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Author Topic: The proper behavior of a Christian Women.  (Read 7638 times) Average Rating: 0
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fatman2021
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« on: March 03, 2006, 09:18:28 PM »

Let your woman keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to
Speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if
They want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home;
for it is shameful for women to speak in church. Or did the word of
God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 1
Corinthians 14:34-36
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is
the head of the wife as also Christ is head of the Church; and He is
the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the Church is subject to
Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:22-24
In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls
or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing
godliness, with good works. Let a women learn in silence with all
submission. And I do not permit a women to teach or to have authority
over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into
transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they
continue in faith, love and holiness, with self-control. 1 Timothy 2:9-15
For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and
as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice
over you. Isaiah 62:5
But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin
marries, She has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have troubles in
the flesh, but I would spare you. 1 Corinthians 7:28
So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will
be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from
that law, so that she in no adulteress, though she has married another
man. Romans 7:3
Similarly, teach the older woman to live in a way that is appropriate
for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil
of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach
others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to
love their husbands and their children, to care of their homes, to do
good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring
shame to the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
« Last Edit: March 03, 2006, 09:31:19 PM by fatman2021 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 09:27:37 PM »

Talk about something that's not politically correct!!!! Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2006, 09:38:10 PM »

fatman, i've been looking for that icon of Christ.  (i've actually seen it in bluish hues in the albanian orthodox church)  What is the name of it?  Is it Christ the Light? thx, irene
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2006, 09:41:41 PM »

I don't know the Ikon's name. If I remember right, I found it on the Internet and decided to use it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 10:20:09 PM »

Why is this in the "Convert issues" section??  Huh
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 11:02:27 PM »

Why is this in the "Convert issues" section??  Huh

Because he is trying to convert all those uppity Orthodox women to the REAL way they should be acting!  Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2006, 03:02:37 AM »

Arystarcus ---I agree, I am uncertain why this was placed in the convert area rather than Faith. Usually I try to see if it leads to a discussion that is appropriate for convert issues, but I am uncertain where this one is going.

Fatman, could you explain why this fits into convert issues rather than Faith issues otherwise I will need to move it to Faith issues.

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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2006, 03:29:00 AM »

fatman, i've been looking for that icon of Christ.  (i've actually seen it in bluish hues in the albanian orthodox church)  What is the name of it?  Is it Christ the Light? thx, irene
It's not "Christ the Light"- it is a Roman Catholic icon of "the Sacred Heart", which Orthodox iconography forbids.
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2006, 10:20:22 AM »

It must be nice being a fundamentalist, not having to think for yourself, but insted letting yourself be guided by some ancient unenlightened and barbaric culture...really satisfies the animalistic and barbaric tendencies that are left over from a time before we gained reason I guess. Perhaps this is the attraction of converts to Islam...it's to bad we can't get all fundamentalists to go to Islam, Islam seems to enjoy the problem of fundamentalist nut cases...so all fundamentalists becomming moslem would be a win win situation.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2006, 11:46:01 AM »

Actually, I think that the first post is very relevant to inquirers. As an inquirer, I would want to know why Orthodoxy does not follow some of these scripture passages anymore? I doubt that the answer provided by GIC is the only answer? Is the following true?

Quote
Let a women learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a women to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Should women keep their mouths shut in public? Should they be refused teaching positions and authority over men? Is this the case because Eve was deceived? Or is this merely cultural? And if it is no longer applied today, then the question arises: what criteria are used to determine whether passages are applicable to today, and which of the passages in the NT (ie. can you give a list?) are now considered non-applicable, at least if you are trying to apply them literally. And, if these passages are no longer applicable, what is their purpose in the Scripture? Do you interpret them "spiritually" or something? (If so, what is that spiritual interpretation).
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2006, 11:51:19 AM »

Actually, I think that the first post is very relevant to inquirers. As an inquirer, I would want to know why Orthodoxy does not follow some of these scripture passages anymore? I doubt that the answer provided by GIC is the only answer?

No, it's not the only answer...just the most rational one. I could argue that the applicability of certain biblical verses are directly proportional to the number of pirates (real ones, not software downloaders), and since we have fewer pirates today than a few hundred years ago, the scriptural verses are less applicable, but of course that wouldn't be a very rational argument, now would it? Wink
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2006, 12:08:47 PM »

GIC

I agree with the answer you gave, I just think that most of Orthodoxy would consider it anathema. This is something an inquirer might be interested in. Again, what criteria (or what authorities) are consulted so that Orthodoxy knows when it's time to disregard a passage?
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2006, 12:16:39 PM »

I agree with the answer you gave, I just think that most of Orthodoxy would consider it anathema.

I dont know about that, it's taught openly here at the seminary by a number of professors as a standard means for interpreting scripture. Many priests I've talked with agree with me, as well as many laymen (of the ones who know what biblical exegesis even is). Now, I tend not to hang around traditionalists, so they may have a different perspective, but they are hardly mainstream Orthodoxy.

Quote
This is something an inquirer might be interested in. Again, what criteria (or what authorities) are consulted so that Orthodoxy knows when it's time to disregard a passage?

