When you defend the Christian faith to an atheist, do you tacitly admit he might be right? >

I see no equivocation Paul himself makes the argument in 1 Cor 15:12-20. He acknowledges the other side of the argument and makes his case. You are unlikely to ever get anyone to listen to your argument if they know that you are closed minded.


Bo

It would be unfair to paint the entire pro WO side with the claim that it is a “justice” issue. For many it is a faithfulness issue.

<If the church held undivided council again, (not going to happen, but as the engineers say, assume a pencil) do you think this ‘WO’ position would receive approval of the Bishops/Senior Pastors of the Church?>

This is a hypothetical that you yourself claim will not happen so it is hard to see its relevance. IF one were held I doubt they would agree on the canon of the Old Testament, the Assumption of Mary, the infallibility of the Pope and many other things. Having said that: IF consensus could be reached I would certainly accept it as revealed truth be it pro or con WO. Would you?

Finally, why would Paul argue for the necessity of a married presbyterate when he himself is celibate and wishes others would be as he is. (1 Cor 7:7)

Ron Baird+

[385] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-9-2009 at 09:45 PM · [top]

I’m disappointed Christ Church Plano has taken this stand.  It does NOT contribute to the unity of ACNA.

[386] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 9-9-2009 at 10:19 PM · [top]

Bo wrote:

The body has need of eyes, and ears, and feet, and hands, and uncomely parts.  Yet too many seem to want to wear the badge of a ‘higher calling’, when there should only be seeking to find our own proper place in the body, and obeying the One calling us to be that part.

I heard a joke years ago about the parts of the body getting into a discussion as to which was the most important.  The feet argued that since they were the means of transportation, they were most important.  The eyes said they were, since they saw the road and obstacles, etc. The spine argued it was most important, since no one stood up w/o it.  When the “uncomely part” spoke up, claiming to be the most important, the others all broke out into gales of laughter, saying, “YOU?  you’re just an *******!”  So it shut up. 

Many parts, one body.  Community recognizes the different parts and the importance of each.

[387] Posted by maineiac on 9-9-2009 at 10:48 PM · [top]

... and vive la difference!! grin)

[388] Posted by maineiac on 9-9-2009 at 10:48 PM · [top]

RE:  “No protestant accepts the idea of ontological change in ordination because Protestants reject a sacramental priesthood.”

Sounds like a circular argument:  “Protestants don’t believe ‘X’, because Protestants reject ‘X’.”  The other problem is, Anglicans are a thoroughly mixed bag.  Check out Leander+‘s blog sometime.  His article on the governor of S.C. sounds distinctly Protestant, yet his article on his ordination sounds fairly Anglo-Catholic. 

RE:  We deny that men stand as sacramental mediators of grace. 

I would think that would depend on how a “Protestant” defines sacrament. 
If “Protestant = Zwinglian”
then I would agree.  I do not however think the Westminister Divines would agree:

WCFXXVII.I. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ and His benefits; and to confirm our interest in Him: as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the Church and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to His Word.

II. There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.

Unless of course, the ol codgers weren’t really Protestants.  wink

RE:  “Thus there is no need for an ontological change.”

Again, not sure I agree here.  If only those belonging to a special class the officers is allowed to administer the sacraments, then they are somehow different from the rest of the Covenant Community, who benefit from their ministry.  If they weren’t born qualified to administer the sacraments, then something must have happened to them in the course of their lives, to render them qualified.  It could be as banal as a certificate, or as sublime as Leander+‘s ordination, but .. something had to give. 

RE:  “This is independent of any opinion on WO.”

Not Anglo-Caths, and not this Protestant. 

RE:  “Every Protestant on this thread who (like me) rejects WO also rejects (like me) a separate ontology for priesthood.” 

Well, no.  The reason I reject Paedocommunion is that when the priest comes around to my child, he turns to me and asks whether it is permitted for my child to partake.  I object to the question on the grounds that someone in the general office of Believer has neither the right to permit, nor to refuse, the Supper.  Period.

RE:  “The two positions are not even correlated, let alone casually dependent.”

Except, the ministers who God gives us, may refuse the sacraments to Christians who are out of line.

[389] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-10-2009 at 01:16 AM · [top]

Ron Baird+
Were it a faithfulness issue, the ‘other side’ when grant that we are being faithful.

While I hold that council can and do err, if such a council of the whole Church could be held, I would hold the resultant position in much higher regard than that of a small splinter group within a smallish branch of the Church.  It wouldn’t be authoritative for me, but it would certainly send me to the text looking for ‘how can these things be so’ in a way that this missive from a congregation in Texas can not.

As an Apostle, Paul was first and foremost a missionary in hostile times.  The single person is more at liberty to persue that mission. When a church was established, he appointed (or directed that others select) married men to lead those congregations.  Do you not see the difference in missionary and pastor?  (Or for that matter Apostle and Bishop?) It is rather plain that the Apostle Paul saw the difference.  He didn’t tell Titus to chose our single men to be the leadership in the established churches, even though he wished all could be celibate speakers in tongues, he didn’t make either item part of the qaulifications for leadership in the local church.  Indeed, he set the qualifications for the protectors of the babes in Christ so that they included having successfully reared children.

