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Author Topic: Ordination of Women in the Orthodox Church  (Read 175532 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #1350 on: August 10, 2009, 12:53:12 PM »

Ah. I see. Only reason I mentioned Lambeth 1978 is b/c that was the first major, "official", pro-female priesthood/episcopacy decision by any Christian Church claiming to be apostolic.

Actually, no the Church of Sweden did that.  

None of the official literature I have seen from the Church of Sweden claims that it is an apostolic church. They are certainly more conscious of their medieval roots than most Lutherans, but I actually only meant those Churches that place prominent emphasis on their apostolicity (EO, RCs, OO, Assyrians, Anglicans etc.).
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« Reply #1351 on: August 10, 2009, 12:54:07 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Also love is really the disconnection of everything
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« Reply #1352 on: August 10, 2009, 12:55:29 PM »

But I doubt either is going to happen, so you can keep your emotional reactions to yourself.

Why are you being so impolite to those who don't agree with you?   To Lisa, to Isa, to me......  it becomes difficult to deal with your line of argument when we feel your bad emotion about us.  Either we can choose to stop interacting or we can be tempted to respond in kind (but that would not be a good thing for any of us.)
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« Reply #1353 on: August 10, 2009, 12:56:21 PM »

George, try and think logically  
LOL! Thats rich!

about your proposals
Um, what proposals? Could you cite them? Oh thats right- you don't do citations:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,2233.msg346420/topicseen.html#msg346420
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« Reply #1354 on: August 10, 2009, 12:59:01 PM »

In this debate I don't take a side and believe it or not Ozgeorge isn't taking a side either. Rather if someone is taking a side

A) Give evidence
B) Understand that "Just because" stopped being a conclusion to an argument after 5 years old.

As I believe and I understand George to believe, is that questions such as these are to be left up to the sanctifying job of the church to persue. If people take the time to actually read (and I mean look at the posts on face value) you will see all George is looking for is some evidence and also understanding that this issue (as everything in this world) is not black and white and require deep thought.
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« Reply #1355 on: August 10, 2009, 12:59:31 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!


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« Reply #1356 on: August 10, 2009, 01:01:16 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!




Can God change?
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1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
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(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #1357 on: August 10, 2009, 01:07:46 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!




Can God change?

God does not change...
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« Reply #1358 on: August 10, 2009, 01:09:01 PM »

In this debate I don't take a side and believe it or not Ozgeorge isn't taking a side either. Rather if someone is taking a side

A) Give evidence
B) Understand that "Just because" stopped being a conclusion to an argument after 5 years old.

As I believe and I understand George to believe, is that questions such as these are to be left up to the sanctifying job of the church to persue. If people take the time to actually read (and I mean look at the posts on face value) you will see all George is looking for is some evidence and also understanding that this issue (as everything in this world) is not black and white and require deep thought.

This is what you believe...I don't care what you believe. Do you have facts to back up what you believe what George's beliefs are?

Of course I don't FEEL THIS WAY, but I want to show an example at how George's comments are out of line and simply unfair to many people that want to make a statement about how they feel.

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« Reply #1359 on: August 10, 2009, 01:11:43 PM »

{Emphasis mine}
And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!

I'd be careful publishing statements like that if I were you.  It's borderline (or not-so-borderline) heresy on it's face, and you'll have to create a pretty convincing argument to prove otherwise.  Feelings are relative experiences - while we can say that everyone feels pain, or happiness, we cannot say that they experience the same happiness or pain - because happiness and pain don't have an independent existence; meanwhile there is one God - people may experience His love differently, but it's the same love, the One God.
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« Reply #1360 on: August 10, 2009, 01:14:59 PM »

It's borderline (or not-so-borderline) heresy on it's face,
Yup.
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« Reply #1361 on: August 10, 2009, 01:15:49 PM »

{Emphasis mine}
And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!

I'd be careful publishing statements like that if I were you.  It's borderline (or not-so-borderline) heresy on it's face, and you'll have to create a pretty convincing argument to prove otherwise.  Feelings are relative experiences - while we can say that everyone feels pain, or happiness, we cannot say that they experience the same happiness or pain - because happiness and pain don't have an independent existence; meanwhile there is one God - people may experience His love differently, but it's the same love, the One God.

Well many times I felt God's presence, if the makes me a Heretic...so be it.
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« Reply #1362 on: August 10, 2009, 01:19:05 PM »

This is what you believe...I don't care what you believe. Do you have facts to back up what you believe what George's beliefs are?

Of course I don't FEEL THIS WAY, but I want to show an example at how George's comments are out of line and simply unfair to many people that want to make a statement about how they feel.

See, because you are being emotional, you, like others are missing facts and reality.
You have misquoted me. I never said "I don't care what you believe". I said "I don't care what you feel".
Are your feelings your beliefs? That seems to be a common problem on this thread. That and confusing feeling with thinking.
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« Reply #1363 on: August 10, 2009, 01:20:11 PM »

In this debate I don't take a side and believe it or not Ozgeorge isn't taking a side either. Rather if someone is taking a side

A) Give evidence
B) Understand that "Just because" stopped being a conclusion to an argument after 5 years old.

As I believe and I understand George to believe, is that questions such as these are to be left up to the sanctifying job of the church to persue. If people take the time to actually read (and I mean look at the posts on face value) you will see all George is looking for is some evidence and also understanding that this issue (as everything in this world) is not black and white and require deep thought.

In that case it would be really useful to undertake a small study of how the Church dealt with women priests in the first centuries, what canons She formulated and what the holy Fathers wrote about women priests.

To do that we can consult some of the books on the topic from Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, and in particular the early response to the Anglican ordinations "Women and the Priesthood."

We can also consult some of the Catholic websites which deal with the canonical and patristic evidence.   While some of us may find their sites questionable in some areas this is one area where we have a broad agreement.
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« Reply #1364 on: August 10, 2009, 01:20:31 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!




Can God change?

God does not change...

Interesting, How can God have feelings then?

In this debate I don't take a side and believe it or not Ozgeorge isn't taking a side either. Rather if someone is taking a side

A) Give evidence
B) Understand that "Just because" stopped being a conclusion to an argument after 5 years old.

As I believe and I understand George to believe, is that questions such as these are to be left up to the sanctifying job of the church to persue. If people take the time to actually read (and I mean look at the posts on face value) you will see all George is looking for is some evidence and also understanding that this issue (as everything in this world) is not black and white and require deep thought.

This is what you believe...I don't care what you believe. Do you have facts to back up what you believe what George's beliefs are?

Of course I don't FEEL THIS WAY, but I want to show an example at how George's comments are out of line and simply unfair to many people that want to make a statement about how they feel.



I understand. But listen please.

Feeling is one thing and facts are another.

How would you feel if I said "I feel Native Americans shouldn't be preists?" It hasn't been done for nearly 2000 years, now as a sane person I would expect you to go.

Prodromas that is wrong considering
A) Just because the church didn't have contact with Native americans that would mean that they aren't removed from the preisthood
B) Cannon X shows that ethinicity has nothing to do with the preisthood
C) Here is scripture Matt XX:XX that shows that ethnicitity doesn't constitute a requirement of the preisthood

Now that is an argument, but leaving it as "Thats how I feel" has nothing to do with the debate, we can talk about feelings all day (which is what Ozgeorge is talking about as I have outside contact with this poster and I can tell you he is a very caring person), rather he is saying we need facts and understanding of the situation at hand as opposed to emotions.
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« Reply #1365 on: August 10, 2009, 01:29:04 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Apparently not.  He wept over the death of his friend Lazarus.  He wept over Jerusalem.  He cursed the barren fig tree.  He was angry in the Temple.  He was fearful in the Garden.  These are indications that He has feelings as does any other human.  It could be touching on docetism to say that these were not genuine human feelings experienced by Him.
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« Reply #1366 on: August 10, 2009, 01:33:22 PM »

We don't just learned through fact-based knowledge. We also learn through intuition, instinct and insight. God uses these forms of information to help us sift through "fact-based" information which might lead us down the wrong path.
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« Reply #1367 on: August 10, 2009, 01:33:28 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!




Can God change?

God does not change...




Interesting, How can God have feelings then?
I am no theologian, I really try to keep my Faith simple and take it as it is taught to me through Tradition. However, Jesus no doubt had feelings. Remember God became man and while he is always the same - all good and love, he was man also, and had feelings i.e. his anger at the temple money changers, his sorrow over Lazarus, his obvious pain on the cross.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 01:37:05 PM by Sinner Servant » Logged
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« Reply #1368 on: August 10, 2009, 01:34:06 PM »




I understand. But listen please.

Feeling is one thing and facts are another.

How would you feel if I said "I feel Native Americans shouldn't be preists?" It hasn't been done for nearly 2000 years, now as a sane person I would expect you to go.


Prodromas that is wrong considering
A) Just because the church didn't have contact with Native americans that would mean that they aren't removed from the preisthood
B) Cannon X shows that ethinicity has nothing to do with the preisthood
C) Here is scripture Matt XX:XX that shows that ethnicitity doesn't constitute a requirement of the preisthood

Now that is an argument, but leaving it as "Thats how I feel" has nothing to do with the debate, we can talk about feelings all day (which is what Ozgeorge is talking about as I have outside contact with this poster and I can tell you he is a very caring person), rather he is saying we need facts and understanding of the situation at hand as opposed to emotions.

I realize what George's intention is but not all discussions must be a debate, and I certainly do not talk to friends asking for sources in facts everytime I disagree with there thoughts.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 01:38:07 PM by Sinner Servant » Logged
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« Reply #1369 on: August 10, 2009, 01:36:28 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Apparently not.  He wept over the death of his friend Lazarus.  He wept over Jerusalem.  He cursed the barren fig tree.  He was angry in the Temple.  He was fearful in the Garden.  These are indications that He has feelings as does any other human.  It could be touching on docetism to say that these were not genuine human feelings experienced by Him.


Thank you Father! You beat me to this one!
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« Reply #1370 on: August 10, 2009, 01:37:06 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!


I was always taught, even as a Catholic growing up in the wake of touchy-feely V2 Catholic school education, that love (or lack thereof) is what remains after feelings have long gone.  

Love is an act of will.
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« Reply #1371 on: August 10, 2009, 01:38:01 PM »

We don't just learned through fact-based knowledge.
Yes we do. Truth is truth. Period.

We also learn through intuition, instinct and insight.
These are ways of learning fact-based knowledge. Not substitutes for it.

God uses these forms of information to help us sift through "fact-based" information which might lead us down the wrong path.
God does not lie. Facts remain facts whether you want to recognise them or not.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 01:38:21 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

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« Reply #1372 on: August 10, 2009, 01:39:04 PM »

Love is an act of will.

BINGO!
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« Reply #1373 on: August 10, 2009, 01:39:48 PM »

Quote
I realize what George's intention is but not all discussions must be a debate, and I certainly do not talk to friends asking for sources in facts everytime I disagree with there thoughts.

With an issue as big as this I would hope that any arguments brought up have sources instead of feelings.

We must remember that the decisions of the Church are based on what is good to us and the Holy Spirit.
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« Reply #1374 on: August 10, 2009, 01:43:11 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!


I was always taught, even as a Catholic growing up in the wake of touchy-feely V2 Catholic school education, that love (or lack thereof) is what remains after feelings have long gone.  

Love is an act of will.

Whom among us is able to love without emotion(feeling)?
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« Reply #1375 on: August 10, 2009, 01:46:22 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!


I was always taught, even as a Catholic growing up in the wake of touchy-feely V2 Catholic school education, that love (or lack thereof) is what remains after feelings have long gone.  

Love is an act of will.

Whom among us is able to love without emotion(feeling)?


There is a difference between attachment and True Love.

When Christ told us to follow him we must hate our parents, this is the sort of Love he was calling us to.
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« Reply #1376 on: August 10, 2009, 01:49:54 PM »


Can God change?

Did God become man?
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« Reply #1377 on: August 10, 2009, 01:50:18 PM »

Quote
I realize what George's intention is but not all discussions must be a debate, and I certainly do not talk to friends asking for sources in facts everytime I disagree with there thoughts.

With an issue as big as this I would hope that any arguments brought up have sources instead of feelings.

We must remember that the decisions of the Church are based on what is good to us and the Holy Spirit.

Fine, the Church has never permitted a single women presbyter in two thousand years, and now we want to analyze whether are not the Church was right or wrong all that time. Wow do we think a lot of ourselves! That's how I feel!!

You want facts and sources, look a Paul's letter to Timothy and Titus which is inspired scripture!!
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« Reply #1378 on: August 10, 2009, 01:51:35 PM »

Love is an act of will.

The supreme love, that existing between the Three Persons of the Trinity - dependent on an act of will?
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« Reply #1379 on: August 10, 2009, 01:52:38 PM »

Ah. I see. Only reason I mentioned Lambeth 1978 is b/c that was the first major, "official", pro-female priesthood/episcopacy decision by any Christian Church claiming to be apostolic.

Actually, no the Church of Sweden did that.  

None of the official literature I have seen from the Church of Sweden claims that it is an apostolic church. They are certainly more conscious of their medieval roots than most Lutherans, but I actually only meant those Churches that place prominent emphasis on their apostolicity (EO, RCs, OO, Assyrians, Anglicans etc.).

No, the CoS does, or did, make such claims: when the ELCA was formed, the CoS representative wouldn't take part because the other Lutheran bodies (except the Finns) didn't claim Apostolic Succession.

As the CoS website says:
Quote
A bridgechurch
Although part of the Reformation movement the Church of Sweden has remained much the same throughout the ages; with bishops, priests, deacons and a liturgy only changed in parts. Within the framework of its Evangelical Lutheran identity it values both its protestant and catholic roots and often describes itself as a bridgechurch.

Quote
At the Reformation, the Church of Sweden maintained the historic episcopate.
The Church Ordinance of 1571 states that since episcopacy in the early church ”was very useful and without doubt proceeded from God the Holy Spirit (who gives all good gifts), so it was generally approved and accepted over the whole of Christendom, and has since so remained, and must remain in the future, so long as the world lasts...”
Bishops
The Church of Sweden ordains bishops for life, though they must retire at the latest at age 67. The bishop is the chief pastor of the diocese, a visible sign of unity in it and in the national and universal church. It is the bishop's duty to supervise the teaching of the church and the administration of the sacraments, and to make parish visitations.
Priests
The Church of Sweden has about 5000 priests. About 3000 minister in parishes; about 1500 are retired. The rest serve as missionaries, in parishes abroad, in schools, in central church bodies, and in other organizations and institutions.
The government decides on the total number of priests' posts in the country. The Church Board then distributes the positions among the dioceses. In turn, each diocese allocates them among its parishes. Priests are employed by parishes or dioceses, according to the norms of Swedish labor law.
Parish councils and diocesan chapters evaluate candidates for a certain position on the basis of professional qualifications, interviews, and the same screening process that exists elsewhere in the Swedish labor market.
No one is allowed to act as a minister of word and sacrament without first being ordained priest. It is the priest's duty to preach the word of God, administer the sacraments, and conduct wedding and funeral services. He or she also serves in various ways as a pastoral counselor.
The presbyterate (priesthood) is regarded as a gift from God to the church and is accepted as such by the parish. It is a life-long ministry. A priest may lose the right to exercise his or her ministry in the Church or Sweden, but would not be reordained were he or she to have the right restored.
The first woman was ordained priest in the Church of Sweden in 1960.
http://www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?di=37014
http://www.svenskakyrkan.se/default.aspx?di=37023
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« Reply #1380 on: August 10, 2009, 01:54:16 PM »


Yes, but it wasn't devolution. "...without change did become man and was crucified for us, O Christ Our God..."
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« Reply #1381 on: August 10, 2009, 01:54:54 PM »



http://www.antiochian.org/midwest/Articles/The_Orthodox_Priest_An_Ikon_Of_Christ.htm

THE ORTHODOX PRIEST AN IKON OF CHRIST

THE ORTHODOX PRIEST

AN IKON OF CHRIST
By Father Alister Anderson

In this holy season you could have a child ask you, “why was Jesus born as a boy? Why couldn’t St. Mary have had a baby girl to be our saviour?” How would you answer these questions? I would say this because the Bible says it: God wanted to be born of St. Mary as a baby boy because it was His intention to be a perfect man. God made that choice. God can do and will do what He wants to do.

Now suppose a little later an adult person asked you, “Why don’t the Orthodox Christian Churches allow women to be ordained as deacons, priests or bishops?” The Church of England just voted to permit women to be ordained to the sacred ministry. Many other Christian denominations have been ordaining women to the ministry for many years. The question is answered in the Christmas story recorded in the Bible. God took the form of a man when by the power of His Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. That provides our Orthodox Christian Churches’ answer. Only a man can be ordained as a deacon, priest or bishop because Jesus the perfect Man chose only men to be His disciples and apostles. God made that choice. God can do and will do what He wants to do.

Sadly many people do not believe that the Christmas story about the Incarnation and Holy Nativity is true. They don’t believe that God became man in Jesus Christ. Quite naturally then, they don’t believe that God made the choice to become a man and not a woman. Unfortunately no Biblical, rational or historical answer can be given to those who choose not to believe. Many Christian people, however, need some kind of rational explanation in order to discuss God’s Incarnation as a man with other Christians or with their feminist or “politically correct” friends. Fortunately our Orthodox Christian Churches have experienced and preserved some rational theological reasons why only men can be ordained to the Sacred Ministry. I want to present three of the most compelling reasons.

We need to understand them in order to be faithful to our Biblical Doctrine and Holy Tradition. We need to believe in these reasons in order to continue worshipping in the same way Jesus Christ told our ancestors to worship God for our salvation. We need to hold fast to these reasons in order to resist the devil’s unrelenting attempts to destroy our faith in Christ and the Orthodox Church He founded.

The first reason for a male priesthood has to do with the foundation and tradition of the Christian religion. When Christ was living in human flesh, He deliberately selected twelve men to be His Apostles. These men were the beginning of a priesthood of men who were prepared to follow Him as the ordained leaders of His Church down through the centuries to this moment. The Christian churches that chose to remain within the apostolic and catholic tradition have therefore only ordained men to be bishops, priests and deacons. Now, some two thousand years later, in the supposedly greater wisdom of our twentieth century many leaders have decided that all the Christian churches should allow the ordination of women. They claim to know the mind of Christ in arguing that it was for sociological, political and economic reasons that Jesus decided not to select and ordain women to be among His disciples. The arrogant presumption of those people who say that they know what Jesus had to do or had not to do, hardly deserves an answer, but we can try to do so anyway. Christ is God and He will do what He wants to do and when He wants to do it. God did what He did because what He does is always right and the best for us. To argue that Jesus did not ordain women because women were not considered worthy enough and would be a liability to His ministry in a male-dominated culture is illogical. It begs the question. After all Christ is God and He could have brought women into the apostolic ministry at that time if He thought it was necessary He did not think it was necessary because He chose not to do it. Instead He honored His Virgin Mother to be the Theotokos, our God-bearer, thereby elevating her to be first among the saints. Through St. Mary Jesus has raised the status of all women everywhere and for all time. They were no longer to be regarded as chattel but to be treated as being equally precious as men in the eyes of God. Christ hallowed the state of marriage which was much abused in those days to the detriment of women.

He taught the spiritual equality of men and women and blessed that equality by saying, “for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.” But while Christ taught that men and women are equal in their human nature, they are blessedly and entirely different in their human function. I intend to say more about their human function in a moment.

Those people who advocate the ordination of women to the Sacred Ministry of our Orthodox Church disregard history — both church history and Holy Tradition — and they misinterpret the Bible. They want us to believe that the Bible allows the ordination of women. While they claim that there is no specific verse in the Bible prohibiting women from being ordained, we Orthodox Christians know that you can not argue justifiably that point from mere scriptural silence. There are many specific things about which the Bible is silent. There are many things the Bible does not explicitly prohibit but which we know we should not do. It is obvious in the study of church history that the idea of female priests never developed in the religious and spiritual experience of our Christian ancestors. They struggled desperately against all those pagan religions which had a plethora and panoply of male and female gods and goddesses. Our Christian ancestors saw that priestesses were frequently involved in the performance of fertility rites which glorified sexual deviance and promiscuity They knew that such obsession with sex was destructive of morality and the life and safety of the human family. They knew this because they understood the Holy Scriptures proclaimed by the Hebrew prophets and God Himself through Jesus Christ. What we must remember is that while the Bible may not contain a verse specifically prohibiting women to be ordained, it does contain much specific teaching about the necessity for a male priesthood. There is no indication whatsoever that any women were part of the ordained ministry in the time of the apostles. There is, however, in the Bible, St. Paul’s teaching that women should not lead in the worship of the church.

In the letters to the Ephesians and Corinthians, St. Paul speaks of the ordained man as being a presbyter, which means an older man or elder or ruler. He believes that only men should lead or rule in the Christian family. He believes that equal rulership with men would eventually cause confusion in the human family as well as in the church by preventing singleness of purpose in decision-making. There is, however, no argument from St. Paul about the fact that women have the right to rule in the political and vocational order. There have always been queens and princesses, and now there are female prime ministers and presidents. Women are active now in all the professional vocations and in all the trades known to mankind. We Christians who advocate only a male priesthood as being the only valid apostolic ministry of the Church do not in any way deny that women have equal rights and opportunities to work. We believe that women should be paid commensurately with men for their labor and skill. But certain leaders deprecate the male priesthood as being a bastion of male chauvinism and a violation of civil and equal rights for women. Nonsense! The Church is not a secular institution governed by democratic processes. The Church is a spiritual organism and not just a secular organization. She is a spiritual and supernatural monarchy with God as Her king and supreme judge. We Orthodox Christians declare that while men and women are equal in the eyes of God and under the secular law, they are very different in their human nature because God has created them for different functions. A bishop, priest and deacon have a specific function within the family of the Church. To ordain women to the sacred ministry would only confuse and destroy that function. In terms of human function a woman can no more be a priest than a man can be a mother.

What has happened in many protestant churches since the Reformation has been the supplanting of the doctrine of Apostolic Succession by the protestant idea of the priesthood of all believers. Protestant churches have no problem with ordaining women because they believe that all the people in the church are ministers to one another. But to say that all people are priests before God is to deny the apostolic and Biblical teaching that there are certain men in every time and place who will be selected by the consent of the people and given Grace by God to carry out special functions for the Church. God gave this function to men. Men did not, nor could they secure it for themselves.

There is a second reason why we Orthodox Christians have only a male priesthood. It rests on the fact that we have always had a catholic and apostolic understanding of the priesthood and not just that of a protestant ministry. We have a priesthood of all believers like the protestants because we do minister individually to each other through our love and prayers and mutual support. But our Orthodox priesthood goes far beyond a protestant ministry. We have a sacerdotal priesthood. Bishops and priests are not only presbyters as I said earlier, they are also individually a sacerdos. Sacerdos is a Latin word which means “an offerer of God’s gifts.” An Orthodox priest therefore is one who offers God’s gifts to His people as well as being set aside as being the people’s gift to God. We believe that God comes to us in a very special way through the sacraments. We believe that only a priest who has been given the authority by the Church through Christ can administer those sacraments. Only a priest and a bishop have the function and the authority to consecrate the elements of bread and wine to become the Body and Blood of Christ. Only the priest and the bishop have the function and the authority to bless water and oil in Holy Baptism and Holy Unction and to sanctify material objects for devotional and spiritual purposes. Only a priest and a bishop have the function and the authority to absolve people from their sins. Only a priest or bishop who is a man can exercise this function and authority because Christ ordained only men to have this kind of function. No protestant minister, male or female, claims or even wants to be a sacerdos and a part of a sacerdotal ministry.

Now there is a third compelling reason for the male priesthood. Orthodox Christians believe that their bishops, priests and deacons are Ikons of Christ and therefore must be male because Jesus Christ is male. To understand this we must think about what an Ikon is. An Ikon is a religious symbol, but yet much more than a symbol. It is an instrument of Divine reality. It is a picture and a vision for the eyes which conveys a spiritual reality to the worshipper. We can say that an Ikon is an image of the Divine, but we must say at the same time that an Ikon has no divine power of its own. That would make an Ikon an idol and idols belong to pagan worship. An Ikon has the spiritual function to help us receive into our souls the spiritual awareness of what it depicts. For example; when we look at an Ikon depicting the crucifixion, the Ikon helps us to participate more spiritually in the wonder of Christ’s love for us and the efficacious power of His sacrifice on the cross. Looking at an Ikon in our worship is the most direct way we can visually represent Christ’s atoning death for the forgiveness of our sins. Looking at an Ikon strengthens the spiritual reality of our worship.

The same thing should happen when we look at our clergy. When we are at worship our priest or bishop becomes an Ikon of Christ. Christ is God but He is also a fully perfect human man. That means that a priest, as His Ikon or most true symbol, must also be a man. A priest must be male because Jesus is a man. In the Incarnation God became man not woman. The male priesthood is a supernatural concept. In that sense it is a mystery just as the Incarnation or Resurrection is a mystery. Reason and logic cannot fully explain it, or define it, or detract from the truth of it, any more than you and I can explain it as being the way of God.

We can say that God has no particular sex, male or female. But in the Revelation of God through Christ, God chose to become a man because He wanted to take to Himself a bride which is the Church, the Family of God. In like manner, God also chose men to represent Him as the head of the human Church family. God decided that the function of consecrating, blessing and absolving is the role of man to do in our human existence on earth. Men have not made this their role. God made it men’s role. As individuals we believe God’s Word about this or we choose not to. But as members of the family of Orthodox Christian Churches we have no choice. The Church belongs to God and God has made His choice. God will do what He wants to do and what He wants is always right and best for us. God has chosen and blessed us with a male priesthood. Let us rejoice and be glad and thankful for it.

Father Alister Anderson is attached to Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Bethesda, Maryland.


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« Reply #1382 on: August 10, 2009, 01:55:21 PM »

Our Lord has asked us to above all - love- is love not an emotion or FEELING?
Nope. Absolutely not. If love was a feeling then:
1) God would not be dispassionate.
2) God would be just a feeling since God is Love.

Was Christ dispassionate?

Of course Love is a feeling! And God is a feeling, the Holy Spirit the third person of the Trinity can surely be felt by many!!


I was always taught, even as a Catholic growing up in the wake of touchy-feely V2 Catholic school education, that love (or lack thereof) is what remains after feelings have long gone.  

Love is an act of will.

Whom among us is able to love without emotion(feeling)?


There is a difference between attachment and True Love.

When Christ told us to follow him we must hate our parents, this is the sort of Love he was calling us to.

Actually there is a difference between: agápē, érōs, philia, storgē, & thélēma. All of which translate to LOVE in English. All of which still produce emotion or feelings.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love
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« Reply #1383 on: August 10, 2009, 01:55:55 PM »

the Church has never permitted a single women presbyter in two thousand years,
True, and as far as we know, only one woman was ever allowed to be a Bishop- St. Brigid.
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« Reply #1384 on: August 10, 2009, 01:57:07 PM »

THE ORTHODOX PRIEST AN IKON OF CHRIST
We've already been there on this thread.
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« Reply #1385 on: August 10, 2009, 01:58:28 PM »

Quote
I realize what George's intention is but not all discussions must be a debate, and I certainly do not talk to friends asking for sources in facts everytime I disagree with there thoughts.

With an issue as big as this I would hope that any arguments brought up have sources instead of feelings.

We must remember that the decisions of the Church are based on what is good to us and the Holy Spirit.

Dear Prodromas,

Thank you for pulling the thread back on topic.    The Holy Spirit has already revealed to us the truth about the ordination of women through the canons of the early centuries and through the Church Fathers.  

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set."
-Proverbs 22.28
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« Reply #1386 on: August 10, 2009, 02:00:52 PM »

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set."
-Proverbs 22.28
We've also been there before on this thread, remember? Our Fathers said Bishops could marry, then other Fathers said they couldn't.
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« Reply #1387 on: August 10, 2009, 02:01:21 PM »

[
Who cares?

We have to care because not just the bishops but the laity too have been charged with safeguarding the holy tradition


As  the Eastern Patriarchs  responded  to  Pope Leo XIII, "Even if  we  would, we  could  not  change the Orthodox Faith;  the People  are the  Guardians  of the Orthodox Faith".
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« Reply #1388 on: August 10, 2009, 02:01:42 PM »

Quote
I realize what George's intention is but not all discussions must be a debate, and I certainly do not talk to friends asking for sources in facts everytime I disagree with there thoughts.

With an issue as big as this I would hope that any arguments brought up have sources instead of feelings.

We must remember that the decisions of the Church are based on what is good to us and the Holy Spirit.

Fine, the Church has never permitted a single women presbyter in two thousand years, and know we want to analyze whether are not the Church was right or wrong all that time. Wow do we think a lot of ourselves! That's how I feel!!

You want facts and sources, look a Paul's letter to Timothy and Titus which was inspired scripture!!

Why don't we still stone people?

Why do we not believe the Earth to be flat?

Why do we allow divorce in the Church?

Why do we allow woman to speak in the church?

Quote
When Christ was living in human flesh, He deliberately selected twelve men to be His Apostles

Quote
third compelling reason for the male priesthood. Orthodox Christians believe that their bishops, priests and deacons are Ikons of Christ and therefore must be male because Jesus Christ is male.

Jesus was also a 1st century Jew, that doesn't make it a requirement. In this debate I have only heard one really well thought out argument from the male only priesthood and it was a post by asterikos about the role of the male and female in the life of God, very compelling and actual original take rather than these weak already hashed out arguments.
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« Reply #1389 on: August 10, 2009, 02:03:19 PM »


I would like to hear about the reasons individuals have for ordaining women as priests.

I am not sure why we are all bickering here.  It seems like we are kicking a horse long dead.

We've heard countless opinions, reasons, accounts, writings, references, quotes, thoughts and feelings against the female priesthood.

Since none of these seem to hold water, let's visit the other side of the well worn coin.

Why would anyone be "for" a female priesthood.  Please provide references to substantiate your thoughts and opinions.  Please keep "feelings" out of it.   Wink

Still loving you George....even if we can't agree if love is a feeling or not.

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« Reply #1390 on: August 10, 2009, 02:05:13 PM »

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set."
-Proverbs 22.28
We've also been there before on this thread, remember? Our Fathers said Bishops could marry, then other Fathers said they couldn't.

And that was settled at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea I.
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« Reply #1391 on: August 10, 2009, 02:05:30 PM »

Jesus was also a 1st century Jew, that doesn't make it a requirement.

Not being argumentative, I just don't get your point here.  Please explain.

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« Reply #1392 on: August 10, 2009, 02:09:10 PM »

As  the Eastern Patriarchs  responded  to  Pope Leo XIII, "Even if  we  would, we  could  not  change the Orthodox Faith;  the People  are the  Guardians  of the Orthodox Faith".
So then what are you worried about? Why can't the issue be discussed at the Synod?
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« Reply #1393 on: August 10, 2009, 02:10:00 PM »

"Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set."
-Proverbs 22.28
We've also been there before on this thread, remember? Our Fathers said Bishops could marry, then other Fathers said they couldn't.

Are you claiming that as a justification for ordaining women?

The writing of Fr Alexander Schmemann is on the mark---

"For the Orthodox Church has never faced this question, it is for us totally extrinsic, a casus irrealis for which we find no basis, no terms of reference in our Tradition, in the very experience of the Church, and for the discussion of which we are therefore simply not prepared.

"...the ordination of women to priesthood is tantamount for us to a radical and irreparable mutilation of the entire faith, the rejection of the whole Scripture, and, needless to say, the end of all "dialogues"


"The difference this time, however, is that one deals in this particular debate not with a passing intellectual and academic "fad" like "death of God," "secular city," "celebration of life" etc.-- which, after it has produced a couple of ephemeral best-sellers, simply disappears, but with the threat of an irreversible and irreparable act which, if it becomes reality, will produce a new, and this time, I am convinced, final division among Christians, and will signify, at least for the Orthodox, the end of all dialogues."

Full text ::
http://www.episcopalnet.org/TRACTS/ConcerningOrdination.html
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« Reply #1394 on: August 10, 2009, 02:12:05 PM »

Quote
Not being argumentative, I just don't get your point here.  Please explain.

Galatians 3:28 (King James Version)

 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

If our identity in Christ is sexless then why is our priesthood? Again just like George I am not for one side or the other I am just saying this issue isn't black and white.
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