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Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Comprising most of Lewis' writings.

Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby Bluegoat » 11 Apr 2009, 18:40

kbrowne wrote:I have not been replying to any of the recent posts because I wanted to get all my comments on Lewis’ article written before joining in the conversation. I hope to be able to answer some of the things that have been said when I have finished. So, rusmeister, I am not ignoring what you have said. But, please, would you not make personal comments about me. You do not know me. You do not and cannot know what books I have or have not read or what kind of education I have had.

Now to Lewis’ argument. Here I have reduced it to a skeleton and numbered each point. I hope to have something to say about each part of the argument after Easter.

1. One of the most important parts of a priest’s job is to ‘represent’ God to the congregation. [I have put represent in inverted commas because it is not quite clear what Lewis means by it.]

2. If a woman ‘represents’ God it will allow or encourage the use of female imagery when people think or talk about God.

3. We know that we should not use female imagery when referring to God because God has told us to use masculine imagery.

4. The use of female imagery would change the whole character of Christianity, [presumably for the worse and presumably whether Christians want the change or not.]



I wonder if he was trying to get at the idea that a women can't be a priest like a man can't have a baby, but without getting into the theology of the priesthood?. That would have taken him into territory that was very divisive within Christianity.

To my mind the question that have to be answered to know why women can or can't be priests are: What is gender to a Christian? What does Christ's gender mean to what he is? What is a priest? Of course more questions would likely arise, but the first one is the oly one I feel quite confident in. The third is ok until I try to relate it to the second. :??:
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 19 Apr 2009, 07:49

kbrowne wrote:I have not been replying to any of the recent posts because I wanted to get all my comments on Lewis’ article written before joining in the conversation. I hope to be able to answer some of the things that have been said when I have finished. So, rusmeister, I am not ignoring what you have said. But, please, would you not make personal comments about me. You do not know me. You do not and cannot know what books I have or have not read or what kind of education I have had.

Now to Lewis’ argument. Here I have reduced it to a skeleton and numbered each point. I hope to have something to say about each part of the argument after Easter.

1. One of the most important parts of a priest’s job is to ‘represent’ God to the congregation. [I have put represent in inverted commas because it is not quite clear what Lewis means by it.]

2. If a woman ‘represents’ God it will allow or encourage the use of female imagery when people think or talk about God.

3. We know that we should not use female imagery when referring to God because God has told us to use masculine imagery.

4. The use of female imagery would change the whole character of Christianity, [presumably for the worse and presumably whether Christians want the change or not.]

Hi KBrowne!
Christ is risen!!!

First of all, I apologize if I seemed haughty - such was not my intent.
It is true that I was going on a general assumption based on what you have written, which lines up with modern objections to traditional Christianity. We can only 'know' (and therefore understand anything from each other at all) on the basis of what we write). I do not wish to pretend that I know more about you than I do, and so, apologize for expressing myself in a way that seemed so.

It seems that you have not listed Lewis's overarching argument - that it is not like a ball - not like what Christianity has always been. No matter what way you slice it you are talking about fundamentally changing something that was taught and practiced from the beginning. That, to me, is necessarily the most suspicious part about all modern arguments. they want to change Christianity into something that it is not, little by little (not all at once - people would see through that too easily).

Lewis says:
It is rational not to reason, or not to limit oneself to reason, in the wrong place; and the more rational a man is the better he knows this.

to cut ourselves off from the Christian past and to widen the divisions between ourselves and other Churches

It is this
to cut ourselves off from the Christian past
that probably ought to be repeated in the manner of rap lyrics, to hammer that point home.

Your arguments have been very rational. But what you defend is not like a ball at all.
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby msd1835 » 22 May 2009, 20:01

I would love to express my point of view on these subjects, but after reading all 12 pages I am totally confused. I too often ask how far can the Church adjust it's views for the sake of progress( I don't really approve of the term but it is the popular one). We start by giving up an inch, and then a foot, and so on and so on. I submit that maybe we need to totally examine our semi-flawed personal interpretations, as well as our dusty out-dated traditions; and reveal the fundimental truth that lies at the center of it all: Jesus.