Moot,
We are in agreement that no ‘general believer’ is the position of determining the question of ‘receive or not’ for another ‘general believer’ - that is the role of the elder/overseer.  I’m not at all sure that it isn’t within the father’s ‘domain’ in the household to make such a determination for the children of his own house.  In fact I think that is one of his responsibilities. 

The Office of elder/overseer is much like that of the father in the family - the local headship.  It is this positional authority which is the result of calling in the life of the man and confirmation by the body of beleivers (much as the husband calls the bride by proposal and the bride must confirm her husband by the vows) that sets an elder/bishop apart.

I don’t think that is as far from your position as you might think.  No church that I know of holds that the authority to preside over communion (perform the mass) is unconditional once granted.  Inhibited is I think the term used when certain bodies reject the authority of the representitive of the local headship.  The ‘change’ that takes place is both calling and reception.  Change/remove either one, and the ‘change’ is undone.

[390] Posted by Bo on 9-10-2009 at 02:11 AM · [top]

Re ontology: Why can an Anglican priest pronounce absolution, and a deacon cannot?

[391] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-10-2009 at 05:43 AM · [top]

If you’re asking me I would say that is because he has not received both the call to the elder/overseer position, and the authorization from the Bishop to take on that task.

In other words, it is not the ministry of the deacon to do that, no more than it is his ministry to preside over communion.

It might be worth noting though that a minister who is not a priest can say (in fact is directed to do so in the 1662):

‘Grant, we beseech thee, merciful Lord, to thy faithful people pardon and peace; that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve The with a quiet mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen’

[392] Posted by Bo on 9-10-2009 at 07:26 AM · [top]

Thanks, Bo. But I’d like to hear from the other side also. It seems to me that there’s something about the laying on of hands in an unbroken line tracing back to the apostles that we’re missing here.

[393] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 9-10-2009 at 07:38 AM · [top]

Bo

I do believe it is a faithfulness issue for those who oppose WO. in fact it s the position of the ACNA.
I find it difficult to define the whole of the Anglican Communion which has made Accomodation for WO to be “splinter” off of a “branch”. If I felt that way I would not be an Anglican at all.
I find your doubt as to the authority of such a council to be at the root of the problem here. If we are not open to correction in the Church then we are left only with the Church of “My Opinion” (meaning each individual’s) which is why TEC is in such a problematic place. We set ourselves up as the final arbiters of God’s revelation for all.

Finally, you miss my point regarding Paul. He wishes we were all as he is. Why would he wish such a thing only to acknowledge the need for married pastors?

Ron Baird+

[394] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-10-2009 at 09:23 AM · [top]

396…I think you got the gist of it there.

[395] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 09:48 AM · [top]

I was reading an article this morning that a friend sent by Canon John Heidt+ of FW.  http://fatherjohnheidt.blogspot.com/2005/11/dispensing-with-branch-theory.html
It touches on the old Anglican Branch Theory, increasingly popular since the 1830’s…and its pitfalls.  I think we need to think about submitting to the original river’s current…and in some ways, whether we like it or not.

[396] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 09:52 AM · [top]

I’m not at all sure that it isn’t within the father’s ‘domain’ in the household to make such a determination for the children of his own house.  In fact I think that is one of his responsibilities.

I respectfully disagree.  My own father does not have the right to determine whether or not I am to partake of the Supper, yet I owe him honor, even were he to pass away.  With the calling (a true calling) to the office of priest (‘pastor,’ what-have-you), would come the wisdom and resolve to be able to disallow, when the situation warranted.  I do not trust in my ability to judiciously dispense, or refuse, especially within the context of my own household.  A priest doesn’t necessarily have that problem.

[397] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-10-2009 at 11:24 AM · [top]

I think I realize what truly bothers me about this, and I think I’m finally able to make peace with it.  +Minns was upfront about his intentions.  AMiA had been going around collecting non-WO’ers, then they started up two franchises that let them be under Rwanda, only similarly WO-flavored as Rwanda. 

I kind of knew the Christ Church-Plano thing was coming.  I had hoped that there would be say, twenty years where I could move to another city and join an AMiA, and not worry about the problem for a while.  But, now the cat’s out of the bag.  No sense hoping against hope for staving off the inevitable.  Either I’ll be going to the eight o’clock service at an ACNA church, or going to a non-Anglican church at some point.  At best, I’d be in a parish like the Kennedy’s, but even that would change with a changing of the gaurd. 

I accept it. 

It’s funny though - I’m remembering an interview with +Duncan, +Iker, and a younger cleric (probably a bishop?), here on StandFirm a year or two ago.  +Duncan went on about how WO would be preserved, +Iker went on about how it wouldn’t, under him;  and the other guy waxed about how we could really honestly talk about it, now that we were out of TEC

The expressions on the elder bishop’s faces spoke volumes.  +Duncan ever so slightly wrinkled his eyebrows.  +Iker sat quietly, with a, “yeah, been down this road before,” look on his face. 

It is what it is. 

