jump to navigation

Diocese Nears Break With Episcopal Church December 3, 2006

Posted by Michael in Religion.
trackback

Some Americans are getting fed up with the liberal trends of the American Episcopal Church.

FRESNO, California (AP) — In a rebuke of the Episcopal Church, a conservative diocese voted Saturday to affirm its membership in the worldwide Anglican Communion after distancing itself from the national church over the ordination of gays and women.

San Joaquin, California, Bishop John-David Schofield called it a first step toward a formal break with the U.S. Anglican denomination, though the proposal makes just minor changes to the diocese’s status.

“We have given a signal as to what direction we intend to take,” Schofield said Saturday. “We are now in a position to take seriously any offer the archbishops around the world should come up with.”

In America and the U.K., the Anglican Communion is declining.  The growth of the Anglican Communion is in the Third World, where the churches tend to be conservative and opposed to the ordination of gays and women. 

Delegates also approved rewriting the Diocese of San Joaquin’s constitution to bring its trust fund under the bishop’s control, a move immediately questioned by Episcopal leaders.

The denomination’s canons don’t give local dioceses sole ownership of church property, said Robert Williams, a spokesman for the Episcopal Church.

I’ve seen this in happen in my own Lutheran fellowship.  Schisms that arise from theological issues rapidly focus on financial  issues.

Divisions erupted in 2003 when the Episcopal Church, the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member Anglican family, consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Traditionalists contend that gay partnerships violate Scripture.

Schofield, who refuses to ordain women and gays, has publicly accused the church’s first female leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, of promoting heresy. Under his leadership, the Fresno-based diocese has cut back funds sent to the national church and considered a plan to affiliate with an Anglican diocese in Argentina.

See?  A conservative Episcopal diocese in California finds more in common with the Anglican church in Argentina than it does with other Episcopal churches in America.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with the ordination of women.  Fifteen years ago, I would not have said that.  Since then, I’ve studied the scripture on this point in depth, and I’m OK with female pastors.  These days, I take communion from a female pastor at my church.

Practicing gay pastors are an issue for me.

National church leaders had been putting pressure on Schofield and other conservatives to ease off their threats to break with the denomination. They proposed creating a leadership position called a “primatial vicar,” who would work with conservative dioceses, performing functions that normally fall to Jefferts Schori, including consecrating local bishops.

Schofield called that offer “absolutely inadequate,” but suggested a truce was not off the table.

Six other conservative dioceses also have rejected Jefferts Schori’s authority but have stopped short of secession. The 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church estimates that nearly 115,000 people left the church from 2003 to 2005. At least one-third of those departures stemmed from parish conflicts over Robinson.

H/T to Retired Geezer.

Diocese nears break with Episcopal Church – CNN.com

About these ads

Comments»

1. Wickedpinto - December 3, 2006

I don’t take part in this stuff, but I am curious as to what the procedure is for such a thing.

I mean if the church’s faithful dislike what is happening, they leave, but it strikes me that the first to leave should be the priests, and then the board, or whatever it’s called.

It strikes me that something like this, which isn’t just a cost benefit thing but a matter of guidance for the soul of mankind, that the response would have to be pretty immediate, and absolute.

2. Michael - December 3, 2006

It strikes me that something like this, which isn’t just a cost benefit thing but a matter of guidance for the soul of mankind, that the response would have to be pretty immediate, and absolute.

Yeah, you would think so, WP. But in real life these things get very political, and they have a lot to do with property rights and clergy pension plans. Trust me about this. Church politics can get really ugly.

Do you know that I was the presiding judge at a heresy trial? I think I posted about that one time. Maybe not. My ruling got national attention in Lutheran circles. It sure was an interesting experience.

3. Rightwingsparkle - December 3, 2006

When I was living in Dallas 2 Episcopal Churches coverted to Catholicism, the ENTIRE church! I went to hear both priests speak about it later and it was fascinating. (Both were married with kids btw) Basically it was first the priest who had had it with liberal theology being pushed down his throat by higher ups and then the concerns of the parish. With one priest he just stood up at Church and said “I can’t morally stay here. My prayers have led to believe that I need to be in the Catholic Church. If you are feeling the same way stand up. And every single person in that Church stood up!!! It was big news at the time because the priest had to go to Bishop of the Episcopal Church and resign (which is a story in itself) and then go through the process of becoming a priest while the Catholic Church figured out a way to buy the Espiscopal Church so they could continue to worship there. It all worked out in the end and that Church is now Catholic. Both of the Priests I got to know pretty well in later years and they are a very holy and wonderful addition.

4. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

Since then, I’ve studied the scripture on this point in depth, and I’m OK with female pastors.

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this. I can find no such supporting scripture. Paul was pretty clear on women not having leadership positions over men. This is not to say women shouldn’t have a prominent role in the local church and be recognized for that role but it does mean they’re not allowed to pastor a church.

[Attn: I.B. Women - please don't shoot the messenger!]

5. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

because the priest had to go to Bishop of the Episcopal Church and resign (which is a story in itself) and then go through the process of becoming a priest while the Catholic Church figured out a way to buy the Espiscopal Church so they could continue to worship there

did he get a divorce or an anullment?

6. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

I keed, because I love

7. Rightwingsparkle - December 3, 2006

BrewFan, I won’t shoot you, I agree with you.

8. Feisty - December 3, 2006

Is there something special about straight dudes’ penises that make those who possess them more able to read things out of a book to groups of people and pass a glass of wine around?

A denial of women and gays to the position of priest/pastor is just a backhanded way of the church saying that those groups are inferior (in God’s eyes?) to straight males. So inferior, in fact, that they shouldn’t even be allowed to spread the word of God to those willing to hear it.

The controversy is really over whether or not straight males should continue to have favored status in religion, or, more exactly, whether or not groups previously felt to be inferior (gays/females) actually are not inferior to straight males when it comes to teaching religion.

Obviously I’m not Chrstian, but I find y’alls willingness to hold on to archaic thinking with respect to religion rather interesting because women/gays have been accepted into every other facet of society where they previously were not. The world didn’t come to a schreeching halt when women starting practicing law or medicine or whatever.

The other fascinating thing is the “God/Jesus loves you” aspect of religion paired up with the implications that there are those who God likes just a bit more. It’s like women and gays are the Christianity’s red-headed stepchildren of God…

9. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

H/T to Retired Geezer.

I knew you would do a great job of expounding on the subject.
I’m not disappointed.

10. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

I was born and raised in the Episcopal Church until I left it 15 years ago because of it’s liberal views. When I had the Priest tell my Sunday School class that there was no Heaven or Hell and that Satan didn’t exist, I knew that liberalism had corrupted the church, and enough was enough.

The controversy is really over whether or not straight males should continue to have favored status in religion, or, more exactly, whether or not groups previously felt to be inferior (gays/females) actually are not inferior to straight males when it comes to teaching religion.

Feisty, it is not so much a matter of Straight Males are superior to Gays or Females, it comes down to what the Scriptures say on the subject. I am uncomfortable with Female Priest, not because I am a sexist, but because I don’t feel they can lead the flock with the same Spiritual Authority as a Male Priest. Most women I know that are church goers have a deeper faith than men, but that doesn’t mean that they should be in the Leadership position. And as for Gays, I firmly believe they should NOT be priests, because how can you allow someone that will not renounce their sin and repent be a Spiritual Leader?

The US Episcopal church, because of it’s liberal policies, has created a schism within the Anglican Communion that cannot be healed, and the Anglican church will totally split in the near future (as we are witnessing now), and as it should. The role of the church is to be the spiritual guide of it’s congregation, and how can it be when it violates the Scriptures with the ordination of a actively Gay Bishop, teaching Liberal Theology in it’s seminaries, and violates Scripture.

11. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

The other fascinating thing is the “God/Jesus loves you” aspect of religion paired up with the implications that there are those who God likes just a bit more. It’s like women and gays are the Christianity’s red-headed stepchildren of God…

Feisty, God does not love men more than women or straights more than gays, God loves everyone equally, that is what so great about him. He loves us when we are bad and good, sinner or saint, all he want is the best for us. You, like many others, are blaming God for many of man’s precepts and dogma. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and does not change, it is man and his attitude and actions that change.

12. Mrs. Peel - December 3, 2006

Feisty, Mr. M is exactly right. Michael specified “practicing gay pastors” (emphasis added; “practicing” is modifying “gay,” not “pastors”) because he, like all Christians, is aware that we are all sinners, and obviously our pastors are fallible men (and women, at least in my denomination) like the rest of us. But there is a difference between someone who must fight the temptation to commit Sin X, but occasionally slips and then sincerely repents and asks forgiveness; and someone who constantly commits Sin X, does not repent, does not ask forgiveness, denies he’s even sinned, and tries to force other people to not only accept but celebrate his actions. The latter is not an acceptable candidate for a position of spiritual leadership.

Same would go for a pastor who is, for example, prideful, and that is why I do not attend a certain Methodist church in my general area. I’m not denying I have a problem with pride, because I certainly do, but at least I’m aware of it and try to fight it; whereas that pastor likes to brag about how renowned he is and how he performs weddings and such for all the most famous people around, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with his attitude.

13. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

The world didn’t come to a schreeching halt when women starting practicing law or medicine or whatever.

Oh heck no, not over that.

I’m pretty sure it started when we let you vote.

I can’t get too interested in these theologicamal discussions.. I am a Frisbyterian. Ours is a simple faith – we believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can’t get it down.

14. Muslihoon - December 3, 2006

I would submit, without taking any side in this debate, that this is part of a growing conservative/traditionalist movement in America, not limited to Christianity (let alone Catholicism or Anglican/Episcopalianism) but also running through Judaism.

Whereas once religious groups had to liberalize to keep people, now they have to become more traditional to do the same. And conservatives/traditionalists tend to be more active and supportive congregants as well.

For example, Judaism is experiencing a major flowering of the Orthodox and Modern Orthodox movements through non-practicing, secular Jews–many of them young–becoming ba’alei teshuvah, a term used to refer to Jews who “return” to Judaism (or an Orthodox practice of it). Chabad Lubavitch, Aish haTorah, et cetera, are some of Judaism’s best-funded organizations precisely because they promote this fidelity to Judaism and thus attract ba’alei teshuvah. Almost ironically, Chabad Lubavitch (which is part of the ultra-Orthodox Chassidic movement) gets by far most of its funding from secular, non-practicing Jews. The Rebbe (Menachem Mendel Schneerson) was perhaps the rabbinic authority trusted and admired by the greatest number of Jews. And his Judaism permitted no dilution.

If things carry on the way they are, things will return to back they were many decades ago, with religious organizations holding onto traditions and traditional interpretations, eschewing modern and liberal interpretations, simply because those organizations that embrace traditionalism will be the only ones to survive. While Reform and Conservative synagogues experience lessening numbers (to the point that some Reform Jews have begun considering allowing non-Jews become full members and participants in the synagogue), Chabad synagogues continue to mushroom throughout the world. Orthodox synagogues and rabbinical authorities continue to enjoy growing numbers of supporters. Some of these supporters may not even be actively Jewish; some may not even be Jewish. (The small B’nei Noach group of Gentiles adhering to the six commandments for all the world, for example, are almost radical or fanatic supporters of Orthodox Judaism.)

15. daveintexas - December 3, 2006

Can Episcalopians eat bacon?

Cause if not, that is pretty much a deal-breaker for me.

16. Michael - December 3, 2006

WARNING FROM SITE ADMINISTRATION: THIS IS GOING TO BE A FRICKIN’ LONG COMMENT, AND EXTREMELY TEDIOUS FOR MOST OF YOU!!!

I’d be interested in your thoughts on this.

I’ll try to share a few thoughts, but Brew, it’s impossible to cover this topic in a comment. Some of it is highly technical.

An example I can give you off the top of my head has to do with the meaning of kephale, the Greek word used by Paul when he refers to a man as the “head” of a woman. The concept is not hierarchical, and is never used in the NT to describe ecclesial offices in the church. “Head” means something different to us today than what Paul was getting at with the word “kephale” (e.g., today as the head of my department I am the boss).

[Quick digression: different cultures use different body parts in different ways that vary over time to express complex ideas. For example, when we quote the psalmist saying "my soul magnifies the Lord" the original Hebrew concept is "my throat magnifies the Lord," but the English concept of "soul" is closer to the Greek "psyche" and poorly represents the original Hebrew concept. It's a fascinating subject.]

Another technical issue involves the problem of punctuation — Greek doesn’t have quote marks. Paul’s practice on occasion was to quote an assertion that he would then rebut. E.g., 1 Cor. 34-35, which includes the statement “women should remain silent in the churches” is a quote of a position that represents the type of Judaizing legalism that Paul despised (note the reference to “the Law” as the authority for the position — Paul would never say that. In verses 36-38, Paul sharply rebukes that position. If you don’t infer the quote marks around 34-35, the whole passage is kinda gobbledygook. Without the quotes, the passage also cannot be reconciled with Paul’s theology or the fact that there were indeed prophetesses and women in influential positions in the early church whom Paul worked with and commended. If you do infer the quotes, the passage makes complete sense and it is perfectly consistent with Pauline theology.

Then there are “fake” issues. E.g., Eve was made from Adam’s rib. BFD. What about that fact means that a woman can’t preach? Nothing, really, and yet much nonsense is asserted with stunning illogic about the “order of creation” as opposed to the “order of salvation.”

Leaving such matters aside, any Bible student can discern some simple, and usually obvious, distinctions regarding the subject and situation of Biblical imperative statements regarding the role of women. I’ll try to give a few examples of what I mean by this.

Statements relating to and reflecting the culture

E.g., only a tiny minority of Christians today think that women are literally bound by Paul’s admonishments regarding jewelry and short hair. His point was that they should not look like sluts according to the standards of his time. Note that in the surrounding Corinthian culture women played a prominent religious role as “priestesses” who were actually temple prostitutes. The Corinthian “church” was a whorehouse. Paul wanted Christian women to be manifestly different within the body of Christ.

Similarly, in the culture of Paul’s time, it simply would not have occurred to anyone that a woman could be a pastor. Paul’s statements regarding the type of man (in Timothy or Titus, I forget which) who should be a pastor simply reflect that fact. They cannot be fairly understood as his position on female ordination today.

Statements relating to marriage

The assertion that the man is the “head” of a woman (as Christ is the “head” of the man, and God is the “head” of Christ) definitely means something. It is indeed an extremely rich teaching, but it is about personal relationships. It is manifestly not about eccesiastical hierarchies or church governance. The man and woman referred to here are husband and wife; this is not about a woman speaking up in the Voters Assembly. In general, scriptural teachings about the relationship between husband and wife are abused when they are indiscriminately applied to other contexts, like the role of women in the church.

Statements of universal truth

And specifically, truth about the nature of the church. So, both the OT and the NT talk about the coming of the Christ and the commencement of the church age as the time when “your sons and daughters will prophecy . . .” In the church, political, cultural and sexual differences are wiped out — there is neither male nor female, slave nor freeman, Jew nor Greek.

Here’s a key point, Brew. Such statements of a universal and timeless ideal need to be understood as reflecting an “ought condition” of the ideal within the church, but that condition may be compromised by the realities of living in our fallen world. We see this principle at work repeatedly in the Bible. For example, Paul talks about the issue of eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols. The issue itself is irrelevant today. But the ideal that Paul asserts is the concept of Christian freedom in a state of grace — “all things are permissible for me.” Nevertheless, “not all things are profitable” so Paul will compromise his freedom to avoid troubling a weaker brother, for whom it would be wrong to eat such meat against his conscience. This is not situational morality, it is just Christians living with reality.

An even better example (and more relevant to this discussion) is divorce. It has existed throughout human history, and was specifically sanctioned by God in the OT law. (In fact, multiple wives were OK in OT times). But when questioned about this, Jesus told the Pharisees that this was only an accommodation for the “hardness of your hearts,” and asserted the higher truth — an “ought condition” that marriage should be absolutely inviolate. Contrary to Catholic teaching, I don’t think this means that no Christian is permitted to divorce, but it certainly does reflect an ideal which is tarnished by divorce in our fallen world.

I think one of the ideals taught by the Bible regarding the church is that there is neither male nor female, and that our sons and daughters will prophecy. In a given culture at a given time, this ideal can and should be subordinated to the “here and now” of living in a fallen world. But in my parish in 2006, we have a female pastor and it doesn’t bother anyone.

However, she is an associate pastor, and the senior pastor is male. I’m kinda happy about that. :)

17. My Cousin Vinny - December 3, 2006

Everything that guy just said is bullshit.

18. Michael - December 3, 2006

Hey, I got the Babtist rebuttal in a hurry!!!
:)

19. Mrs. Michael - December 3, 2006

Thanks, Michael! Good discussion. Love ya!

20. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

Well Said, Sir, Well Said!!

21. Michael - December 3, 2006

Well Said, Sir, Well Said!!

Me or Vinny?

22. lauraw - December 3, 2006

It does seem rather outrageous to keep the clergyhood closed to women in this day and age.

The arguments against it are always suspiciously dependent upon scripture that was written in a time when people had multiple wives and owned slaves.
Never any sincere talk about women’s limitations as leaders of men, or other realistic objections that might actually matter to the job.

I suspect its because most men wouldn’t say out loud that they are uncomfortable with a woman promoted to service above them, though that might be the closest cut to the truth.

23. The apostle formerly known as Saul - December 3, 2006

Admittedly, I had a leetle bit of a cultural bias. Gamaliel pounded that schtuff into my Jew head.

John Mark, all forgiven cuz. C’mon back.

Oh, don’t marry. Unless you burning. Then, do whatcha gots to do.

24. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

Oh laura, you silly head. It’s not that at all. Carly Fiorina engineered a fantastically clever manuever to kick Compaq outta the way.

See, the deal is, we’re askeert of the preachin that’s gonna be laid on our asses on the 28th day of the youknowyouknowifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo.

Cause frankly that shit’s gonna make Jonathan Edwards look like Linus Van Pelt splainin the Gospel with a blanket in his left hand.

Yee-ikes!

I keed. Because I love.

http://www.ccel.org/e/edwards/sermons/sinners.html

25. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

Me or Vinny’s Cousin?

You Sir, not ignorant Vinny.

26. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

I suspect its because most men wouldn’t say out loud that they are uncomfortable with a woman promoted to service above them, though that might be the closest cut to the truth.

Laura, I can only speak for myself, I have no issue being subservient to a female in the workplace, or even to my wife (in certain aspects). In fact one of the best bosses I ever had was a female, one that I learn a lot from, and adored for her wit, intelligence and ability to work the system. I respect women, and have no problem with them holding positions of power in the business place or in politics (I’d vote for Condi Rice for President in a heartbeat). With that said, I do have a problem with female priests, because I feel that that position should be held by a male. I have attended churches with female priests and taken communion from them, but I just feel more comfortable with a male priest. It is not a sexist thing, but a spiritual thing for me.

27. My Cousin Vinny - December 3, 2006

Mr. M, I don’t need this. I swear to God, I do not need this right now, okay? I’ve got a judge that’s just aching to throw me in jail. An idiot who wants to fight me for two hundred dollars. Slaughtered pigs. Giant loud whistles. I ain’t slept in five days. I got no money, a dress code problem, AND a little murder case which, in the balance, holds the lives of two innocent kids. Not to mention your [taps my foot]

BIOLOGICAL CLOCK – my career, your life, our marriage, and let me see, what else can we pile on? Is there any more SHIT we can pile on to the top of the outcome of this discussion? Is it possible?

28. Mother Teresa - December 3, 2006

I’ll kick all your asses. Bring it.

29. Mary, Mother of Jesus - December 3, 2006

I got your back sista

30. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

Uh, Vinny, would you like a bowl of Grits?

31. My Cousin Vinny - December 3, 2006

What the fuck is a grit?

32. lauraw - December 3, 2006

I mean, even the B.P.O.E. started inviting women into the ranks. And you know, that thing started out as a man’s club, not a place of communal worship.

You could say that the Elks had more of a leg to stand on for excluding women altogether than Christianity does for keeping them out of authority.

I don’t actually remotely give a shit of course. Its just interesting, the durability of this particular anti-woman thing.

33. Abraham Lincoln - December 3, 2006

If I could preserve the Union by giving women the vote, then that is what I’d do.

If I could preserve the Union by keeping women from having the vote.

If I could get a ham and onion sammich right now, well I just might agree to anything, Union or not.

What time is the show Mary?

34. Maurice Chevalier - December 3, 2006

Thaaank heaven, for leeetle girls!

For leeetle girls get bigger every day!

35. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

What the fuck is a grit?

You need to have breakfast with some of the neighborhood utes.

36. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

The apostle Paul says, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”

Michael says: “Then there are “fake” issues. E.g., Eve was made from Adam’s rib. BFD. What about that fact means that a woman can’t preach? Nothing, really, and yet much nonsense is asserted with stunning illogic about the “order of creation” as opposed to the “order of salvation.””

You better hope I’m right about the ‘once saved, always saved’ :)

On a more serious note:

Such statements of a universal and timeless ideal need to be understood as reflecting an “ought condition” of the ideal within the church, but that condition may be compromised by the realities of living in our fallen world.

Abortion is legal in this country. Should we accept that as a compromise, too? That is an extreme example, but my point is who gets to draw the line? I’ll be honest and admit I don’t like or agree with all of the New Testaments position on social issues but until I have God’s timeless perspective on the matter I think I’ll just go along.

As a side note, I worry that the increasing propensity of the mainline denominations to adopt such ‘flexible’ doctrines is a contributing factor in the increasing contempt the world holds for the Christian church. People who don’t believe have good cause to point and cry ‘hypocrite’.

Finally, thanks for taking the time to respond Michael. It was well thought out and well reasoned.

37. Mr Minority - December 3, 2006

Now that I have Vinny’s Cousin and all the IB Womyn hating me I think I’ll change the subject….Oh look it’s Hale-Bop comet!

38. lauraw - December 3, 2006

We don’t hate you.

We just want you to change.

Let us help you be a better person.

**cue jangly, creepy music**

39. Feisty - December 3, 2006

Mr Minority sez: I’m not sexist, but I don’t think women should be priests. Oxymoronic statement there. If you think women aren’t qualified to be priests simply because they’re women, that IS sexist…the very definition of, in fact. The problem is that the Bible and those who wrote it also were sexist and homophobic.

The sin of homosexuality is a sin of a genetic nature. Most concur that gaydom is genetic with potential triggers, especially for male homosexuals, such as having an abusive father (although, obviously, not all gays have abusive fathers). Juvenile Diabetes is genetic, but often has a trigger, too, like having a cold that causes the immune system to go haywire. Same sort of idea.

If being gay is genetic, then you’re calling gays sinners for something “God created” [or as we logical folks say "genetics created"]. When a gay tries to go straight, it’s usually a train wreck. Stabbing someone in the heart is a choice. Sticking your penis in the secretary before coming home to the wife is a choice.

On a related point: I’m not racist, but I don’t think blacks should be doctors. Sure, they may be qualified, but I just don’t want those sulky darkies trying to save my life. Just a personal preference. But I’m not a RACIST. Heh.

40. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

The problem is that the Bible and those who wrote it also were sexist and homophobic.

Wait, the Bible was written by Muslims?

41. harrison - December 3, 2006

Schisms in religions have been happening since the beginnings of religions. They all has to do with different interpretations of the vagueness of a god’s words or teachings. As long as people are involved they will continue.
The Epicopalians had a split in the ’70’s over the rewriting of the 1928 prayer book and the hymnal. This was the start of the Anglican Church in America in 1977.

42. lauraw - December 3, 2006

So essentially: Paul said that women couldn’t be teachers over men, because Adam was created first.

That’s pretty flimsy reasoning. I can only assume it made more sense when one’s birthright played a big role in life.

43. Feisty - December 3, 2006

it, the Bible was written by Muslims?

Nah, but everyone back then was pessimistic on queers and females. Power was achieved through military means, and men, being physically stronger, were the ones who were able to achieve power in that way, so they got to make the rules.

Those in the monesteries or churches had to be strong physically to defend against attack since monestaries were often full of riches to be had. It would make sense to have a bunch of dudes up in there only in olden tymes because they had to be prepared to fight with swords and bows and arrows against the Vikings or a competing religion or a warring nation. Being a religious teacher historically also means you were also a soldier for this reason, and men were soldiers. Early Christians were saying some pretty unpopular stuff early on and had to be prepared to defend their teachings with brute force. If women were told to be the teachers, Christianity wouldn’t have survived.

44. a-a - December 3, 2006

Man, i sure dont give a fuck about any of this. Somebody post something interesting.

45. Bart - December 3, 2006

Not for anything, lauraw and Fistey, but what the fuck do you care what any religion does? It has absolutely no impact on your life, right?
It’s not like the Catholics are keeping Fistey from being a doctor. And she sure the fuck has no interest in being a priest. So why are two all worried about the Christians keepin’ your sistas down?

Tomorrow, I plan to give Tushar shit about worshiping a cow. It makes no difference to me if he worships a cow or a rock or a piece of lint from Fistey’s belly button, but I think the practice is illogical ad archaic.

(By the way, what a hoot using the word “archaic” to make a case against a particular religous practice. You crazy chicks really make me giggle. I mean, a religion that practices very old customs, wow, isn’t that wierd?)