Personally I believe that no priest ,pastor, nor pope has ever lived up to what I would call the Jesus standard. Therefore I must conclude that they are flawed. (I believe I am flawed too) And in being Flawed are Subject to falling into apostacy. Like the children of Israel found themselves away from God, the CHurch (how ever you deem it) has found it also. I think csl had this same concern as it reflects on the Pope. I believe that the traditions held by the RC and the EO have extreme marrit, and should be studied not for Biblical association (let us be honest except for like 3 there is none) but for their ability to edifiy the partaker. As for the What I consider the prime sacrements: I being of Pentacostal upbringing have taken to great study over how it should be regarded(baptism and communion are not stressed as much in PENTa.). But if we are to truely live the truth we must find it first. Some of the truth lies in tradition and the wisdom passed on to us by those before us, the rest lies in front of us; for us or our children to discover.

Let's not forget history and repeat it. The children of Israel followed their corrupt priests right into sin. Let us learn from our mistakes, and test all instructions weather from your tele-vanglist or your Pope by the standard of Scripture. No one is able to damn you for doing what is right in God's eyes.
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 23 May 2009, 02:52

msd1835 wrote:I would love to express my point of view on these subjects, but after reading all 12 pages I am totally confused. I too often ask how far can the Church adjust it's views for the sake of progress( I don't really approve of the term but it is the popular one). We start by giving up an inch, and then a foot, and so on and so on. I submit that maybe we need to totally examine our semi-flawed personal interpretations, as well as our dusty out-dated traditions; and reveal the fundimental truth that lies at the center of it all: Jesus.

Personally I believe that no priest ,pastor, nor pope has ever lived up to what I would call the Jesus standard. Therefore I must conclude that they are flawed. (I believe I am flawed too) And in being Flawed are Subject to falling into apostacy. Like the children of Israel found themselves away from God, the CHurch (how ever you deem it) has found it also. I think csl had this same concern as it reflects on the Pope. I believe that the traditions held by the RC and the EO have extreme marrit, and should be studied not for Biblical association (let us be honest except for like 3 there is none) but for their ability to edifiy the partaker. As for the What I consider the prime sacrements: I being of Pentacostal upbringing have taken to great study over how it should be regarded(baptism and communion are not stressed as much in PENTa.). But if we are to truely live the truth we must find it first. Some of the truth lies in tradition and the wisdom passed on to us by those before us, the rest lies in front of us; for us or our children to discover.

Let's not forget history and repeat it. The children of Israel followed their corrupt priests right into sin. Let us learn from our mistakes, and test all instructions weather from your tele-vanglist or your Pope by the standard of Scripture. No one is able to damn you for doing what is right in God's eyes.


But there's the trick. How do you know what is right in God's eyes? You only know what is right in your own - and it must be admitted that we, on our own, sometimes get that wrong. The basic thing you take for granted as the ultimate authority here is the individual, who was born twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years ago and maybe has time to learn a few things, and has certainly not had much time to learn what can be learned and is quite unable to forget what he never learned.

The claim you are making - known as Sola Scriptura - is one that has a fatal weakness, well demonstrated by today's divisions of Christendom that essentially did not exist a thousand years ago. It places the individual as the ultimate authority to decide what Scripture means and what the Faith is. There are millions of people with millions of opinions, and thus, millions* of contradictory teachings. As has been truly said, the Reformation did not do away with the Pope. It made everyone their own Pope.

The people who submit to a faith tradition like the Orthodox or Catholic Churches do not rely on themselves at all to do that. They turn to the Church and ASK what the Faith is and what Scripture means. Therefore they seek to learn from external authority rather than from themselves, and agree with you that our own personal interpretations, uncorrected by authority, are (even more than semi-) flawed. But it is the rejection of established tradition and turning to one's own limited knowledge and wisdom - kind of the opposite of Philip's eunuch - that IS the essence of forgetting and repeating history - to be more precise, it is repeating history because it was never (sufficiently) learned.

*(a little poetic license, but hopefully you get the point)
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby msd1835 » 23 May 2009, 19:37

I understand your point of view...but it is a little contradictory in it's arguement. You say that we (in using Sola Scriptura ) are wrong on the fundamental grounds as we are not linked to tradition. The problem with this is that the very INDIVIDUALS that created the traditions used their own Sola Scriptura and that of their forerunners. This seems to be a very conveniant arguement for someone trying to rationlize a past inherited system that has no clear nor implied connection to scripture. It has the luxary of being right but never having to stand up to scrutiny.

