Author Topic: Women bishops: Jesus was happy with female apostles. What is the CofE's problem?  (Read 4156 times)

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Offline primuspilus

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If it was so important to have female bishops, there would have been some.

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Read the Bible, read the texts of the early church and tell me where Jesus organized a 'church'
Besides the scriptures mentioned? Read Acts.

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You can't because no such text exists.  The church came about because of the necessity to organize
Again...read Acts. Also, Jesus Himself mentiones His Church...so.....

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You can play with the statistics as much as you like but scripture fails to support your thesis
Who do you think codified and collected scripture?


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« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 11:15:13 AM by primuspilus »
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Offline LBK

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What does it mean when St. Mary Magdalene is called "Equal-to-the-Apostles" but is not actually an apostle?

Because she might not have been appointed by Christ as part of the Twelve or the Seventy, but did the work of an apostle in spreading and proclaiming the Gospel. She is also known as the Apostle to the Apostles, in that she was the first to spread the news of the Resurrection to the disciples. The same goes for other female saints who have earned the title of "Equal-to-the-Apostles", such as Sts Helen, Olga of Kiev, and Nina of Georgia.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Devin, how old are you?

What difference does it make?  I am 51, and I agree with him completely regarding this matter.

I am 67 and I also agree with "no women priests or bishops." However, I cannot agree with him that ALL Orthodox Christians agree with Devin, you and me.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Did anyone maker the point that there is a difference between apostles, on the one hand, and priests and bishops on the other?

Offline orthonorm

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If it was so important to have female bishops, there would have been some.

You have to do better than this.

Otherwise you better go find some Restorationists to worship with cause the Orthodox Church has changed a lot since those days.

It is the Faith once delivered unto the Saints.

Well all the Saints ain't lived out their lives yet, so that Faith ain't been revealed completely yet. And to think the a woman serving as Priest or Bishop is so far outside the Faith is to confuse history with theology.

Never has a single theological argument with merit ever been given for the exclusion of women from the Priesthood.

Pastoral arguments, sure, as some, as St. Paul would call the weak, aren't ready for such a departure from the "law". So till then the strong must abide the weakness of their fellow Church members.
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Offline orthonorm

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Did anyone maker the point that there is a difference between apostles, on the one hand, and priests and bishops on the other?

It is true. But has no bearing on the subject except to dispel that possible confusion.
Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.

Offline Kerdy

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I think instead of looking for evidence to prove women should not be, as is often mistakenly done, we should look to see if there is any evidence to support it should be.  Because something may not be explicitly forbidden does not mean it is necessarily approved.

Offline orthonorm

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I think instead of looking for evidence to prove women should not be, as is often mistakenly done, we should look to see if there is any evidence to support it should be.  Because something may not be explicitly forbidden does not mean it is necessarily approved.

See my post above. St. Paul already covered this. If people must cling to certain practices to the point of scandal, let them have them. No matter even if they are not tangential to the Faith.
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Offline Kerdy

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I would venture to say gender roles were established with the creation of Adam and Eve.  I remember doing a college paper on this very topic.

Offline JamesRottnek

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I would venture to say gender roles were established with the creation of Adam and Eve.  I remember doing a college paper on this very topic.

And yet there is neither male nor female in Christ.
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Offline sheenj

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I would venture to say gender roles were established with the creation of Adam and Eve.  I remember doing a college paper on this very topic.

And yet there is neither male nor female in Christ.
So is having all male bishops simply a long-standing practice of the church? Akin to the Roman Catholics and their celibate priests?

Offline William

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I would venture to say gender roles were established with the creation of Adam and Eve.  I remember doing a college paper on this very topic.

And yet there is neither male nor female in Christ.

And yet there are still gender roles in the New Testament.
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Offline FantaLimon

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I have heard several times in this thread that there were no female apostles, elders, bishops, deacons, etc in the early church and soon after.  I thought there were female leaders at the time, even serving "pastoral" functions within churches.  A quick search through wikipedia will mention this but of course wikipedia once told me mixing bleach and ammonia made gold.

I mean I'm certain I've read that before and could someone more knowledgeable comment?  Is it a disputed idea?

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Did anyone maker the point that there is a difference between apostles, on the one hand, and priests and bishops on the other?

It is true. But has no bearing on the subject except to dispel that possible confusion.

The argument seems to be that the existence of female apostles argues for the existence of female priests and bishops. Or, am I missing something here?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 10:28:15 PM by Second Chance »

Offline orthonorm

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Did anyone maker the point that there is a difference between apostles, on the one hand, and priests and bishops on the other?

It is true. But has no bearing on the subject except to dispel that possible confusion.

The argument seems to be that the existence of female apostles argues for the existence of female priests and bishops. Or, am I missing something here?

I agree with you. It is flawed reasoning. Whether women were apostles or not doesn't as such give any credence to women being in the Priesthood today.