From an ecclesiological perspective, the bishop determines...from a practical perspective, it's generally our theologians who discuss the matter and decide if a certain passage is out of date or not, then the bishops generally follow suit.
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2006, 02:40:40 PM »

I've heard 2 different sides to the story.

1. The Apostle was talking about women chatting in church during a service.

2. He did not think that it was right that women should teach or preach publically.

But why would he need to mention that? Neither Jewish culture nor ancient greek culture were conducive for women to be publically acknowledged.

Sure in pagan temples there were women priestesses but I dont think they had any public social role other than their "duties" inside the temples. And as for women in Jewish culture (besides Deborah, Esther, and the Virgin Mary in a sense), forget it. Even the Virgin Mary who has a massive role in the faith, we all know her to be the quiet, humble mother rather than an outspoken revolutionary.

 
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2006, 03:25:09 PM »

I think its also important to keep in mind that St. Paul WAS speaking in context.  He was a human being too, so its only to be expected that he would try to solve a problem of his time, through his exhortation to the different Christian groups.  That IS what they are.  Letters to groups, to explain certain problems, whether Christological or not.  It's not a Gospel...(not that i'm trying to say its not scripture either...)
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2006, 03:52:15 PM »

It must be nice being a fundamentalist, not having to think for yourself, but insted letting yourself be guided by some ancient unenlightened and barbaric culture...really satisfies the animalistic and barbaric tendencies that are left over from a time before we gained reason I guess. Perhaps this is the attraction of converts to Islam...it's to bad we can't get all fundamentalists to go to Islam, Islam seems to enjoy the problem of fundamentalist nut cases...so all fundamentalists becomming moslem would be a win win situation.

That's a bit cheeky! Your post is the most extreme I've read on the site ...have you thought about becoming a fundamentalist or a moslem yourself?! - you might be good at it!  Wink
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2006, 09:33:21 PM »

That's a bit cheeky! Your post is the most extreme I've read on the site ...have you thought about becoming a fundamentalist or a moslem yourself?! - you might be good at it!  Wink

Extremism is not alwasy fundamentalism...only a certain type of extremism.

'Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.'
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2006, 05:36:40 PM »

At least there is discussion starting on this topic appropriate to the Inquirer however I have yet to hear from fatman2021 to clarify his reason for quoting without further comment. The use of the Sacred Heart avatar makes me wonder what was the purpose for the quote with no further commentary.

As for my two cents, There are several points made in the scripture that will have different  understandings withion the many jurisdictions of the Orthodox Church in the US. Many Slavic Churches would be in full accord with what was said and still practices it in their traditions and orthopraxis.  Many convert  parishes and missions tend to be more conservative and you will see many of the women in those parishes functioning in accord with the scripture.  Other jurisdictions and traditions in the US observe this verse as completely cultural and note that it must be followed and understood in the context of that culture and time.  What I have heard several bishops say about women covering their head is basically if it means something to the woman spiritually she should continue to do it , if not covering her head has no meaning except to keep the older generation off of their back.

As most jurisdictions use women as Church school teachers, they obviously accept women as teachers.  I do not know however of any Orthodox jurisdiction that currently allows women in pastoral and clerical positions in accordance with the scripture.

In Christ,
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« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2006, 06:12:19 PM »

Quote
From an ecclesiological perspective, the bishop determines...from a practical perspective, it's generally our theologians who discuss the matter and decide if a certain passage is out of date or not, then the bishops generally follow suit.

Supposing that someone said "Baseballs are made differently now. That's why there are more home runs". And then I asked "What do you mean? In what way are they different?" And the guy replied "They just are. Pro Baseball knows about this."  What kind of answer is that? How does such tautological evidence tell me anything more than I already knew from the beginning?

Similarly, GIC, (like Tom the other day), you have taken a position which is quite out of the ordinary, and then when asked for the specific reasoning behind your beliefs, you pass the buck to someone else. I want to know why GIC can say "Many priests I've talked with agree with me". With you? Well they agree with you, fine and dandy. And how did you come to the conclusion that you did, this conclusion that others agree with?

I don't need to be informed that the bishops, theologians and priests have more weight in deciding what happens in the Orthodox Church than GIC. Wink What I want to know is how GIC came to the conclusions that he did--or if you haven't thought about things that much, leastwise explain what criteria or methodology these theologians and teachers used to arrive at the conclusion that you are in agreement with them on.
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2006, 08:56:04 PM »

What are my standards, hmmm...let me see if I can explain them in a few words.

I do my best to look at things as objectively as I can, taking into account culture, society, personal psychology, goals and motivations of the person or institution that preformed an act, view things in a historical context and use psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc. to analyze it...and use the relevant document/information accordingly. I guess it goes back to how I was taught canon law, that the canons are temporal manifestations of eternal truths, the truth that you uncover might have very little to do with the original canon. Take the issue of menstruating women not taking communion. The problem is not that there is any uncleanness or theological issue involved, but that some of the women involved felt unclean, which was clearly a result of the culture of the day, with the point being that if anyone does not feel properly oriented towards God, whether their reasons are unjustified or not, they should avoid the eucharist until they can partake with a pure conscience and thus receive the maximum benifit. As our culture has changed, the letter of the canon is no longer applicable, but the spirit is, so if there is something troubling your mind and preventing you from focusing on God, you should not partake of communion, according to the aforementioned canon.