I'll give you an example: I was raised to believe that wine and other like beverages were not to be consumed. As I grew in my spiritual walk I realized that what I was being taught as Biblical truth was not in the Bible at all. When I questioned those who had more knowledge of the Bible than myself, there began a mad scramble to find the rationale. Some people including my family some of which were raised RC, could not give the answers. So I discovered my own answers.

The answer is that indivduals who try to raise us in spiritual matters sometimes create certain rules, regulations, or practices that are helpful if not edifying to meet that goal. This is not a sin; it is wise. Which is why I feel a lot of RC and EO traditions have extreme marrit.

Now I don't suggest that every individual should create their own doctrine, this would be silly. I don't have the theological background nor biblical knowledge to even attempt such things. What I do suggest is that we trust our spirtual leaders in the things that we can prove according to scripture; and if not try to sense the motivation behind it. If no proper explaination can be obtained disregard it as faulty. We as christians are constantly trying defend ourselves against the world; due the fact that when the Church committed atrocities(RC,EO, Puritanism, etc.), individuals sat back and trusted those who were mentally disturbed.

I think that the RC and EO would have a lot easier time if the Bible wasn't so easy to get in the modern world. If that was the case they could just say "we know what is best for you just trust us no matter what!". But things being as they are we can find the truth out in scripture. The Bible says that all that believe in Christ will have everlasting life, it is not required to believe in the Pope, Priest, nor Pastor.

I am not trying to bash your beliefs just ask you(and everyone else) to take a real look at what you believe, and why you believe it. If you are totally committed to what you believe I am not going to convince you otherwise. In fact if I am true to my point YOU MAY BE RIGHT. Everytime you find an arguement proving your point, you strengthen you perspective; or else you discover an error in your logic. I think you trust your belief system very strongly, or else why spend so much time trying to defend it? Who knows one day I might find myself agreeing with you.(I am not joking, I might)

Oh yeah, on the point as to who decides what God wants us to do. God decides; that is why we have scripture in the first place. The rules for government, discipline, community, church, and personal/spiritual relationships are all sitting there waiting for us in scripture. Interpretation of the Bible does not override the literal meanings held within it. Do NOt Murder means Do not Murder.

As far as to whether Lewis would've left the Church of England. Yeh I think he would've. He seems through his writing to be firm in his Biblical beliefs. I think you could say the Church has been ripped apart since then. It only has a thin resemblance to what it was at that time.
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 25 May 2009, 03:07

msd1835 wrote:I understand your point of view...but it is a little contradictory in it's arguement. You say that we (in using Sola Scriptura ) are wrong on the fundamental grounds as we are not linked to tradition. The problem with this is that the very INDIVIDUALS that created the traditions used their own Sola Scriptura and that of their forerunners. This seems to be a very conveniant arguement for someone trying to rationlize a past inherited system that has no clear nor implied connection to scripture. It has the luxary of being right but never having to stand up to scrutiny.

I'll give you an example: I was raised to believe that wine and other like beverages were not to be consumed. As I grew in my spiritual walk I realized that what I was being taught as Biblical truth was not in the Bible at all. When I questioned those who had more knowledge of the Bible than myself, there began a mad scramble to find the rationale. Some people including my family some of which were raised RC, could not give the answers. So I discovered my own answers.

The answer is that indivduals who try to raise us in spiritual matters sometimes create certain rules, regulations, or practices that are helpful if not edifying to meet that goal. This is not a sin; it is wise. Which is why I feel a lot of RC and EO traditions have extreme marrit.

Now I don't suggest that every individual should create their own doctrine, this would be silly. I don't have the theological background nor biblical knowledge to even attempt such things. What I do suggest is that we trust our spirtual leaders in the things that we can prove according to scripture; and if not try to sense the motivation behind it. If no proper explaination can be obtained disregard it as faulty. We as christians are constantly trying defend ourselves against the world; due the fact that when the Church committed atrocities(RC,EO, Puritanism, etc.), individuals sat back and trusted those who were mentally disturbed.

I think that the RC and EO would have a lot easier time if the Bible wasn't so easy to get in the modern world. If that was the case they could just say "we know what is best for you just trust us no matter what!". But things being as they are we can find the truth out in scripture. The Bible says that all that believe in Christ will have everlasting life, it is not required to believe in the Pope, Priest, nor Pastor.

I am not trying to bash your beliefs just ask you(and everyone else) to take a real look at what you believe, and why you believe it. If you are totally committed to what you believe I am not going to convince you otherwise. In fact if I am true to my point YOU MAY BE RIGHT. Everytime you find an arguement proving your point, you strengthen you perspective; or else you discover an error in your logic. I think you trust your belief system very strongly, or else why spend so much time trying to defend it? Who knows one day I might find myself agreeing with you.(I am not joking, I might)

Oh yeah, on the point as to who decides what God wants us to do. God decides; that is why we have scripture in the first place. The rules for government, discipline, community, church, and personal/spiritual relationships are all sitting there waiting for us in scripture. Interpretation of the Bible does not override the literal meanings held within it. Do NOt Murder means Do not Murder.

As far as to whether Lewis would've left the Church of England. Yeh I think he would've. He seems through his writing to be firm in his Biblical beliefs. I think you could say the Church has been ripped apart since then. It only has a thin resemblance to what it was at that time.


Thanks for the courtesy! :)
I do have a question, though - do you accept the Gospel of Judas? If so, why? I What authority allows you to decide that it is or is not part of the Bible?
In straight talk, I'd say that the central problem is how you define "the Church" and your basis for doing so.

The problem with this is that the very INDIVIDUALS that created the traditions used their own Sola Scriptura and that of their forerunners.

This is probably the biggest inaccuracy as applied to the Christian churches that existed before the Reformation. There was no exclusive reliance on Scripture. Indeed, were I to engage in Scripture wars, I would point out that Scripture itself forbids it (2 Thess 2:15, for example) - but I won't. But your idea that individuals created anything on their own in the RC or EO Churches does not display knowledge of the actual history of those Churches, the Ecumenical Councils, where dogma was actually defined, being perfect examples - and they were collegiate in the extreme.

If you trace Church history forward from its beginnings, rather than backwards from the present, a lot of modern positions become untenable.
If we accept that Christ actually established a Church, then that Church must have always existed, despite human sin. As soon as you examine pre-Reformation history, however, you find that the only Churches that existed were the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic Churches (the latter of which have remained essentially Orthodox). There is no historical basis for any other form of Christianity. (The Anglican claim is based on the Roman claim, and stands only if the Roman one also stands.) Ideas that "the real Church" met in back rooms somewhere apart from the aforementioned Churches, that this saint or that saint was actually a Baptist, or Presbyterian, or Mennonite, have no historical support at all. (I have, for example, a Mennonite book which mentions Saint Maximillian and portrays him as 'one of them', completely ignoring the context of his life.)

I find that Protestant claims basically have the Holy Spirit abandoning the Church (as they see it) shortly after the book of Acts, and reappearing with Martin Luther (presumably to 'get it right this time', something that obviously hasn't happened).

The problem then is, on what authority can we accept that the Bible has divine authority at all? The basis on which you doubt the ancient Churches is also a basis for doubting the validity of the Bible itself (which 'even' we hold to be the most important part of that Tradition both oral and written, and the Gospels above all).

One more question - how many foreign languages have you learned? Are you aware that the Bible that you read is a translation? (I'm sure you are...) Are you aware of the problems of translation in general? (Not patronizing at all - a great many people are not - it just happens to be my field of expertise.) Anyway, those problems are a reason why I find it impossible to rely on self - on your own knowledge - to correctly understand the Bible in all points - and even a great many of the important ones, the ones on which doctrines are based.
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby msd1835 » 26 May 2009, 17:20

I would like to say first off...I have enjoyed our discussion..It is rational, intellegent, and in my opinion free from bias.

I have been taught that the Holy Spirit did not abandon the church. In fact the Holy Spirit is what edifies us, comforts believers, and gives any believer the power to spread the Gospel. I would find it to be ridiculas to assume that the Holy Spirit was not present at any time in history.

I guess my arguement comes from the fact that like any house built on any foundation, repairs after a substantial period of time are required. The order of priest in the Old Testament (sanctioned by God) needed reformations, and the law actually needed to be completed (by the Christ). If a house finds itself be eaten slowly by termites, it is necessary to fumigate or outrite remodel to keep the House intact.

If priests and popes are indeed human and capable of free will, how will God steal that will away to prevent them from mistakes? Instead God finds ways around the free will...by inspiring individuals to speak up. Here also lies the catch: How does one recognize the inspired from the mistaken? The answer is by understanding the scriptures. The earliest Church constructed of Jews would have a firm knowledge of Scripture(old testament) and the Apostles taught the teachings to the converts.

One aside at this point in Acts we find that all believers gave all their property over to the Diciples, and that no one went without their needs. I wonder how many of us would be comfortable doing that today? (way off topic I know; but it has always intrigued me.).

I am aware of the languages of the Bible; in fact my pastor is constantly teaching us the Greek meanings of new testament scripture. Many of my closest friends have taken Greek, and I have taken college courses in the Old and New testaments. I have seriously contemplated taking Hebrew classes. In fact Jesus is not really Jesus's name. (though that arguement could go on forever, so let's not tackle that one) It is because of this that makes me question the right of communion(In our beliefs). In my own church communion is taken once, perhaps twice a year. Yet the original meaning points to a constant partaking of it. This causes me to question our interpretation and may lead me to yours. Without actually studying the scriptures and trying to interpret it; I would be ignorant (or innocent at best) to the fact.

p.s. I love your tone of debate it does not inspire me to violence...lol!
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby Tuke » 28 May 2009, 21:51

Before proceeding, let me address once more much earlier allusions to Jack's supposed male chauvinism. In Priestesses Jack states clearly that women are often better than men in performing male roles, even more efficient, but just as God chose a male Christ, so He chose men to perform certain roles exclusively, even if inferiorly. Jesus is Lord, not Mary. Ecce ancilla!
And now, more recently:
rusmeister wrote:.... The claim you are making - known as Sola Scriptura - is one that has a fatal weakness
Why fatal? Is it any more fatal than those whose preponderate efforts are divisively spent lifting up their church rather than lifting up the name of the Lord Jesus? Paul said the ones who claim to be superior because they follow Cephas, Apollos, Christ, or Paul are the ones who are divided, dead and dying. q.v. 1 Cor.1:11-13
We are all called to be a royal priesthood for the work of the ministry "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Eph.4:13

... well demonstrated by today's divisions of Christendom that essentially did not exist a thousand years ago.
It places the individual as the ultimate authority to decide what Scripture means and what the Faith is. There are millions of people with millions of opinions, and thus, millions* of contradictory teachings. As has been truly said, the Reformation did not do away with the Pope. It made everyone their own Pope.
This does not resonate with me. I don't know any Protestant church, any church at all, which allows parishioners to exert authority above the teachers, elders, pastors, or presbytery. Aren't you implying here that all churches other than yours and the RCC are cults?

The people who submit to a faith tradition like the Orthodox or Catholic Churches do not rely on themselves at all to do that. They turn to the Church and ASK what the Faith is and what Scripture means.
Then who do they turn to to explain to them what the Church is saying? Surely not their own limited knowledge and wisdom. :??:

But it is the rejection of established tradition and turning to one's own limited knowledge and wisdom - kind of the opposite of Philip's eunuch - ....
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but Philip helped the eunuch by feeding him pure scripture, and only scripture, the difference being Philip used the New Testament to explain the veiled Old Testament.

All of this leads me to ask sincerely, does your church allow you to read your own Bible privately by yourself? If so, do you find the experience profitable or confusing? Does the Holy Spirit not give you understanding of God's Word as Christ promised He would?
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 29 May 2009, 04:33