46. steve_in_hb - December 3, 2006

Listen to Bart – a man known to be hesitant to express opinions on people, ideas, and lifestyles he disagrees with.

47. lauraw - December 3, 2006

I’m not worried, Bart, and I don’t give a fig about it. Means nothing to my life.
Like I said before, it is interesting how these things persist.

Feisty sounds a little more emotionally invested than I am.

If you want to decide what subjects are permissible for me to talk about, please feel free to kiss my ass, right on the eye. I still won’t listen to you, but your breath will be fresher.

48. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

Being a religious teacher historically also means you were also a soldier for this reason

Yep, I think Augustine was a Green Beret. But what do I know, being illogical and all.

That’s pretty flimsy reasoning.

I think his larger point was that God made man and then made man a ‘helper’ (see Genesis). Its not a matter of ‘qualification’ or second-class status. Its a matter of how Paul felt spritual roles should be defined within a family and a church. As a matter of fact I would venture to say that women enjoy their place in society today (not perfect but much, much better then, say, ~2007 years ago) largely because of the liberating nature of reformed Christianity. The emphasis is on an individual relationship with our Creator and not on our bondage to a religion and its man-made laws.

49. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

please feel free to kiss my ass, right on the eye. I still won’t listen to you, but your breath will be fresher.

If you don’t copyright that I’m using it in the next flame war! lol!

50. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

The emphasis is on an individual relationship with our Creator and not on our bondage to a religion and its man-made laws.

Preach it Brother.

Haaay, you’re not criticising utes Youths of Undetermined Ethnic Origin, are you?
Cause I’m totally there.

51. Feisty - December 3, 2006

Bart thinks women, if they are to have an orgasm at all, should get it from intercourse and nowhere else. I wonder if his religious upbringing is keeping his current and/or future sex partners from having orgasms. This is really all I care about. Bart will die a man who has relied solely on teachings from a society before science, reason, and germ theory especially, and I could care less, especially because he makes me look smart.

Incidentally, last summer, I developed a service package called the “Bart Special” which includes everything Bart would hate. It includes pretty much everything besides missionary sex. It’s one of my best sellers, in fact.

52. lauraw - December 3, 2006

I totally agree that the very nature of Christianity is a large part of what made women’s suffrage eventually possible.

53. lauraw - December 3, 2006

reformed Christianity, I should have said.

54. Plato - December 3, 2006

relied solely on teachings from a society before science, reason

Hey! What am I, chopped liver?

55. Aristotle - December 3, 2006

You tell her, pops!

56. a-a - December 3, 2006

Remember all the fun we had posting music last night? good times. Why are we wasting time talking about this silly shit?

57. lauraw - December 3, 2006

I’m not drunk tonight.

58. Feisty - December 3, 2006

Posting music is f’in boring. I want to argue with people, like this guy:

NOT SAFE FOR WORK!

59. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

Remember all the fun we had posting music last night? good times.

For you maybe. Everytime I say I like some song or some artist a certain commenter always says, “They (that) sucks!”.

It hurts my feelings.

60. lauraw - December 3, 2006

If you don’t copyright that I’m using it

Use it in good health! Just not on me, please!

61. Bart - December 3, 2006

Any of you have any experience with a Blackberry?
John (Anal-og kid) does, but I don’t remember if he said he download Realplayer 10.

Anyone have a pda that is able to download Realplayer?

I’m trying to decide on a new phone.

62. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

Use it in good health! Just not on me, please!

Deal! Dave in Texas had a good one too from a couple of years ago; I wrote it down but now I can’t find it. I need to take better care of my flames.

63. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

Realplayer is the most intrusive piece of crap ever to be put into a computer.

If you don’t believe me ask Hay Zeus.

64. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

OT (like that matters around here)

I am enjoying my first Old Fashioned Sponge Candy of the holiday season. Dark chocolate covered. Mmmmmm…

65. Bart - December 3, 2006

Yeah, I know all about the evils of Realplayer. I have no choice.

So no one has any experience with a pda?

Do you people live in the stone age?

66. Retired Geezer - December 3, 2006

If I had to buy a new phone I would check out the Cingular Sync.
I’ve heard it will play all the different music formats.

or the Cingular BlackJack ?

67. BrewFan - December 3, 2006

“So no one has any experience with a pda?”

Unless you are somebody who travels extensively and/or must check and respond to email constantly when not in the vicinity of a computer then, imho, they are for all practical purposes, useless. I’m writing software for tablet PC’s right now and I question the practicality of that form factor too.

68. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

I’m sorry, what? I missed the point.

Are we talking about girl stuff?

Cause I’m like a huge fan of girl stuff.

69. Bart - December 3, 2006

Tablet PC’s?

What’s that?

70. Feisty - December 3, 2006

…they are for all practical purposes, useless.

I’m with Brewfan on something for the first time ever. If you’d invest the money you’d spend on a Internet-enabled wireless plan instead (assuming the difference in price between that and a phone-only cellphone plan is perhaps $30-$40/month) , you’d have enough money to travel extensively by the time you retire. Then you can buy a Blackberry.

71. Bart - December 3, 2006

Re: Tablets

A few months ago, I told geoff that we (meaning he) should invent some sort of internet communicating device where two or more users could communcate with each other with sound (voice) and a shared writing tablet.

In other words, a video conference call with a community blackboard. Actually the video is not necessary. The voice communication, however, is necessary.

A devince such as this would revolutionize the cottage industry of online tutoring. Think about it.

72. Michael - December 3, 2006

Brew, the full quote to which you refer is as follows:

(1 Tim 2:9-15 NASB) Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness. Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression. But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

By its terms, Paul is describing his personal practice, not eternal principles. Paul is usually pretty good about distinguishing between his own experience and preferences, and that which is directly “of the Lord,” and he does so here. His practice is still instructive for us and part of God’s inspired revelation to us. But it is clearly Paul’s response to his time and place in history. It is also his response to a particular problem — false doctrine in the church at Ephesus promulgated by incompetent female teachers (i.e., that Eve preceded Adam — the historical evidence suggests that this false doctrine likely was insinuated into the Ephesus church by former worhippers of Artemis who revered a Mother God). Elsewhere, Corinth for example, Paul clearly permits women to teach, indeed, to “prophesy.” (1 Cor. 11:5). If this passage is not given its natural construction as Paul’s response to a very particular situation, your church and mine have no excuse for tolerating women who show up for church with braided hair, a necklace, or any of the designer label clothes we are likely to find in Sparkle’s wardrobe.

The Greek words translated here as man and woman can also be (and elsewhere are) translated as husband and wife, i.e., that wives should not be instructing their husbands. This is consistent with his otherwise odd-sounding reference to child-bearing at the end of the passage.

Long story short, this passage is a mighty slim reed to lean on if one is attempting to use it as a universally applicable injunction regarding women and ecclesiastical authority.

I’m not saying that the ordination of women is a slam dunk issue either way as a matter of scriptural interpretation (like you, I don’t care a bit about what is culturally acceptable). But we need to give passages like this there natural and common sense understanding rather than trying to stretch them into universal and timeless mandates about women. Here, Paul is a pastor dealing with a specific problem at a particular place and time, and his words should be understood in that context. He is not speaking here as he does in much of Romans, for example (although even there he was dealing with some particular issues involving the relationship between Jewish and Gentile Christians).

73. Dave in Texas - December 3, 2006

yeah, I was like thinking “oh this time he could keep it to three sentences”.

Verbosity. It’s like wiping your ass with stock options.

74. Mrs. Peel - December 3, 2006

btw, Feisty, I have problems with OCPD and depression, and am the sort of person who easily becomes addicted. That’s all genetic. That’s why I make the choice to stay away from addictive substances like alcohol, tobacco, and (not to the extent that I would like) refined sugar.

I may have a genetic predisposition to getting addicted to substances or behaviors, but that doesn’t mean I am exempt from the duty to not abuse drugs. Similarly, I contend that someone with a genetic predisposition to homosexuality is not exempt from the duty to not engage in homosexual behavior.

A predisposition may be genetic, but a behavior is a choice.

(I’m not saying I think it’s any of my business what choices people make, anymore than it’s any of y’all’s business how many candy bars I eat; and it’s certainly not my business to determine the gravity of someone’s dereliction of duty. I’m merely propounding philosophy.)

75. Feisty - December 3, 2006

I think not picking up a glass and drinking the beverage that it contains is far different than either remaining without sex forever or sleeping with people of a gender that you don’t find sexually attractive for fear of being sent to Hell. Hot action isn’t really considered an “addiction” or destructive unless you’re just being stupid and reckless like me. Hot action is a normal part of being alive.

Those who wish to remain without sex forever become priests. Coincidence? I think not.

76. Feisty - December 3, 2006

I should also say that those who lack hot action from someone they care about are more depressed, die earlier, and have a multitude of emotional problems that those in stable relationships don’t. So by telling a man to not doink a man if they like to doink men and all of the parties are in agreement, is also telling them to be depressed and die earlier statistically speaking anyway.

77. Mrs. Peel - December 4, 2006

It’s not my job to dictate people’s choices, and it definitely is not my job to judge them. I am absolutely not telling anyone with whom to have sex. I’m simply explaining why I personally do not accept the “it’s genetic so they can’t help it” line of thought.

Oh, and to clarify, I wasn’t saying sex is an addiction (though it can be). I was merely comparing it to something else that is genetic.

Plus, while we’re on the topic, I don’t think homosexuality is a particularly dire sin. A lot of the stuff I do is very likely considerably worse in God’s eyes. (Though, again, not my place to determine that; but I do know what the “six things [are] that the Lord hates, yea, seven that are abominable to Him,” and same-sex preference isn’t on the list.) (proverbs 6:16-19)

78. geoff - December 4, 2006

I told geoff that we (meaning he) should invent some sort of internet communicating device where two or more users could communcate with each other with sound (voice) and a shared writing tablet.

Unfortunately my expertise is confined to some basic physics and heat transfer/fluids. Nothing really useful, I fear.

79. Michael - December 4, 2006

sleeping with people of a gender that you don’t find sexually attractive for fear of being sent to Hell.