By the way, I am not at all angry with anyone writing in on this thread.  It’s the people who haven’t written in, who have contributed to “The Terrible Misunderstanding,” with their cigars and sherry and back room deals, that I take issue with. 

But, I’m even learning to make peace with that, too.

[398] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-10-2009 at 11:36 AM · [top]

Ron Baird+

If you do, then why not offer as much respect to us as you would be required to offer a vegetarian?  The duty to not exercise liberty for the sake of the other’s conscience falls on the one doing something ‘allowed’ but ‘not required’ in the faith.  At present nothing more than ‘perhaps, it is possible that it is permitted’ or ‘perhaps it was permitted’ has been advanced by the WO crowd.  They’ve not found a ‘you must admit a woman to be ordained an ‘elder/overseer’ in the scriptures.

Calling for me to recognize a woman as a priest is certainly far worse than eating meat sacrificed to idols (which IS KNOWN TO BE permitted but not required).


Perhaps a splinter that is eating a branch,,,,,

50 million Anglicans with WO, right?
2 Billion Christians.
2.5% or so.

5 thousand Christ Church Plano who issued this ‘paper’, right?
80 million Anglicans
.0062% or so

Anglicans number few than Baptist… If all the Anglican Bishops went for WO, they’d be in a Minority if only the Baptist’s Senior Pastors should up to meet with then in Council….Luckily for us both, Councils have and do err.


Anglicans believe councils have and do err.  You want I should find the Article?

That said, I’d give the opinion of such a Council the same wight as the Traditions of the Church enough to make disagreement tough, requiring very firm and plain defense from the text. 

Is it not those ‘accommodating’ WO, who are acting against 2000 years of Tradition because of their opinion, against plain text as commonly read because of their opinion, against the councils of the other branches of the Church because of their opinion, that are acting in the ‘Church of my Opinion?’ 

We hold to the order of the church laid down by the Apostles.  They seek to ‘accommodate the culture’, and personal opinions regarding the offices in which women are called to minister.

TEc’s Decline started with a failure to discipline.  They had “Bishops’ who were no such thing.  I don’t think Rome has it ‘right’ on the celibate priesthood discipline, but they’ve enforced it, and they’ve not seen a transition from the the ‘Official Teaching’ to ‘What can we get away with’ that TEc is suffering from.  A wrong discipline is better than no discipline.

You seem to be ignoring my point about Paul.
He wised we all spake in tongues - he didn’t list that as a qualification for Priest/Bishop, because that office and ministry didn’t need it.  He wished all could be celibate, dedicated only to the Lord’s Work, he didn’t list that as a requirement for Priest/Bishop because that office did not have such a requirement.

He did list the requirements of the office, and no woman can meet those requirements.

Moot,
I again failed to be clear - even I think the fathers authority is only over the ‘child’ - not a fellow adult.

[399] Posted by Bo on 9-10-2009 at 03:08 PM · [top]

403…AND…of the purported 77 Million Anglicans, I would guess 1/3 seriously practice WO.  And of those 1/3, probably half attend church.

[400] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 03:27 PM · [top]

Bo

I do give the non WO folk in my parish great consideration as I mentioned in my first couple of posts. Perhaps you should go back a d look at them again.
I am not sure of where you get your numbers from. There are about 80 million Anglicans worldwide making it the 3rd largest Christian Body after 1) Rome ans 2) the Eastern Orthodox. Baptists do not out number Anglicans. BTW- Some baptists do ordain women pastors. I will concede that not all Anglicans (or even a majority of them) currently ordain women to the presbyterate, it is still trues that they have accepted that others may and still remain in full communion with them. Does this not signal that the two positions are called to live with one another without rancor?

Regarding Paul, I am convinced that Paul also sees himself as pastor to these churches so it makes no sense to me that he would set up a different standard for others than he has for himself.

Ron Baird+

[401] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-10-2009 at 04:13 PM · [top]

I again failed to be clear - even I think the fathers authority is only over the ‘child’ - not a fellow adult.

You were clear.  I simply juxtaposed how some ways that my relationship with my father change, against how other ways do not change.  In my view, only the officers of the Church have sacramental authority over my child;  therefore there would be no need to transfer the authority from me to the Church.  Thus, while I prefer the Catholic model (hit ‘em hard and early with catechism, then start ‘em up with the Supper), I’d be tolerant of the Eastern way too.  Problem is, there is a tendency in Anglicanism to do something because “those guys over there have been doing it,” without too much forethought. 

Incidentally, I had to play the priest trump card in my home once so far.  It was a wrenching experience for all of us;  one I am willing but hesitant to do again, and only if it is absolutely necessary. 

Sacraments?  Best leave it to the professionals.

But again, I brought up Paedocommunion as an example (in my interaction with Carl, over priestly onthology) of how I in my office am not the same as a priest in his office.  We may be getting OT on the paedocommunion bunny-trail.

[402] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-10-2009 at 04:16 PM · [top]

Many many Anglicans don’t attend church, such as the 20 something million in England that are counted in that 70 something tally.  Baptists come close…Methodists come close…Lutherans come close…Pentecostals come close…even Reformed is sizeable…Anglicans, numbered as “protestants”, are not so unusual…

The only two groups that step far ahead are Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism…which are of more interest to Anglican Catholics.

[403] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 04:20 PM · [top]

In fairness, the number of Baptist churches that ordain pastors is a miniscule fraction of the churches that call themselves “Baptist”.  With the exception of an occasional renegade church, its not happening among churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. There is no indication that it will happen down the road.

[404] Posted by Going Home on 9-10-2009 at 04:26 PM · [top]

Anglicat (somewhere up-thread),

Many welcomes.  May God bless you and the work you do in your ministry.

[405] Posted by J Eppinga on 9-10-2009 at 04:47 PM · [top]

405…
Lutheran World Federation plus other conseravtive Lutheran denominations: 73 million

Methodist/Wesleyan denominations: 70 million

World Alliance of Reformed Churches and other reformed/presbyterian denominations:  75 million

Baptist World Alliance plus other Baptist denominations: 75 million

Charismatic/Pentecostal denominations(include many of the above groups as part): 250 million

The sad thing is that the protestant groups splinter further and further and further into thousands of independent denominations, whereas Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism are communions of interdependent bodies.

[406] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 04:48 PM · [top]

Ron Baird+

I see where you say you honour those who are opposed to this innovation.  I don’t see where you say that you make provision that they never have to deal with a women ‘presiding’ over Communion.

If you insist that a woman is a priest (elder) and that members of your congregation act as if she were, you’re not being as considerate as St. Paul required of the meat eating Christians.

There are over 100 million Baptist (per encharta, Wiki has it at over 110 million).  That makes ‘Baptist’ larger than ‘Anglican’ - and Baptists aren’t the ‘established church’ anywhere, one must chose as an adult to become a member of a Baptist Church.

Does St. Paul call himself ‘pastor’ or elder or bishop anywhere in the text?  (Serious question.  I’ve not seen it doesn’t mean it ain’t there…..)  He calls himself Deacon, and Apostle that I recall, but I don’t remember him calling himself an elder.

[407] Posted by Bo on 9-10-2009 at 08:47 PM · [top]

<If you insist that a woman is a priest (elder) and that members of your congregation act as if she were, you’re not being as considerate as St. Paul required of the meat eating Christians.>

Actually, I do not insist that they “act as if she were”. For that matter, neither does she! If she presides there is always the option of receiving from the reserve sacrament that a male priest consecrated. We work hard at honoring their valid position.

I am not sure that I could count all Baptists as belonging to the same Church denomination. There are some very large differences in them. The same would be true for Pentecostal churches. In fact I was Southern Baptist for several years.

I do not think that Paul uses the term presbyter to refer to himself. However, he does call himself an Apostle which is where the authority of presbyter is derived.

Ron Baird+

[408] Posted by Ron Baird+ on 9-10-2009 at 09:01 PM · [top]

Ron Baird+,
You are more generous than most.

Still, if she presides (even when passing out reserved elements), she places herself in a position of authority - the Anglo Catholic could accept the elements (I could not), but where is the authority in herself to refuse to serve those who are not eligible?  Without that she is not performing the office, and there is no one presiding.  When no one presides, I dare not partake, for then of whom do I partake?

I’m certain that we can’t count all Anglicans as being in the same Church, and grant that likely there are ‘Baptists’ aren’t in ‘Church with’ each other as well.

The Office of Apostle has a different set of requirements and duties.  Paul qualified as an Apostle and as a deacon, and called himself such.  He didn’t qualify (by the very list he penned) as an elder and do not call himself such.  Perhaps we should take note of his example.

In other words if St. Paul didn’t appropriate for himself an office (beneath his own in dignity and honour), that he didn’t ‘qualify for’ why should we do so today?

We can serve the church without stretching the qualifications of elder/overseer to include our selves, or those we love and honour.  We do not do them honour when we pigeon-hole them into an office for which they are not designed.

[409] Posted by Bo on 9-10-2009 at 09:13 PM · [top]

412 Said: “For that matter, neither does she! If she presides there is always the option of receiving from the reserve sacrament that a male priest consecrated. We work hard at honoring their valid position.”

...so if, as you say, my position is valid, then doesn’t that mean it’s true?  And if it’s true, then it stands to reason that the other is not, as my position holds that it’s impossible for a woman to confect The Sacrament Of The Altar.  So aren’t we just going around and around and around in unnecessary circles???  Are you saying that there can be multiple positions that are all valid, even if mutually exclusive???  Maybe not what you intended, but it’s the inevitable conclusion.

[410] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 09:45 PM · [top]

Bo,

Paul refers to himself as diakonos, which can be used technically (as in “deacon”) or more broadly (as in “servant,” or “agent” etc). Paul is usually understood to be using the broader sense—thus English versions of the Bible generally translate “fellow servant” and so on. Note as well that Acts 6 seems to distinguish between the offices of apostle and deacon.

Having said that I think you are entirely correct with regard to women’s ordination. Scripture and Tradition speak with a common voice.

[411] Posted by Fr. David McElrea (formerly farstrider+) on 9-10-2009 at 10:42 PM · [top]

Further reason why it’s important that bishops and priests are made deacons first…

[412] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-10-2009 at 11:16 PM · [top]

farstrider.
Thanks

Part of my point is that there is no ‘progression’ of calling.  Of course the office of deacon and Apostle is different.  St. Paul was an Evangelist, an Apostle, a Deacon, but best I can tell he wasn’t a Prophet (in the sense that Agabus was), nor an Elder/Overseer.

Another aspect is that I can not deny that St. Paul was what he called himself.  Now you and I hold that he used ‘diakonos’ in more the sense that the Bishop of Rome does when he calls himself ‘servant of the servants of God’ - as minister, but I can not dismiss the text, it is there.  The original Deacons served the church in an ‘administrative support role’, one distinct from the study of the Word and Prayer, but not totally foreign to the ‘setting things in order’ by his Epistles than St. Paul does…The Acts 6 Deacons brought order by properly dividing food.  St. Paul brought order by properly dividing the Word of God.  The Word as Food as not an uncommon theme…

TXThurifer,
As long as we remember that deacon is not ‘priest in training’ but its own worthy calling, useful to the church and to the training of those that would serve in places of more honour…..

[413] Posted by Bo on 9-11-2009 at 02:44 AM · [top]

Absolutely Bo.  You are correct.  It’s not a stepping stone like many have done.  That’s is why it’s important that the Vocational Diaconate has made a resurgence.  It’s important, though, that the priest and bishop be deacons at heart…servants at the core.

[414] Posted by TXThurifer on 9-11-2009 at 03:39 AM · [top]

Amen!

[415] Posted by Bo on 9-11-2009 at 03:46 AM · [top]

Sorry, Bo,

I committed the first sin of posting in that I didn’t read back far enough (and thereby read out of context). I understand now.

[416] Posted by Fr. David McElrea (formerly farstrider+) on 9-11-2009 at 04:12 AM · [top]

Farstrider,
This is a very long thread ‘back far enough’ is a heavy task. 

I myself have falsely accused my brothers on this same thread. (While perhaps not the first sin of posting, it remains the devil’s work that I have done.)

Thanks be to God that most of us here are forgiving and long-suffering!

[417] Posted by Bo on 9-11-2009 at 04:18 AM · [top]

Well…I know this is resurrecting a dormant thread…but I think an entry in another big Anglican blog’s weekly ‘viewpoints’ news summary might be important to this thread and subject.  According to this source, Christ Church Plano is delaying the ordination of women to the priesthood for the time being.

[418] Posted by TXThurifer on 11-6-2009 at 04:59 AM · [top]

What is interesting to me always in these discussions is there is rarely talk about the “call” - women being called by God into ordained ministry.  On a personal note, I had no intention of being a woman pastor, or being ordained.  I set out on a very different vocational path, but over the years, God has continually called me, a woman, to be a pastor, and He has clearly given me a good mind, good communication skills, good teaching skills, and pastoral care abilities.  And He has opened up many doors for me, which I didn’t seek out myself - He led me. Believe me, He did!  I had other plans!

I remember the first time I worked in a church (God’s idea - not mine), I had the feeling that I was finally home.  Working in the church is where God had called me.  It was the perfect fit because it was God’s design.  So in being an ordained deacon in the church, I am not doing this because I am trying to be culturally relevant or because I have some feminist ax to grind with the church, but because I have a strong calling on my life to do this, which many people have affirmed over the years (even when I did not see this at first as the “career” path) I should take.  And yes, I also now have the theological/biblical credentials.  So yes, we should take Scripture and Tradition very seriously, which I do, but we also need to take God’s call and gifting on women very seriously.  The world need’s Christ, and God just so happens to raise up some women to be leaders in the movement of the Gospel out into the world.

[419] Posted by ServingHim on 4-27-2010 at 03:51 PM · [top]

“The world need’s Christ, and God just so happens to raise up some women to be leaders in the movement of the Gospel out into the world.”

True, but that doesn’t mean you should be ordained a Priest or should serve as a deacon in charge.

Setting aside our differences in regard to the weight of Scripture on this issue, with leadership comes responsibility for the well being of the larger church, particularly at this critical time. The failure of both sides to coalesce around a reasonable accommodation involving a female diaconate, as originally envisioned by the AMIA, seems to reflect the placing of ones sense of a “personal “call above all else, including God’s voice to the church at large and a need for sacrifice for the greater good.  I am reminded of the Rev. Ruth Urban, a former Episcopal and Anglican Priest who was later consecrated as a bishop of the “All Nations Anglican Church”.  Ms. Urban is gifted, funny and has good communication skills. I have no doubt that she senses a call to be a Bishop, or perhaps more.

But did her consecration advance the Kingdom?

[420] Posted by Going Home on 4-27-2010 at 04:57 PM · [top]

Perhaps the problem is one of confusing a call to serve the church with a call to ordination. They are not one and the same.  I am not ordained and have no intention of ever being ordained because I don’t need to have a collar to fully serve the Church. In our AMiA parish, I have been put in charge of our daily Morning and Evening Prayer services, our intercessors team, along with being active in our healing prayer ministry and mentoring a number of young women, both married and single.  My husband and I also do the lion’s share of the teaching for the new members’ classes and he and I both lead Bible studies at 8 am on Saturday morning, one for men and one for women.