Even if we had textual evidence of women being Priests in the past it wouldn't be a productive argument for the inclusion of women within the Priesthood today.

There are really no arguments as I said other than pastoral (what it might do to the Church) to exclude women from the Priesthood.

Nearly everything I have read on the subject matter even from thinkers I typically agree with arguing against the inclusion of women are based on the most poorly formed notions of theology or Christian anthropology.

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Offline Seraphim98

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I must agree with Devin in the thrust of his theology and leave the art of his argument and presentation to others.  This isn't he Supreme Court and posts here aren't legal briefs. We can allow a little charity in expression.

We have no tradition of women serving as bishops or priests. That is the end of the matter except perhaps for digging into the implicit theology of what we have received and what it means…it's implications. What is implied concerning gender and role by the Tradition which recognizes only male ordination to the priesthood and episcopate.

We do have a tradition (now largely defunct) of a female diaconate. It's been so long since it was common the details are fuzzy on what their liturgical responsibilities were. We know it faded away fairly quickly throughout Orthodox christendom after the 5th century. We know that a type of female diaconate survives within the Coptic faith, and given their general theological and sociological conservatism, we might study what they do/have done should it ever be considered prudent to make a general restoration of the female diaconate. There is nothing to preclude it's being done if there is a need for it in the Church again. We have this within our tradition to appeal to, and from it our faithful and hierarchs, as God leads, could reestablish this ministry. It can be done. There is no Tradition for female priests or bishops it cannot be done, and those involved in it's doing, should it ever be attempted, do not remain Orthodox without repentance and reconciliation to the Church.

St. John Chrysostom said, "Is it the Tradition? Ask no further."  That is surely sound Orthodox counsel.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 12:17:05 AM by Seraphim98 »

Offline PeterTheAleut

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I think instead of looking for evidence to prove women should not be, as is often mistakenly done, we should look to see if there is any evidence to support it should be.  Because something may not be explicitly forbidden does not mean it is necessarily approved.
I think this is the best advice I've seen so far on this thread. I'm not convinced by any of the reasons I've seen advanced for the continued exclusion of women from the priesthood, but since this is the long-established practice of the Church, I think the "burden of proof" is clearly on those who advocate the inclusion of women in the priesthood to convince the consensus as to why we should change our age-old practice. Until then, the best decision on such a contentious issue as women's ordination is to continue our traditional practice.
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Offline wayseer

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To suggest that the word ἐκκλησίαν (ekklesia) means anything other than church is simply laughable.

The only places jesus uses the word ekklesiais in Matthew 16 and 18.  'church' simply means a collection of people - not, as it has came to mean with a definite article (the) and a capital 'C' as in 'the Church' - an organized entity holding certain beliefs.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 06:56:00 AM by wayseer »
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Offline wayseer

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Besides the scriptures mentioned? Read Acts.

I specifically said Jesus.  Read more carefully.

'Tradition' changed what Jesus taught.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 06:59:08 AM by wayseer »
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Offline biro

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Besides the scriptures mentioned? Read Acts.

I specifically said Jesus.  Read more carefully.

'Tradition' changed what Jesus taught.

How do you know?
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Offline LBK

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To suggest that the word ἐκκλησίαν (ekklesia) means anything other than church is simply laughable.

The only places jesus uses the word ekklesiais in Matthew 16 and 18.  'church' simply means a collection of people - not, as it has came to mean with a definite article (the) and a capital 'C' as in 'the Church' - an organized entity holding certain beliefs.

There are other Biblical words which also mean a gathering of people for common purpose, such as synagogue and assembly. It is significant, and no accident, that Christ used the word ekklesia, and not any other word in those passages.
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Offline primuspilus

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The only places jesus uses the word ekklesiais in Matthew 16 and 18.  'church' simply means a collection of people - not, as it has came to mean with a definite article (the) and a capital 'C' as in 'the Church' - an organized entity holding certain beliefs
Ah, so there is a difference in church and church. Only in English buddy :)

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I specifically said Jesus.  Read more carefully
Ah, so unless it came from Christ's lips we can invalidate it? Man, you gotta love buffet Christianity.....

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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker

Offline Iconodule

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What does it mean when St. Mary Magdalene is called "Equal-to-the-Apostles" but is not actually an apostle?

Because she might not have been appointed by Christ as part of the Twelve or the Seventy, but did the work of an apostle in spreading and proclaiming the Gospel. She is also known as the Apostle to the Apostles, in that she was the first to spread the news of the Resurrection to the disciples. The same goes for other female saints who have earned the title of "Equal-to-the-Apostles", such as Sts Helen, Olga of Kiev, and Nina of Georgia.

My point was that women could be equal to the apostles (and, presumably, bishops and priests) without being able to hold those positions. This assumes a notion of equality which does not fall in line with much contemporary thought on the matter.
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Offline primuspilus

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I would also add that apostle does not automatically mean bishop.

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"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker