Tuesday, July 11, 2006

You Reap What You Sow

Embraced by the leadership of all the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as large segments of American Catholicism, liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church.

Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, all the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating.

When your religion says "whatever" on doctrinal matters, regards Jesus as just another wise teacher, refuses on principle to evangelize and lets you do pretty much what you want, it's a short step to deciding that one of the things you don't want to do is get up on Sunday morning and go to church.

So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program — ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth — or die. Sure.

[from the Dunker Journal]


At 1:50 AM, Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

China has already had female imams for Islam for centuries, so I see no problem with ordainment of women.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Ah, but Imams are not priests. Imams are merely 'preachers of the word', which is in essence what Protestant preachers are.

The sacramental priesthood is quite another thing.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

In my opinion formal bureaucratic ordainment only differs from a mere "preacher of the word" by one characteristic: bureaucracy by human authority.

Is the standard of piety for a leader of a congregation different from that of a priest?

At 11:09 AM, Blogger CromAbu said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger CromAbu said...

"In my opinion formal bureaucratic ordainment only differs from a mere 'preacher of the word' by one characteristic: bureaucracy by human authority."

Well, you would be wrong.
Don't mistake ignorance of a fact for "opinion."

For instance:
Green is a nice colour - opinion.
Green is a primary colour - mistake, that is to say, ignorance of a fact.

"Is the standard of piety for a leader of a congregation different from that of a priest? "

Surely all, laity, preachers, presbyterate, every Tom, Dick and Harriet - ALL are called to piety.
But not all have the same gifts. And so all are called to different excercise of those gifts.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Mr Soong,

it is, as you rightly point out, your 'opinion'. However, one who does not believe in the sacramental and sacrificial nature of the priesthood really has no right to be commenting on the issue of ordination of women. The matter of 'standard of piety' is not relevant - we are all called to the same perfection.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

It's not in the sacrificial nature that I don't believe in, only the bureaucracy.

On that matter, why is that males are only thought to possess this "gift"?

At 5:08 PM, Blogger Constantine said...

"What would you say to a woman who wants to know why women shouldn't be priests?"

My first response would be to avoid the question all together. I find that most who ask such things have no intentions of listening, but rather in finding a scratching post.

My next response would be to wonder what would make a woman want to become a priest? Why? Why would a woman want to pursue such a thing? When a woman pursues such a thing it always strikes me as a desire to destroy "otherness." In that, it destroys beauty. And abolishes love. So again, I ask "Why?"

Is it not ultimately a self-love that causes the pursuit of such things; to pursue the enmeshment of women with the ontology of men?

How then should a woman respond to this role she "cannot" obtain? Behold... respect... silence. Certainly not with possession... violence. More so, dear ladies, do not be embittered and do not think this is a fence, a barrier into a world you cannot know, but rather, an invitation into the full onotology of humanness and thereby, for you, beautiful life-bearer, an invitation into feminity. It's an invitation into a world of gentleness and strength. Kindness and fortitude. Grace and protection. Boundaries only give the perception of limits, but know this - those boundaries are only for those who live on the surface of life. For those on the journey inward, where we'll find the Kingdom of God and fullness of community, there are no limits. Life-bearer pursue the inner kingdom and do not fear or embitter yourself against the graces bestowed for our external lives. Inward is your priesthood.

At 1:58 AM, Blogger Sprezzatura said...

Mr Soong,

you obviously don't believe in the Sacramental and Sacrificial nature of the Priesthood, nor the Apostolic Succession. If you understood both - the reason why women cannot be ordained becomes quite clear.

If you are neither Catholic nor Orthodox, I strongly urge you to refrain from commenting. How do I know you're neither? Your idea that ordination differs from commissioning for the preaching of the word 'in bureaucracy by human authority' already marks you out as being neither.

Incidentally, it's not a 'gift' - it's God's choice. God does not call people to impossible things, hence the idea that some women have that they are called to the priesthood is not from God.

At 12:43 AM, Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

You can probably see that I'm a Protestant, though I never thought personal malaise would come because of this distinction. I've dropped in on Muslim blogs, and haven't been rejected on that accord either. Perhaps here it's because I didn't consider myself to be an outsider; I know there are significant and schismatic distinctions, but not enough to warrant malaise where this is concerned.

I'm actually quite fundamentalist, and I don't see such institutions explicitly described and mandated in the Scriptures. I am aware of the Apostolic Succession, but it seems there is a gap in the logic in the prohibition of women in terms of God calling people to certain roles in life.

At 3:11 AM, Blogger The Critic said...

I don't see you complaining why you can't be a mother...


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