There is also an ordained woman deacon in our parish, who encouraged me to get ordained too. I asked her if there was anything that she did as an ordained deacon that I couldn’t do as a lay person.  The only thing she could come up with was reading the Gospel on Sunday morning.  Everything else that she does as a deacon could just as easily be done by a non-ordained lay woman called to the ministry of the church.

[421] Posted by Barbara Gauthier on 4-27-2010 at 06:00 PM · [top]

It is true that the call to serve the church and the call to ordination are different, and I believe firmly my call is to ordained ministy.  Again, it is a call.  It is not a feeling that this would be a good thing to do and thus I should do it.  Being ordained is an obedient step that I have taken as God has led and has opened up doors for me over my lifetime, and as many others have confirmed God’s leading in my life. My desire is to be obedient to God and I believe I am doing so.  I know there may be others who disagree with this theologically, but my conscious is clear because my life is not my own - I go as God’s leads.  Being a woman is not a sin - that is the gender that God made me, and yes there are different roles for men and women (I incidentally never have a desire to be the pastor in charge; I feel very much called to an associate role) but that does not negate the strong call on my life to this ministry.  Jesus is the one that I am responsible to, and if He has led me to this point, then my step our in faith cannot be to the harm to the Church at large or else He would not have called me.  This is not about me placing “my personal call” (feelings) above the Church or above God’s voice because again it is God’s voice I have responded to in taking this step. If I was responding to my feelings, believe me, I would not be a pastor because it is a difficult life to be called to (even if it is also joyful and rewarding at the same time).  Again, it is all about being obedient and then being used by God to bring His Gospel to the ends of the earth in the way He desires.  I cannot convince others of a different viewpoint of this, but again my conscious is clear on this.  I love the Scriptures; I love my Shepherd Jesus and follow His voice.  Thank you for listening.  (By the way, I am ordained in ACNA if you are wondering.)

[422] Posted by ServingHim on 4-27-2010 at 06:44 PM · [top]

http://christchurchplano.org/freeman-ordination/

Ordination of Susan Freeman set for 15th of May.

[423] Posted by Marie Blocher on 4-27-2010 at 07:15 PM · [top]

ServingHim,
It sounds as you are responding to a call to what might be labelled the deaconate.  I’m struggling with a call myself.  And have after quite a bit of prayer and study determined that the labels as applied today don’t often match with the calls as given today.  I may not be qualified to be a deacon, or priest but I’m ‘callified’ to some service in God’s church.  If I can’t reconcile the ‘callification’ and the ‘qualification’ I will serve without ordination. (Much like Barbara Gauthier).  I think often we seek ‘ordination’ when all we need is ‘subordination’.  I know I still want to find some way to justify my own ‘ordination’ despite what the text seems plainly to state.

Marie Blocher,
She’ll no more be a priest after that service than she was before it.  Shame on Christ Church Plano.

[424] Posted by Bo on 4-27-2010 at 08:46 PM · [top]

Wow…the timing on this development is TERRIBLE!!!!!!!  This is an AMiA parish, albeit the Pro-WO Anglican Coalition in the AMiA “Umbrella”.  The ordaining bishop is +Guernsey of Dio. Holy Spirit…but this is STILL though the back door.  It is ill-timed and FORCES the issue in our fragile ACNA.  This is the largest parish in ACNA and this shines like a billboard.  It is divisive.  Will she be serving at Christ Church???  This will make for some interesting upcoming ACNA church councils.  Basically they ought not be surprised if there are repercussions in the wider ACNA.  Curious, though.  The ordination takes place, I believe, on the same Saturday as Los Angeles’ new lesbian bishop, Mary Glasspool.  Two divisive ceremonies in one day…one in TEC…the other in ACNA.

[425] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 02:36 AM · [top]

Gifting and call are not synonymous…

[426] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 07:59 AM · [top]

Women are just as much a part of the human race as men. Female priests are here to stay, all over the Anglican Communion and all versions and permutations thereof. Get over it!

[427] Posted by DesertDavid on 4-28-2010 at 08:20 AM · [top]

Nobody here denies that women are human too.  That is a very insipid arguement and quite inflammatory.  Maybe they’re here to stay in TEC and the Western Provinces.  But that is not necessarily true in the ACNA and the Global South.  It is still officially in reception and not final.  I don’t think I’m the one to get over things here.  2,000 years versus 40…hmmm.

[428] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 08:24 AM · [top]

[427]  DesertDavid

Get over it!

The argument (such as it is) presumes that objections to WO are emotional and visceral.  But my objections are Scriptural.  I can’t ‘get over it.’  I don’t have the authority to change the created order.  Your statement makes as much sense as exhorting me to ‘get over’ the concept of gravity.

carl

[429] Posted by carl on 4-28-2010 at 08:36 AM · [top]

RE: “Wow…the timing on this development is TERRIBLE!!!!!!! “

Heh.

Yep—that’s what they said a year ago.  And prior to that as well.

For people who are anti-WO, of course, there will never be “good timing” for this.

That’s why—way way back when this was first spoken about and then got all the vociferous denunciation, my advice was to do it then, as each and every single year afterwards the “timing would be just terrible”—even if they waited ten years.

Time to see if the ACNA way of combining both anti and pro-WO will work.  Better now than later.

ServingHIm ... The problem with using the assertion that you were called to the priesthood—for those of us who are opposed to it—is that is much like my announcing that I feel called to do some stagecoach robbing [a challenging calling, as there are so few stagecoaches] or to rob banks or to become a prostitute.

People who are opposed to WO believe that seeking ordination as a woman is intrinsically unBiblical and therefore—no matter the feelings or thoughts or counsel received—a woman cannot and will not experience “a call” from the Holy Spirit to it at all as the Holy Spirit does not call us to sin or violate Biblical tenets.

[430] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 08:36 AM · [top]

Actually, TX Thurifer, WO is indeed here to stay amongst those who have made thoughtful, informed decisions for it.  I’ve talked to too many of them who are confident and confirmed in their belief in it.

So here was the question for ACNA.

Have two different organizations—one made up of the three AngloCatholic dioceses, and the evangelicals/charismatics who do not avidly support and promote WO.  And one made up of the other—both going their separate ways.

They did not choose to do that.  But note that they basically inserted into the C&Cs; of the new entity the escape chute for both pro-WO and anti-WOers.  If the anti-WOers ever have attempted by the others to *force* them to accept WO or women bishops—they can happily leave with their property, prior to any new canons or Constitution going into effect.  If the pro-WOers ever have attempted by the others to take away their WO privileges—they can happily leave with their property, prior to any new canons or Constitution going into effect.

[431] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 08:41 AM · [top]

Actually, TX Thurifer, WO is indeed here to stay amongst those who have made thoughtful, informed decisions for it.  I’ve talked to too many of them who are confident and confirmed in their belief in it.

I have spoken with two women priests in particular who stated they would “hang up their collars” (for lack of a better word) if it became the mind of the communion that women’s ordination were not appropriate.  I think that shows an amazing amount of humility and willingness to put themselves under the teaching of the church.  I don’t think it will happen in the communion, so they probably won’t have to.
My thought is that we don’t need separate organizations, since we no longer necessarily have geographical diocese.  If you are not in favor of WO, then your parish and clergy can be under a FiF bishop.  I think the current structure of the ACNA allows that to happen.

[432] Posted by Townsend Waddill+ on 4-28-2010 at 09:39 AM · [top]

I think the general thought in Anglo-Catholic circles is that communion is a very tangible thing…and that one cannot just turn one’s back and whistle when it’s happening in the back yard.  I do agree with Sarah that there will probably be an eventual split in ACNA…it’s too important to those to whom it matters.  +Bishop Minns’ posit that there can be “Two Integrities” just doens’t work.

[433] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 09:44 AM · [top]

RE: “I do agree with Sarah that there will probably be an eventual split in ACNA…”

Heh—as I did not say that, one wonders what TX Thurifer is “agreeing” with.

[434] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 10:27 AM · [top]

I think your post in 431 says by implication that the “two integrities” that some tout, may not survive.

[435] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 10:33 AM · [top]

No, actually, it does not.

In fact, I’ve said quite the opposite for years now—from 2006 onward.  I do not believe that ACNA will divide over WO.

For an example of that statement—said now literally hundreds of times in response to both revisionists and people-who-do-not-wish-to-be-in-the-same-organization-with-pro-WOers ...here was a comment from September of 09:

“As I’ve said a hundred times before, it’s not going to be WO that divides ACNA.  WO is, in fact, a settled issue in ACNA despite the grousings that will apparently take place every single time that a woman is purported to be ordained in ACNA.

There are far far far deeper issues that will divide ACNA [if ACNA is divided and we’ll see about that].”

[436] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 10:51 AM · [top]

I disagree with Sarah in that I believe restraint and delay might have forced the development of a greater consensus around the female diaconate role. This would not have satisfied all, but would have at least given a framework within which many of us could have preceded with a clear conscience.

The problem with leaving it up to individual parishes is that this issue is rarely presented in a way that allows a congregation to make an informed decision.  It is also often presented in a way that obfuscates the real issue, for example, the statement that the particular candidate considered to be called/ordained doesn’t want to be a Rector, and therefore that part of the issue doesn’t have to be addressed at this time. But if you don’t address these issues up front, you eventually end up with a situation where female Priests become the norm, and it becomes very difficult, for social and other reasons, for an ACNA church to resist this trend.

CCP has decided that this is An Important Thing to do right now.  The sky isn’t falling. But it is a mistake.

[437] Posted by Going Home on 4-28-2010 at 11:24 AM · [top]

RE: “I disagree with Sarah in that I believe restraint and delay might have forced the development of a greater consensus around the female diaconate role.”

Well I understand—but what you’re really saying is that you think—given time—that people who ardently support and promote and wish for and adore WO will decide that ... they don’t.  And I just don’t think that’s going to happen.

One of the things I don’t think anti-WOers are grasping in this is that those in general who support WO think not simply that it’s a nice idea that they could do without, but that it is a good and wonderful thing and that they are thrilled to have it and that they’re not going to give it up.  Sure there are some who announce they’d give it up—but I haven’t found that to be the predominant attitude in my conversations.


RE: “It is also often presented in a way that obfuscates the real issue, for example, the statement that the particular candidate considered to be called/ordained doesn’t want to be a Rector, and therefore that part of the issue doesn’t have to be addressed at this time.”

Well actually—there’s a segment of evangelicals who believes that WO is good, as long as the priest isn’t the “head” of a parish.  So that statement actually serves to unify the evangelicals that support WO.

RE: ”  . . you eventually end up with a situation where female Priests become the norm, and it becomes very difficult, for social and other reasons, for an ACNA church to resist this trend.”

I think that’s definitely already happened.  And will continue to happen amongst the dioceses that support WO.

[438] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 11:36 AM · [top]

The ‘rules’ bar women bishops in ACNA. 
The rules bar WO in REC

Trouble for me, is that there is no REC parish nearby. 

The Anglican church I attend has a deaconess, and the congregation seems to have no issues with WO in general. 

To her credit and that of the rector, there has been no attempt to make me feel bad about refusing to accept WO as being possible, much less desirable from either of them.  When the deaconess served reserved bread and wine once at Wednesday evening service, everyone knew why I did not come forward, and the deaconess and I were the second set to hug during the ‘peace of the Lord’ that followed. (She hugged her husband first.)

Some of my fellow parishioners have had troubles with it.  It hasn’t broken our love for each other, nor our communion.  The last time we took communion at the rail, the deaconess was on my immediate left, to my right was the female senior warden who thought my objection was as ‘old fashioned’ as my use of the 1662 at home.

From this personal experience, I think the WO issue will not ‘split’ ACNA until someone tries to consecrate a woman as bishop. 

Sample size is small. 
Not a scientific survey. 
Your results may vary.
Statements not approved by St. Peter’s in the Glenn.
Additional disclaimers as appropriate.

[439] Posted by Bo on 4-28-2010 at 12:05 PM · [top]

In fact, the rules ban WO in 22 out of 28 ACNA dioceses…and pretty soon 23 out of 29 with the Southern Diocese being formed, from what I understand.

[440] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 12:14 PM · [top]

438—“Well actually—there’s a segment of evangelicals who believes that WO is good, as long as the priest isn’t the “head” of a parish.  So that statement actually serves to unify the evangelicals that support WO.”

I agree, however, in my experience those supporting unlimited WO usually dont want to address that “headship” issue, as policy, up front, but to simply differ it until later. The problem is that approach is that it becomes very difficult to address the issue later, with a female Priest sitting at the table.  If you don’t address it up front, and clearly, a decision to call/ordain a female Priest becomes a decision not to exclude female candidates for the Rectorship down the road. Similarly, the calling/ordination of a female deacon usually adecision to bring female Priests on staff.

[441] Posted by Going Home on 4-28-2010 at 12:49 PM · [top]

I guess what I am saying is that the matter should be addressed with clarity and candor.  My experience with the Episcopal Church taught me that it is usually better to address something up front, with candor, and that parishioners should be given an opportunity to engage in a non-biased discussion of Scripture and tradition.

[442] Posted by Going Home on 4-28-2010 at 12:52 PM · [top]

Yes 442…it must be address with clarity and candor.  No more of this skirting and dancing in order to not upset anyone.  No-Woers are already upset.  Pro-Woers don’t wanna hear it. “Lalalalalala…we don’t hear you.”  Sorry…this must be addressed in the next councils of the church.

[443] Posted by TXThurifer on 4-28-2010 at 05:37 PM · [top]

RE: “No more of this skirting and dancing in order to not upset anyone.”

Heh—I don’t see anybody doing that one bit.  Nobody’s skirting and dancing—people are just moving along.

RE: “No-Woers are already upset.”

Mmmm.  Not upset enough to leave ACNA, though.  ; > ) 

But you’re right—*some* of the anti-Woers are going to remain “upset” until WO is repealed for all of ACNA and ACNA divides into the two organizations that Thurifer prefers.  So they’ll be “upset” for a long long long looooooonnnnnnnnngggggggg time.

RE: “Pro-Woers don’t wanna hear it. “Lalalalalala…we don’t hear you.”

Naw—pro-Woers are just going to trundle onward doing what they’re allowed to do under the ACNA C&Cs;. 

Maybe Guernsey will have her serve in one of his parishes—who knows?  Have you checked out the list of clergy in that diocese?  Several women.

[444] Posted by Sarah on 4-28-2010 at 06:36 PM · [top]

I think the best observation on the paper was one posted on the CCP website down at the bottom of the same page on which Roseberry announces the paper.
The lady had finished printing out the 32 pages of the document and said:

“I did notice that the list of books listed under further reading is missing an important book. Perhaps it was not important. I reference The Holy Bible.”

‘nuf said.

[445] Posted by Marie Blocher on 4-29-2010 at 04:16 PM · [top]

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