Tuke wrote:Before proceeding, let me address once more much earlier allusions to Jack's supposed male chauvinism. In Priestesses Jack states clearly that women are often better than men in performing male roles, even more efficient, but just as God chose a male Christ, so He chose men to perform certain roles exclusively, even if inferiorly. Jesus is Lord, not Mary. Ecce ancilla!
And now, more recently:
rusmeister wrote:.... The claim you are making - known as Sola Scriptura - is one that has a fatal weakness
Why fatal? Is it any more fatal than those whose preponderate efforts are divisively spent lifting up their church rather than lifting up the name of the Lord Jesus? Paul said the ones who claim to be superior because they follow Cephas, Apollos, Christ, or Paul are the ones who are divided, dead and dying. q.v. 1 Cor.1:11-13
We are all called to be a royal priesthood for the work of the ministry "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." Eph.4:13


Hi Tuke!
Christ has ascended!
I guess I need to iterate what I said to begin any response - why fatal? Because:
It places the individual as the ultimate authority to decide what Scripture means and what the Faith is. There are millions of people with millions of opinions, and thus, millions* of contradictory teachings. As has been truly said, the Reformation did not do away with the Pope. It made everyone their own Pope.

The guarantee of the division of the Church.
Now in the Orthodox Church the name of Jesus is surely lifted up as much as anywhere else, not "instead of". And unlike the Roman Catholic Church, we don't claim to accept any one man's teachings as final authority (the RCC's ex cathedra clause), so your Pauline reference is inapplicable here.
We can't be a royal priesthood if we are all disagreeing on what true faith and worship is. Only by submitting to authority can we begin to even speak about it. But there's the rub - what authority? For the ancient faiths (C+O), that authority is not in us - we are not capable of correctly discerning the fullness of the truth (although we can be right on a number of points), just as anyone reading an ancient text can correctly understand some things, and is surely just as likely to MIS-understand some things). Thus, we need the Church - a Thing that is more than any human, more than any Paul, or Apollo, or Cephas - something that is both visible in the world and invisibly stretching across space and time.


Tuke wrote:
... well demonstrated by today's divisions of Christendom that essentially did not exist a thousand years ago.
It places the individual as the ultimate authority to decide what Scripture means and what the Faith is. There are millions of people with millions of opinions, and thus, millions* of contradictory teachings. As has been truly said, the Reformation did not do away with the Pope. It made everyone their own Pope.
This does not resonate with me. I don't know any Protestant church, any church at all, which allows parishioners to exert authority above the teachers, elders, pastors, or presbytery. Aren't you implying here that all churches other than yours and the RCC are cults?

No. But it is a fact that a number of faiths do indeed allow such exertion of authority within their church (Quakers, for example) and in many of the rest, members are free to disagree, break off and start their own church (An episode in my youth where a "Brother Nick" did exactly that in a tearful scene at my Baptist church is burned forever into my mind).

As to cults, I draw the line with the Nicene Creed (of 381). If you accept that, you are Christian and not cult. Heterodox - yes. But still Christian. Part of the Church? No. Savable by God's grace? of course. But that is up to God. (That is not meant to imply that Orthodox Christians have a guaranteed ticket. They still have to run the race and finish the course. But it's good to do that on the race track - which is what the Orthodox Church is, if you will. The others are off-track. The Judge can also declare them winners, if He wants to. But the safest way is to stay on the right track.


Tuke wrote:
The people who submit to a faith tradition like the Orthodox or Catholic Churches do not rely on themselves at all to do that. They turn to the Church and ASK what the Faith is and what Scripture means.
Then who do they turn to to explain to them what the Church is saying? Surely not their own limited knowledge and wisdom. :??:

No. We have the Tradition of the Church http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=2 and other sources of doctrine:
http://www.oca.org/OCIndex-TOC.asp?SID= ... 20Doctrine

Basically, no one can go against that Tradition and remain Orthodox. They are schismatic. Thus, dissidence is no virtue, but a straight road to heresy and spiritual death. Usually, when people want to know something, they ask their priests, being specially trained people, but we are free to 'look it up ourselves''.
In my own experience, as a world-traveled linguist, my own (by now considerable knowledge and experience) are nothing next to what I find in the Tradition of the Church.


Tuke wrote:
But it is the rejection of established tradition and turning to one's own limited knowledge and wisdom - kind of the opposite of Philip's eunuch - ....
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but Philip helped the eunuch by feeding him pure scripture, and only scripture, the difference being Philip used the New Testament to explain the veiled Old Testament.

