Tuesday, August 22, 2006

From the "Scratch Your Head Department"

Church Ousts Woman Teacher

It is actions of this fundamentalist pastor and his church that give Christianity a black eye. As a Catholic, I understand and support the all male priesthood. Christ instituted it, and the Church maintains it. However, the position of no woman teaching any man is way over the top.

This "literal" interpretation is a massive distortion of Scripture and what is I think intended by the saintly apostle. Paul is making clear the necessity of men being in spiritual authority in the Church, mainly priests and bishops. However, if this extreme interpretation by the pastor above is legitimate, St. Paul must have dropped the ball regarding the teaching activities of a certain woman and her husband, Priscilla and her husband Aquila. Both she and he taught a dynamo apostle named Apollos, who misunderstood and taught a distorted view of Christ's gospel. Did Priscilla overstep her teaching boundaries? Did St. Paul condemn her actions, or get after Aquila for not keeping his wife on a leash? Nope. How about this--when St. Paul came to Europe for the very first time, in Macedonia, his first convert was a woman named Lydia, a local busnesswoman who had led prayers with people in her household and in her local community. Does he emphatically tell her to quit leading the prayer group? Nope. There are women in scripture who worked side by side with St. Paul in his gospel preaching. Did they just speak to women? Uh, the bible is silent on this. The Old Testament has dynamic women who were instrumental in saving and preserving Israel from destruction who led men into battle? Should be throw out the Old Testament, you modern Marcionites?

My point is this is an example of fundamentalist textualism that dehumanizes the Christian person, in this case women, and distorts the image of God into something ogre-ish. It makes no sense. Distortions like this occur because people make their piddly interpretations and opinions as The Truth. That is why I am all for a God directed Magesterium that guides and keeps the Church on track with the tradition of Christ and the Apostles. Newfangled opinions and practices are a menace and need to be identified as such.

To those who see the above article cited as typical of what you experience as Christian, my apologies and condolences to you. You have seen the ugly underbelly of Christianity gone awry in the hands of the misguided and heretical. Plus, you and I need to talk.

7 Comments:

At 6:06 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Dittos all the way. Does anyone notice that 1 Timothy 2:12 reads "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." -NIV version

Paul says *I*. Let me repeat, *I*. He doesn't say "God says...", he says *I*.

Duh!!!

So if Paul doesn't let them, that's fine. He doesn't say that it's an order from God.

Paul also didn't use deoderant. Are we supposed to do everything that Paul did?

 
At 6:45 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

I predict that membership in that church declines rapidly ... the Board comes to their senses and replaces the pastor and apologizes to the parishioners that are left. As for the City being stuck with this pitiful specimen … nothing new.

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

Saur:

St. Paul did have apostolic authority from Christ. However, the issue is in context with appointing priests and bishops. Plus, culturally, women were not schooled in Greek or Roman culture; the men were. So it was probably a matter of avoiding confusion during the liturgy.

Kathleen:

You'd be surprised how many women hold to this as well. I used to be a protestant minister and there are many women who are used to the strict roles fundamentalism has. It's safe. I wouldn't be surprised if their attendance increases!

All in all, this church has a very fundamentalist tradition that allows NO woman to teach a man, ever. They are very strict about this and they think they are being faithful to God. It's a legalism that is very unjust and misappropriates the scripture. To me, it's a mental disorder.

 
At 12:02 AM, Anonymous jsull said...

Saur is right on it as always. I assure you Jesus would not have scolded anyone for teaching the word. Reguardless of what plumbing they had. I will submit I am no Bible scholar but I am better read than most. Anyone who has ever read the book or studied it knows that you can pick any verse and make it out most any way. Everyone with the brain of Darwins relates knows that you must take in the chapter and the book as a whole to even attepmt to understand the thought that lies therein. I have read the Bible more than once from front to back, again I am no scholar but I don't remember Jesus ever being upset because the wrong person teaching or preaching the word, ever.
With that said, I would rather have a Male preacher than a female but every single one of my sunday school teachers when I was a child was a female to the best of my recollection and the christian church would fold instantly if it weren't for women/mothers/grandmothers.
ole jsull28fl@yahoo

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

UL, well, he may have had apostolic authority from Christ. However, that doesn't mean that there weren't times that he didn't have his own opinions which weren't shared. In other words, that was HIS choice, but nothing wrong with an alternative one. ...You say potato, I say puh-tah-toe.

Anyway, if you're going to go to a bare-bones interpretation, how do you address his comment here:

"But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." -vs. 15

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Underground Logician said...

If St. Paul gives his opinion, he will state it as such. He doesn't give indicate here in I Timothy that there are options. Sorry. He is giving Timothy, who is now a bishop, general instructions to carry on his tasks to lead the church. He wants Timothy to know how to lead the families of his flock their in Ephesus.

The verse you want me to parse isn't demeaning to women, if that is what you're insinuating. Verse 15 finishes off the discourse for women. Wives have a unique and honored role to be moms while pursuing faith, love and holiness, yet in this role they show that they are chaste. They must bloom in their love and faith in Christ in the state that they are in. These are general instructions for the women at that time.

This is not unique instruction. This is quite similar to Paul's instructions in I Corinthians 7:17, "The general rule is that each one should lead the life the Lord has assigned him, continuing as he was when the Lord called him. This is the rule I give in all the churches."

It is general instruction, to be taken in the spirit intended. If there are specific situations, St. Paul allows for it. Note the ministry of Priscilla and Aquila--tradition holds that Priscilla was the more gifted teacher than Aquila. She wasn't shoved in some corner and forced to have kids. She utilized her gifts to help instruct one the major apostles in that era--Apollos.

So in trying to interpret verses, one must take into consideration not only the immediate context, but the wider context of the teaching that Paul gave, plus the meaning that his actions give. If pastors, like the man in the article posted, were to drop his chauvinistic ideas and see without his blinders, what all the scripture says, plus Church tradition, he would have to at least lighten up on his misogynism.

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous mark wenzel said...

What I don't understand is why Paul is given Canonical authority. How do we know he was inspired by God?
He is so much more chauvinistic than Jesus ever was. He may have done a great job spreading the faith, but by allowing his epistles to be in the Bible - women have been subjugated beyond anything Jesus ever said, based on the commands of paul, Please enlighten me.
mark wenz02@aol.com

 

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