I apply the same methodology to the scripture verses being considered. We know that the ideal is that there is no male or female in Christ and that ALL are created in the image and likeness of God, thus how do we reconcile this fact with the teachings of St. Paul? Well, first off, when interpreting this passage, or any passage, we should take the history, culture, society, intentions of the author, etc. into account; we should ask ourselves what potential biases the person may have and keep those in mind while interpreting/applying the passage/canon/homily/etc. The first thing we should realize is that the status of women in our society is fundamentally different than the status of women in St. Paul's society, so St. Paul's approach, while perhaps relevant for his society, may not be directly applicable to our society because our society is different. It's the same concept as personalized spiritual advise that may be applicable for one person but not for another, just on a larger scale by taking sociology and culture into account.

Now, as an example, let's take the issue of women not having teaching authority over men: during St. Paul's time this would have clearly been scandalous to the society he was writing in, especially considering the Judaic presence in the church at this time in history. Furthermore, it was not a role that was generally accepted of women in the society in general, thus making it an abnormality if it did occur in the Church, possibly giving rise to criticism of the Church by society at large. So what is the real spiritual message behind this passage? That the Church should not unnecessarily cause scandal, both to the weaker elements within the community, but more importantly to society at large, we're not a cult and we shouldn't act like one, we should, as much a possible, maintain normalcy within society. Because of this, this passage could actually become an argument in support of women priests in the future, for if we maintain the spirit of St. Paul, when the lack of women priests becomes a scandal to society at large as well as to those in the Church, it would be inappropriate to maintain our current system.
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2006, 12:23:09 AM »

I apply the same methodology to the scripture verses being considered. We know that the ideal is that there is no male or female in Christ and that ALL are created in the image and likeness of God, thus how do we reconcile this fact with the teachings of St. Paul?

So where do you apply the methodology to that verse? It just seems to me that you aren't applying it equally.
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2006, 12:32:14 AM »

So where do you apply the methodology to that verse? It just seems to me that you aren't applying it equally.

That's the problem with trying to explain my methodology in a few short paragraphs. Because of another distinction in Canon Law, Dogmatic Canons vs. Other Canons. Dogmatic canons are of greater authority than moral, pastoral, administrative, or monastic canons and the interpretation of such canons are subject to the dogmatic canons (or definitions, or creed, etc). I would apply a similar standard to scripture, dogmatic statements are superior to moral, pastoral, administrative, cultural, historical, social, etc. statements, and the latter must be viewed in the light of the former. Now if you want me to differentiate dogmatic and other verses that will have to wait for another night, as I'm too tired right now to try and systematize it, but for the canons it's easy, the dogmatic ones generally have the word 'anathema' in them.
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2006, 12:39:41 AM »

That's the problem with trying to explain my methodology in a few short paragraphs. Because of another distinction in Canon Law, Dogmatic Canons vs. Other Canons. Dogmatic canons are of greater authority than moral, pastoral, administrative, or monastic canons and the interpretation of such canons are subject to the dogmatic canons (or definitions, or creed, etc). I would apply a similar standard to scripture, dogmatic statements are superior to moral, pastoral, administrative, cultural, historical, social, etc. statements, and the latter must be viewed in the light of the former. Now if you want me to differentiate dogmatic and other verses that will have to wait for another night, as I'm too tired right now to try and systematize it, but for the canons it's easy, the dogmatic ones generally have the word 'anathema' in them.

I think the problem is not dogmatic vs. other, but how you distinguish the two. For anyone can take a verse and say "It's dogmatic!" and set a verse in stone, and likewise, anyone can take a verse and say "It's cultural!" and then change it as they please.
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« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2006, 12:59:26 AM »

I think the problem is not dogmatic vs. other, but how you distinguish the two. For anyone can take a verse and say "It's dogmatic!" and set a verse in stone, and likewise, anyone can take a verse and say "It's cultural!" and then change it as they please.

No, I can define dogmatic to adequately describe what I mean...it's not like I'm making this up, it's a well accepted methodology within many circles...for one a dogmatic canon/verse generally deals with the intangible, with inner dispositions, with thought...not specific situations, pastoral issues, morals, custom, or administration.
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2006, 03:10:49 PM »

GiC,

What if it could be said that the "cultural assumptions" you attribute to St.Paul are on better footing (in relation to what is natural and condusive to salvation) than our own?  That our egalitarianism is really quite artificial, and in some ways even unnatural - to the point that not living at least in some tension with it (and very often, even simply dismissing it) is a sign of spiritual decay and not legitimate accomodation?

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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2006, 03:27:25 PM »

I would say because women are human beings too, and part of the body of Christ.  There's gotta be a better way of incorporating them than telling them to "shut up"!!  

Also, pastoral issues must always be considered.  St. Paul was dealing with pastoral issues, how come we can't in our own way?  
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2006, 04:18:45 PM »

What if it could be said that the "cultural assumptions" you attribute to St.Paul are on better footing (in relation to what is natural and condusive to salvation) than our own?

You can argue that if you wish, but I would be inclined to say that we today enjoy an advantage that Paul lacked, namely thousands of years of recorded history and an understanding of science and how the world works, of which Paul couldn't have even dreamed. Furthermore, all mankind, male or female, is equal in Christ as Paul states elsewhere, with this realization it should trivially follow that a society that recognizes this 'ultimate reality' has a better orientation towards that which is 'natural and condusive to salvation' (whatever that means).

Quote
That our egalitarianism is really quite artificial, and in some ways even unnatural - to the point that not living at least in some tension with it (and very often, even simply dismissing it) is a sign of spiritual decay and not legitimate accomodation?

The egalitarianism that we enjoy is not as artificial as it once was. Yes, the issue had to be forced at one point in history but it is becomming more and more natural to us and has become integrated with our weltanschauung and culture. Tension with this developing cultural ideal of egalitarianism I would attribute to the personal and desire for power of insecure men and psychological problems of women raised in a disadvantageous cultural setting. Furthermore, I've read a few good journal articles (though I neither have the time nor desire to go back and look of the exact references right now) associates both with deviant sexual tendencies and practices, most likely resulting from psychological problems in their childhood.
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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2006, 04:59:41 PM »



The egalitarianism that we enjoy is not as artificial as it once was. Yes, the issue had to be forced at one point in history but it is becoming more and more natural to us and has become integrated with our weltanschauung and culture.

I'm sorry, this has been done too many times for me to continue ignoring it.  I could be wrong but i'm PRETTY SURE that there's only one "u" in that word.  It would make NO SENSE grammatically (in German) to have the second "u", so it would be spelled "weltanschaung" and you would PRONOUNCE the "u" sort of longer, but not really.  

Please forgive my idiosyncrasies.
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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2006, 05:07:13 PM »

I'm sorry, this has been done too many times for me to continue ignoring it.  I could be wrong but i'm PRETTY SURE that there's only one "u" in that word.  It would make NO SENSE grammatically (in German) to have the second "u", so it would be spelled "weltanschaung" and you would PRONOUNCE the "u" sort of longer, but not really. ÂÂ

Please forgive my idiosyncrasies.

No, I'm pretty sure there are two u's in the word.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=weltanschauung
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2006, 05:15:08 PM »

I'm sorry, this has been done too many times for me to continue ignoring it.  I could be wrong but i'm PRETTY SURE that there's only one "u" in that word.  It would make NO SENSE grammatically (in German) to have the second "u", so it would be spelled "weltanschaung" and you would PRONOUNCE the "u" sort of longer, but not really. ÂÂ

Please forgive my idiosyncrasies.
Not so.  The first "u" is part of the "au" diphthong.  The second "u" is a separate sound.
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« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2006, 05:17:20 PM »

It's a cary-over from Old High German.  That's why I got confused.  Sorry for the sidebar. ÂÂ

You are both right.  Forgive my confusion, it HAS been a while for me... Cheesy
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« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2006, 02:43:36 AM »

There are Orthodox writers, even modern ones, who argue that although men and women are equal, there is still a hierarchy of love present and necessary.  I find all this very difficult.  I don't like to denigrate women in any way.  But sometimes it seems to me that we in the Orthodox world are starting to make changes to the way that we do things just  so that we won't seem out of step with the rest of the world.  PLEASE don't misunderstand me.  I really don't feel the need to subjugate women in any way, in fact I would like to do the reverse.....

I know that this will seem weird to some of you.  But sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, I hear a woman reading in church and I just get this really strong feeling in my gut that it is wrong.  Now I know that any articulate Orthodox person can read in church.  But what if there are lots of tonsured readers present and women are reading anyway?  Anyway, I just ignore the feeling in my gut and tell myself that it's not my business to decide these things and then I forget about it completely until it happens again.  And I never bring it up with anyone, mainly because I don't want to look like a misogynist ne'er-do-well.  Am I the only one who experiences these feelings of unease?  I certainly don't feel this way when it comes to female professors etc.......
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« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2006, 10:26:53 AM »

I'd love to hear someone tell the women at my church to shut up and stay in the kitchen. ROFL

I'm going to get blasted for this I know, but then I grew up in one of those womens lib dad does the dishes houses...It's load of pigswallow.  Scripture or not. I don't remember hearing of Jesus ever saying things like that.
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« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2006, 12:07:46 PM »

You don't remember Scripture saying things like what?  Stay in the kitchen?


 I don't think they had kitchens then... Grin

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« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2006, 02:02:26 PM »

There are Orthodox writers, even modern ones, who argue that although men and women are equal, there is still a hierarchy of love present and necessary.  I find all this very difficult.  I don't like to denigrate women in any way.  But sometimes it seems to me that we in the Orthodox world are starting to make changes to the way that we do things just  so that we won't seem out of step with the rest of the world.  PLEASE don't misunderstand me.  I really don't feel the need to subjugate women in any way, in fact I would like to do the reverse.....

I know that this will seem weird to some of you.  But sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, I hear a woman reading in church and I just get this really strong feeling in my gut that it is wrong.  Now I know that any articulate Orthodox person can read in church.  But what if there are lots of tonsured readers present and women are reading anyway?  Anyway, I just ignore the feeling in my gut and tell myself that it's not my business to decide these things and then I forget about it completely until it happens again.  And I never bring it up with anyone, mainly because I don't want to look like a misogynist ne'er-do-well.  Am I the only one who experiences these feelings of unease?  I certainly don't feel this way when it comes to female professors etc.......

Well, my former Metropolitan, Anthony of Blessed Memory, was known to tonsure a few women as readers, so in a few parishes it was a tonsured woman reader who read the epistle. What I would suggest is try to consider why you feel this way, it could very well be cultural conditioning and the fact that you've always been told that it is wrong by certain factions and thus perceive it in the light of your educational experience. Maybe not, but something to consider.
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« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2006, 04:46:33 PM »

But sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, I hear a woman reading in church and I just get this really strong feeling in my gut that it is wrong.  Now I know that any articulate Orthodox person can read in church.  But what if there are lots of tonsured readers present and women are reading anyway?  Anyway, I just ignore the feeling in my gut and tell myself that it's not my business to decide these things and then I forget about it completely until it happens again.  And I never bring it up with anyone, mainly because I don't want to look like a misogynist ne'er-do-well.  Am I the only one who experiences these feelings of unease?  I certainly don't feel this way when it comes to female professors etc.......

That's interesting...I've only experienced that feeling the few times I've been in liberal Protestant churches that have women clergy presiding.  We have women read and chant in our parish all the time, although I think the only time a woman reads the epistle is if no tonsured reader is present.  I think I would have no problem with a woman being tonsured a reader as long as I knew she wasn't doing it because she was a feminist man-hater.
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« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2006, 06:35:27 PM »

I think I would have no problem with a woman being tonsured a reader as long as I knew she wasn't doing it because she was a feminist man-hater.

Well, as GIC has mentioned, sometimes women are tonsured as readers.  I think this is really inconsistent with Orthodox praxis up until now.  Consider this:  there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that when the female diaconate was in full swing, female deacons were ordained at the altar, just like male deacons.  However, there is also plenty of  evidence that seems to show that they had very limited liturgical roles outside of baptising female catechumens.  So I think that perhaps we are just hiding our heads in the sand on this issue, because we want to appear to be enlightened and not backwards.  I mean, there is TREMENDOUS pressure on the Orthodox world to appear "modern" etc. when it comes to women in the Church.  I think we're really scared of looking at this issue.  No one wants to look sexist  in this day and age.  

But I think there's another side to it, too.  Many Orthodox don't see it as an issue, because long before "feminism" was a word, women have been reading in churches.  
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« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2006, 06:39:22 PM »

What I would suggest is try to consider why you feel this way, it could very well be cultural conditioning and the fact that you've always been told that it is wrong by certain factions and thus perceive it in the light of your educational experience. Maybe not, but something to consider.

Believe me, I have thought about it.  Lots.  If it's cultural conditioning, how come I love to have female teachers or bosses (if they're good ones)? And how come I love to see women in the workplace assuming important roles, and really appreciate the ying/yang of things in the world in general?  I mean, I'm the first to repudiate and be repulsed by any kind of "men's club" atmosphere.
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« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2006, 12:36:15 AM »

I think there's a bit of an "elephant in the room" that cuts pretty deep into what we mean when we call ourselves Orthodox.  If Orthodox is to be anything more than a mere designation, a word for the statistic collections, we have to think of what it is that is fundamental to our Church and our communion.  As far as I can tell, the fundamental element has always been seen as being our adherence to Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, whether it be expressed as Athanasius' ultimate authority of the "scopos ecclesiasticos" of the Scripture, or the Scripture as embodied by the Church, or Vincent of Lerins's "ubique, semper, ab omnibus" (everywhere, always and by all) or Irenaeus's mutually reinforcing authorities of Scripture and ecclesiastical tradition, etc. etc.  True adherence to these sources means respecting the beliefs they hold and preach, and taking them in their own terms, not applying our own criteria or categories on to them, or twisting them to fit our own modern cultural presuppositions.  
In relation to the specific issue at hand, I find a complete unanimity within the Scripture and among the fathers on all the essentials of the issue (and where there is dissent, it's between fathers who would now be described as "very conservative" and others who would be described as "ultra-conservative").  This consensus continues to include the greatest theologians even of very recent times, and covers both a central position on this issue, as well as the firm and obvious belief that this position is founded on and relevant to God's design and the natural order, not on merely expedient cultural arrangements.  The elaborate cultural explanations of St. Paul's writings on the issue all share a central flaw, which is that St. Paul explicitly stated the reasons for his belief, and they weren't the ones the "cultural" crowd would have us believe.  The same goes for the great theologians who have commented on him, most notably St. John Chrysostom.
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« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2006, 01:09:54 AM »

Our Canadian suburban GOA parish has the epistle chanted in greek by the chanter, and then in english by a young lady in her early 20's. This sparked some tension in our parish, and so, another "Extra traditional" parish was set up to rival our parish but does not even come close as they use a house the size of my living room and kitchen area and are now not even recognized by our metropolis.

Then, also because our parish is very modern, ie, female readers, using english in liturgy, quite a few people of my city commute to the downtown area every sunday instead where there is more greek in this one parish, there are no organs except in the traditional catholic church next door, and there are definitely no women even near the solea or the altar!

I've actually lost friends because I still go to this parish, which is apparently now run by a bunch of masonic freaks because "they" allow a lady to read the epistle on sunday mornings! Oh, and our parish was being talked about too because this reader lady wore pants to church one sunday. So from that time on, the priest made her wear the black robe over top her clothing.

Ok,I hate organs in byzantine liturgy too, but we only use them like twice a year. The rest of the year is purely byzantine chant.

So, you Americans think you're churches are too strict on women...

until a couple years ago, it was almost unthinkable for a women to read in church or to show up in pants. Even now, the pants are still an issue. My 9 year old sister once got told off for wearing pants in church.

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« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2006, 03:05:49 AM »

You can argue that if you wish, but I would be inclined to say that we today enjoy an advantage that Paul lacked, namely thousands of years of recorded history and an understanding of science and how the world works, of which Paul couldn't have even dreamed. Furthermore, all mankind, male or female, is equal in Christ as Paul states elsewhere, with this realization it should trivially follow that a society that recognizes this 'ultimate reality' has a better orientation towards that which is 'natural and condusive to salvation' (whatever that means).

Oh yes, how test tubes teach us theology!

I would say the opposite. Perhaps Paul knew way better than us because his faith was outside of the realm of current technology, and because he didn't give into fads of thought and philosophy. And I sure hope you're joking about the last part, that egalitarian societies are more "natural and conducive to salvation."
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« Reply #41 on: March 11, 2006, 10:45:56 AM »

Timos,

Don't worry, the Candian Greeks and the American Serbs arn't any different.  We all have the same issues...except we're much more adament about not changing.  I would bring up examples but that's been taken up in another forum.  let me know if you want the link.  

As for the church and women, hey listen, there's got to be a balance.  I always used to feel strongly that ONLY men should do the readings, etc.  If there's a man around, why not!?!?  But now, i'm a little bit more moderate.  I think if there's going to be women chanting then ONLY women or ONLY men choirs, none of this mixing stuff, it just doesn't sound good.  It can, but if a choir is that good, they won't have to worry about stereotypes.  (usually)
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« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2006, 11:08:58 AM »

I think there's a bit of an "elephant in the room" that cuts pretty deep into what we mean when we call ourselves Orthodox.  If Orthodox is to be anything more than a mere designation, a word for the statistic collections, we have to think of what it is that is fundamental to our Church and our communion.  As far as I can tell, the fundamental element has always been seen as being our adherence to Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, whether it be expressed as Athanasius' ultimate authority of the "scopos ecclesiasticos" of the Scripture, or the Scripture as embodied by the Church, or Vincent of Lerins's "ubique, semper, ab omnibus" (everywhere, always and by all) or Irenaeus's mutually reinforcing authorities of Scripture and ecclesiastical tradition, etc. etc.  True adherence to these sources means respecting the beliefs they hold and preach, and taking them in their own terms, not applying our own criteria or categories on to them, or twisting them to fit our own modern cultural presuppositions.

As far as I can tell, you're wrong, and I dont think it's an elephant that you're refering to in the room, but I do smell a rat. Of course, I do not object to the significance of Scripture and Tradition, but rather to your misapplication thereof. The scriptures and fathers have bias, just as we have bias today, and while we can look to their writings for guidance we can not divinize their experiences or cultural biases the way Islam does with Mohammed. The true greatness of the fathers is in their methodology, philosophy, and high theology which should take a central role in any discussion on the matter; their pastoral comments or procedural comments should be taken in the light of their culture and situation and not be directly applied to the situation today, but rather filtered through their cultural context, then subjugated to their methodology, philosophy, and high theology, then transformed to fit our cultural context to see their application to us today.

Quote
In relation to the specific issue at hand, I find a complete unanimity within the Scripture and among the fathers on all the essentials of the issue (and where there is dissent, it's between fathers who would now be described as "very conservative" and others who would be described as "ultra-conservative").

Of course there is dissent amongst the fathers, there's always dissent amongst the fathers, I mean there isn't even agreement about the trinity or the divinity of Christ in the fathers, muchless about the exact role of women in society and the Church; was there a strong cultural influence then? Yes, but even with this strong cultural influence we still dont see complete agreement. Unanimity amongst the fathers is a myth and a lie from the pits of hell.

Quote
This consensus continues to include the greatest theologians even of very recent times, and covers both a central position on this issue, as well as the firm and obvious belief that this position is founded on and relevant to God's design and the natural order, not on merely expedient cultural arrangements.

I object, to the notion that we have had any 'great theologians' in 'very recent times,' unless by 'very recent' you mean the fifth and sixth centuries. But with that said most the leaders in the study of theology today agree with the notion of equality in society and support increased roles for women in the context of the Church.

Quote
The elaborate cultural explanations of St. Paul's writings on the issue all share a central flaw, which is that St. Paul explicitly stated the reasons for his belief, and they weren't the ones the "cultural" crowd would have us believe.  The same goes for the great theologians who have commented on him, most notably St. John Chrysostom.

They're not all that elaborate, they're actually quite straight forward. St. Paul grew up within a certain culture, thus he had preconceived notions about how people should act from that cultural context, these preconceived notions influenced his thinkings, writings, and theology...it ain't rocket science, it's common sense...but, of course, as Orthodox we seem to have this great and irrational aversion to common sense.
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« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2006, 11:11:04 AM »

until a couple years ago, it was almost unthinkable for a women to read in church or to show up in pants. Even now, the pants are still an issue. My 9 year old sister once got told off for wearing pants in church.

The proper solution to this problem is to start getting on the men who wear pants to Church, accusing them of cross-dressing. If we're going to apply the standards of a past culture to our norms of dress, why not apply the standards of the Greco-Roman world during the time of the early Church, when pants were regarded as women's clothing, and a man wearing pants would have been viewed as a cross-dresser.
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« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2006, 11:17:03 AM »

I think that there are a lot of guys at school who would jump to be able to only wear the anderi...hahaha  Grin Shocked
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« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2006, 11:18:12 AM »

Oh yes, how test tubes teach us theology!

They teach us directly about the world God created, which is really the ONLY source of information given to us directly by God, and not by the hands of men.

Quote
I would say the opposite. Perhaps Paul knew way better than us because his faith was outside of the realm of current technology, and because he didn't give into fads of thought and philosophy. And I sure hope you're joking about the last part, that egalitarian societies are more "natural and conducive to salvation."

Have you actually read the fathers? Considered their methodology? This is why I'm opposed to Orthodox secondary sources, they usually try to gather conclusions without going through the logic and reason of the fathers and offer it in a distilled form, turning that which was originally a great scholarly work into nothing more than a work of mythology. Using science and philosophy was how the fathers theologized, why are we afraid to do what the fathers did? Because we might come to different conclusions? Of course we will, we live in a different scientific and cultural context...but that's the point, they taught and theologized for their time and we should do the same for ours. This is the true patristic mindset, we will not revive the patristic mindset by trying to revert to an ancient culture, rather we will revive it by using their methodology, philosophy, and scholarly and academic standards in the context of our world and culture today.
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« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2006, 11:18:53 AM »

I think that there are a lot of guys at school who would jump to be able to only wear the anderi...hahaha  Grin Shocked

lol...well I only wear it on sunday mornings, and that's to my parish assignment off campus.
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« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2006, 12:36:20 PM »

lol...well I only wear it on sunday mornings, and that's to my parish assignment off campus.

Let's hope you don't wear it like Serb was implying - i.e. with nothing underneath!  (That would be a sore sight for eyes  Wink   )
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« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2006, 12:52:41 PM »

Let's hope you don't wear it like Serb was implying - i.e. with nothing underneath! ÂÂ (That would be a sore sight for eyes ÂÂ Wink ÂÂ  )

You mean I'm supposed to wear something under my anderi? I always liked sunday as a day where I could save a clean pair of underwear.
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« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2006, 02:32:12 PM »

Wow - TMI to the extreme.  Guys like you and I have no business discussing going commando under our anderis... give us a few more months, er, years in the gym first...
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« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2006, 06:22:53 PM »

Of course, I do not object to the significance of Scripture and Tradition, but rather to your misapplication thereof. The scriptures and fathers have bias, just as we have bias today, and while we can look to their writings for guidance we can not divinize their experiences or cultural biases the way Islam does with Mohammed.
You're trying to take a middle ground that isn't actually available to you.  St. Paul was unequivocal; he considered his preaching, in its entirety, to be the word of God (1 Thess. 2:13)  This preaching included both his written epistles and his spoken words, (2 Thess. 2:15) and extended to practical matters as well as abstract doctrine.  Those who did not live by the traditions were "disorderly brothers" subject to excommunication (2 Thess. 3:6).  In his discourse on veiling St. Paul even went so far as to say that those who did not submit to the judgment he delivered were estranged from the "churches of God", which had "no other practice" but what he delivered. (1 Corinthians 11:16)
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The true greatness of the fathers is in their methodology, philosophy, and high theology which should take a central role in any discussion on the matter;
The practice of expressing Christian beliefs in terms borrowed from philosophy was a common methodology, but the practice of adjusting beliefs to fit current prevailing prejudices was not orthodoxy, but heresy (see St. Basil's sermon on the use of Greek writings).  There is a world of difference between using familiar vocabulary to enunciate unfamiliar beliefs (a practice begun by St. Paul in his discourse on Mars Hill and his epistle to the Colossians) and prostituting those beliefs for the sake of getting along with your culture.  Show me one father who's openly willing to deny Scripture for the sake of cultural prejudice and I'll quite willingly concede the point.  Those who wanted to "adjust" the Church were not the Orthodox fathers, but the Gnostics.  The Church fathers spent a lot of their time combatting the prejudices of Hellenism, like the variant of the belief of the immortality of the soul that was opposed to resurrection, the eternal existence of matter, the role of fate in human affairs, the permissibility of divorce, the conditions that qualify as adultery, etc. etc.  The people who continue their methodology are those who are just as willing to oppose the prejudices of modernity as they were to those of Hellenism.
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their pastoral comments or procedural comments should be taken in the light of their culture and situation and not be directly applied to the situation today, but rather filtered through their cultural context, then subjugated to their methodology, philosophy, and high theology, then transformed to fit our cultural context to see their application to us today.
And all this despite the fact that "friendship with the world is enmity with God," (James 4:4), that we should, "...not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." (Romans 12:2) and that we're specifically looking to be "delivered from this evil age."

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Of course there is dissent amongst the fathers, there's always dissent amongst the fathers, I mean there isn't even agreement about the trinity or the divinity of Christ in the fathers, muchless about the exact role of women in society and the Church; was there a strong cultural influence then? Yes, but even with this strong cultural influence we still dont see complete agreement. Unanimity amongst the fathers is a myth and a lie from the pits of hell.
This is exagerrated, but I'll leave that aside.  I didn't deny that there was disagreement among the fathers on this issue; I said that none of the fathers had anything close to views that would now be described as "modernist".  The fathers are perfectly unanimous in rejecting the innovations which we see nowadays.  It's telling that, in the context of the fathers, St. John Chrysostom's views appear on the far liberal wing of patristic opinion.  In regard to any issue that's likely to be debated today, such as, "Is a woman obligated to obey her husband?" "Can women be priests?" "Should women be veiled in church?" etc. the fathers are perfectly unanimous.

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I object, to the notion that we have had any 'great theologians' in 'very recent times,' unless by 'very recent' you mean the fifth and sixth centuries. But with that said most the leaders in the study of theology today agree with the notion of equality in society and support increased roles for women in the context of the Church.
Then you also object to the judgment of the Church that there have been theologians and doctors throughout the intervening centuries.  There are great theologians in every age, because God does not abandon his Church.
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They're not all that elaborate, they're actually quite straight forward. St. Paul grew up within a certain culture, thus he had preconceived notions about how people should act from that cultural context, these preconceived notions influenced his thinkings, writings, and theology...it ain't rocket science, it's common sense...but, of course, as Orthodox we seem to have this great and irrational aversion to common sense.
This is indeed "common sense", unless you take at all seriously the role of the Holy Spirit in leading the Church "into all truth," (John 16:13) or that there is only one deposit of faith, which is constantly expounded and explored, but never altered or adjusted (Jude 3 and the letter of the Eastern Patriarchs to the non-Jurors)
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« Reply #51 on: March 11, 2006, 06:38:41 PM »

But with that said most the leaders in the study of theology today agree with the notion of equality in society and support increased roles for women in the context of the Church.
I doubt that this is true, if the monks and the Russian theologians are counted in, but when it comes down to it, I don't know, and neither do you.  Anyway, I don't concern myself with such things.  Appeals ad populum are simple logical fallacies, different in kind from legitimate demonstrations of the Church's tradition as embodied by its best theologians throughout time.  The majority of the Church is wrong just as often as it's right.  The true Church is composed of those who "guard the deposit", whether they are few or many.
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« Reply #52 on: March 11, 2006, 11:27:31 PM »

As for the pants, most of the greeks/russians/serbs who object to them are referring to Medieval standards of "proper Christian dress" of the time, not the Greco-Roman days, probably because after the empire was converted to Christianity. I'm guessing a whole new culture grew out of it. Notice how, also Catholics up until recently had a problem with women wearing pants, whereas many Arabs (just my observation) prefer pants than dresses for women.

I don't really care if a woman shows up to church in pants but its just considered so weird and out of place. Thats how people react to it but some of the braver young women show up in pants anyway amidst the baffles and objections of the congregations.
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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2006, 05:37:30 AM »

They teach us directly about the world God created, which is really the ONLY source of information given to us directly by God, and not by the hands of men.

Have you actually read the fathers? Considered their methodology? This is why I'm opposed to Orthodox secondary sources, they usually try to gather conclusions without going through the logic and reason of the fathers and offer it in a distilled form, turning that which was originally a great scholarly work into nothing more than a work of mythology. Using science and philosophy was how the fathers theologized, why are we afraid to do what the fathers did? Because we might come to different conclusions? Of course we will, we live in a different scientific and cultural context...but that's the point, they taught and theologized for their time and we should do the same for ours. This is the true patristic mindset, we will not revive the patristic mindset by trying to revert to an ancient culture, rather we will revive it by using their methodology, philosophy, and scholarly and academic standards in the context of our world and culture today.

Oh, GiC, you know this as well as I do. The source is only as useful as the interpretter of that source is correct!

I think you are confusing "cultural application" with "cultural dependence" again. The message of Christ is NOT dependent on any culture. It is NOT dependent on any science or methodology. It is dependent on God alone, who never changes. Rather, it is the cultural application, how we present the message, that may change. However, if we begin using culture as an excuse to revise the message itself and "come to different conclusions," then we've lost sight of it entirely.
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Fashions and opinions among men may change, but the Orthodox tradition remains ever the same, no matter how few may follow it.

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