Philip did not use the New Testament, which did not exist. He referred to (what we call) the OT Scripture of Isaiah to preach Christ to him, by the authority conferred upon him by the Apostles (Acts 6:1-7). Acts 8:35: "...and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him."

Tuke wrote:All of this leads me to ask sincerely, does your church allow you to read your own Bible privately by yourself? If so, do you find the experience profitable or confusing? Does the Holy Spirit not give you understanding of God's Word as Christ promised He would?

a) Absolutely! :)
b) Profitable
c) it confirms the rest of the Tradition of the Orthodox Church. I do not find that I have a special understanding superior to that of the Church, and if I did, it would be the first thing I would be suspicious of. But I don't. I consistently find, again and again, that the Church is right. Ergo, I believe the Holy Spirit is directly guiding the Orthodox Church and so guiding me via the Church.

Hope that clarifies! :)
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby hammurabi2000 » 30 May 2009, 14:18

Rusmeister

Is the tradition of the church not what is shown by scripture?

Do you accept or reject the Book of Judas? Is the fact that it is not in the Bible evidence of significance?
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 30 May 2009, 17:04

hammurabi2000 wrote:Rusmeister

Is the tradition of the church not what is shown by scripture?



Your question, as put, creates a box that puts tradition as being all supported by Scripture or not. To avoid that box (because we don't accept such a dichotomy) I'll refer you to the OCA explanation (it's quite short): http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=2
(I'll post it if for some reason the link doesn't work for you.)

hammurabi2000 wrote:Do you accept or reject the Book of Judas? Is the fact that it is not in the Bible evidence of significance?

I accept the authority of the Orthodox Church, which has rejected the book of Judas. yes, it is significant, because it affirms that the Church had the authority to determine what was part of the canon that we all accept today. It is illogical to accept the (canonical) Bible and not the Institution that canonized it.
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby Tuke » 05 Jun 2009, 22:28

Ecce ancilla!
rusmeister wrote:.... The claim you are making - known as Sola Scriptura - is one that has a fatal weakness
Why fatal? Is it any more fatal than those whose preponderate efforts are divisively spent lifting up their church rather than lifting up the name of the Lord Jesus?
rusmeister wrote:Now in the Orthodox Church the name of Jesus is surely lifted up as much as anywhere else, not "instead of".
I was talking about you not your church! Can't you even see how much more you talk about your church when I talk about the Bible or the Lord? I think I've only mentioned my church twice in this entire two year-old thread.

We can't be a royal priesthood if we are all disagreeing on what true faith and worship is.
All? I think Orthodoxers are the only ones disagreeing with me here. John 4:23-24
Only by submitting to authority can we begin to even speak about it. But there's the rub - what authority? For the ancient faiths (C+O),
Faiths? Jesus only taught one faith, that in Himself alone.

It places the individual as the ultimate authority to decide what Scripture means and what the Faith is.
I could no more oppose my church's authority on Scripture than you could yours.

rus wrote:... members are free to disagree, break off and start their own church (An episode in my youth where a "Brother Nick" did exactly that in a tearful scene at my Baptist church is burned forever into my mind).
I'm so sorry you had such a time with that Baptist church. You've mentioned it many many times.

rus wrote:Heterodox - yes. But still Christian. Part of the Church? No.... But it's good to do that on the race track - which is what the Orthodox Church is, if you will. The others are off-track.
No, Jesus is the right track. Your comment is unorthodox, if not heretical.


Tuke wrote:
rus wrote:The people who submit to a faith tradition like the Orthodox or Catholic Churches do not rely on themselves at all to do that. They turn to the Church and ASK what the Faith is and what Scripture means.
Then who do they turn to to explain to them what the Church is saying? Surely not their own limited knowledge and wisdom. :??:
No. We have the Tradition of the Church http://www.oca.org/OCchapter.asp?SID=2&ID=2 and other sources of doctrine:
http://www.oca.org/OCIndex-TOC.asp?SID= ... 20Doctrine
That's what I said, your church says what your church says, but I call it evasive circumlocution on your part.

Basically, no one can go against that Tradition and remain Orthodox. They are schismatic. Thus, dissidence is no virtue, but a straight road to heresy and spiritual death.
I protest. :cry:

.... but we are free to 'look it up ourselves''.
In my own experience, as a world-traveled linguist, my own (by now considerable knowledge and experience) are nothing next to what I find in the Tradition of the Church.
That's not apparent to me, a nondescript philologist.

Tuke wrote:
But it is the rejection of established tradition and turning to one's own limited knowledge and wisdom - kind of the opposite of Philip's eunuch - ....
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but Philip helped the eunuch by feeding him pure scripture, and only scripture, the difference being Philip used the New Testament to explain the veiled Old Testament.
Philip did not use the New Testament, which did not exist. He referred to (what we call) the OT Scripture of Isaiah to preach Christ to him, by the authority conferred upon him by the Apostles (Acts 6:1-7). Acts 8:35: "...and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him."
I was referring to Acts 8:26-40. I hope you agree that Philip's words were a part of the New Testament canon, albeit uncollected at the time he spoke them.

Hope that clarifies! :)
I think so, thank you. Not everyone who says Lord, Lord is a Christian and some people who claim to be orthodox aren't. :o)
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby john » 05 Jun 2009, 22:53

Hey, do I need to separate you two?
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby rusmeister » 06 Jun 2009, 02:25

I'm a little surprised at the tone of that last post myself. Throughout my own comments, I merely described the Orthodox position.
I've found most of your posts to be quite polite and reasonable, Tuke. But I will say that there is no such term as "Orthodoxer". It sounds derogatory to me. I'd be happy to respond to your comments, but would like to feel a little more consideration. I feel that you really misunderstand me deeply, beginning with the idea that the Church somehow "replaces' Jesus (I think that's based on the idea that the topic of discussion/debate centers around our differences, which are primarily about the Church. We both agree that Jesus is Lord.), and so on down the line.
Also, I think we use vastly different definitions on what we mean by the word "Church", which makes misunderstanding inevitable.
Also, I think we all have bad days. :smile:
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Re: Priestesses in the Church? ... from Jack's God in the Dock

Postby Tuke » 06 Jun 2009, 06:42

rusmeister wrote:I'm a little surprised at the tone of that last post myself.
Surprised, even though I sent you a PM?

Throughout my own comments, I merely described the Orthodox position.
It didn't occur to you that telling me that I don't belong to the universal and catholic Church might be a tad controversial? You don't recall saying that my faith in Sola Scriptura is a fatal mistake?

I've found most of your posts to be quite polite and reasonable, Tuke. But I will say that there is no such term as "Orthodoxer". It sounds derogatory to me. I'd be happy to respond to your comments, but would like to feel a little more consideration.
Orthodoxer is in no way a derogatory term. It is simply a word I have concocted to distinguish between your Orthodox Church and my orthodox church. I've used the term on many previous occasions with you and you never objected once. Why now? I will stop out of respect if you will stop referring to me as Heterodox which I most certainly am not nor is my church heterodox. Do you even remember the name of my church?
You want me to show you more consideration? I don't think either you or John recognize how much consideration I've shown you. I have given you and your position my best and most irenic consideration. I have tried not to be offended by the things you and other Orthodox Church Wardrobians have said about Protestant doctrine because the Bible says "great peace have they which love Thy law and nothing shall offend them" (Psalm 119:165); however, if you are going to be offended by the vigorous and manly defense I feel is required, then it would be better for us to drop this course of discussion because I will then feel disadvantaged.

I feel that you really misunderstand me deeply, beginning with the idea that the Church somehow "replaces' Jesus
Maybe, but you misquote me badly. You put the words replaces and instead of, previously, in quotation marks as if they were my words, but I never used the words. I never so much as suggested that you said the Church replaces Jesus. What I did say, in effect, was that you use the word Church much more than the word Jesus.

(I think that's based on the idea that the topic of discussion/debate centers around our differences, which are primarily about the Church. We both agree that Jesus is Lord.)
Also, I think we use vastly different definitions on what we mean by the word "Church", which makes misunderstanding inevitable.
At least I think we agree here. Praise the Lord for small beginnings.

Also, I think we all have bad days. :smile:
If you're having a bad day, I'm sorry and will try to remember you in prayer. If you think I'm havig a bad day, then I give up because I'm having a wonderful day. In fact, it does not get much better for me, so this may serve to highlight our differences and misunderstanding.
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