Feisty, Christians do not believe that being actively gay will send you to hell any more than other sinful conditions. We believe that we have been released from the consequences of sin. Every Christian is conscious of their own continuing sinfulness, and their need for the redemptive work of Christ. Being gay is no different in principle from the fact that I smoke or that you are (allegedly) a hooker. As a Christian, smoking is not going to send me to hell any more than being a flaming gay would.

In a lot of churches, however, me being a smoker would disqualify me from a position of spiritual authority, like being the pastor.

80. Feisty - December 4, 2006

Unfortunately my expertise is confined to some basic physics and heat transfer/fluids.

Ditto

81. Pupster - December 4, 2006

“Unfortunately my expertise is confined to some basic physics and heat transfer/fluids.”-Geoff

Feisty = Geoff?

82. Pupster - December 4, 2006

Dammit Feisty, your supposed to let the man go first.

83. Michael - December 4, 2006

Plus, while we’re on the topic, I don’t think homosexuality is a particularly dire sin.

It’s darn near impossible to come up with any meaningful rankings of sin on the basis of scripture, but if you try, taking the Lord’s name in vain seems to be way worse than murder, for example, and sexual sins would not be all that high on the list. Oppressing the poor also seems to really piss God off.

84. dirty peasant - December 4, 2006

‘elp! ‘elp!
I’m bein’ oppressed!

85. Michael - December 4, 2006

Looked at from a positive perspective, the scriptural attention paid to the duty of believers towards the poor is pervasive, and there is a nearly obsessive focus on attending to widows and orphans.

86. sodom and gomorrah - December 4, 2006

“…and sexual sins would not be all that high on the list. ”

Whew! thats good to know.

87. Michael - December 4, 2006

S & G:

Your sexual issues were a symptom. Your disease was idolatry.

88. sloth - December 4, 2006

Worshiping false kind or devil’s playground kind?

89. sodom and gomorrah - December 4, 2006

i dont think that God plays the “Big Sin” vs “Little Sin” game. I think he just hates Sin.

I think that you have to jump through hoops to justify your increasingly liberal thoughts towards your faith. You pick and choose what you want to believe so that your conscience is always clear no matter how contradictory it is to what the Bible says. You start with what you believe and look at a verse from every angle, every possible interpretation until you find the view that you want. Modern Churches seem to be filled with people trying to define Gods word in much the same way Bill Clinton tried to define “is.”

Gods will is what it is. The Word is the Word.

90. Michael - December 4, 2006

Worshiping false kind or devil’s playground kind?

That distinction doesn’t make sense to me. False gods are the devil’s playground. What Paul describes in Romans is worshipping creation rather than the Creator, a condition which results in humans being “given over” to sexual perversion. Worshipping creation rather than the Creator is an apt and succinct description of sun and moon gods (e.g., Egypt, Incas, Mayans), fertility cults (e.g., the Canaanites, Artemis worship at Ephesus), Fascism, Communism, Manifest Destiny Capitalism, or dogmatic devotion to the Theory of Evolution.

91. Michael - December 4, 2006

i dont think that God plays the “Big Sin” vs “Little Sin” game. I think he just hates Sin.

Totally agree with that. Sin is most importantly understood as a condition (Paul refers to it as the “old Adam” within us), not particular activities.

92. Muslihoon - December 4, 2006

Some churches draw the line, as far as sin is concerned, between orientation and acts. That is, it’s not a sin to be tempted by lust or to be homosexual or to be predisposed to alcoholism, but it is a sin to give in, and as such a person tempted by lust would be fine, but would have sinned and would be a sinner thereby if he gives in (and actually pursues the person). Similarly, a homosexual would not be considered to be in a state of sin as such, but an active homosexual, by giving into his desires and having homosexual sex, would be a sinner or one in a state of sin.

According to Catholic natural law, being homosexual would be considered unnatural or disordered. That is, there is something about it that disrupts, goes against, or is not in the way God set up the universe. But to be disordered is not to be in a state of sin. (One might say all humans, by virtue of original sin, are born disordered.) But the line into sin-hood is crossed when the person acts on one’s sexual inclination.

One way this is seen is as follows: because of the corruption of human nature as an outcome of the Fall, humans want things or are ordered such that is against the will, laws, and desire of God. (Consider, for example, how intrinsic the cardinal sins of lust, greed, gluttony, envy, sloth, pride, and anger, are to each human.) As such, although a person may be born with same-sex attraction, this is not something God Himself did but, on the other hand, is a manifestation of the disordered nature endemic in everything by virtue of the Fall. But just because something is intrinsic to one does not mean one is permitted to give in to it. One is supposed to know morality and make one’s choices accordingly. (This is where free will plays its central role.) Thus, if engaging in homosexuality is sinful, one must abstain. And if drinking is sinful (for example, for those predisposed to alcoholism), one must abstain. And if sexual immoral acts (many partners, polyamory, et cetera) are sinful, one must abstain. There is no sin, as such, in being tempted by any of this or to have such problems/issues, but the sin factor enters when choices for one’s acts enter the picture. That is, disposition or orientation or predisposition does not make one be in a state of sin, but choosing and of the above instead of what has been morally commanded, puts one into a state of sin.

“Sin” is not so much doing something bad as it is willfully going against God’s command. If someone knows what God has commanded, and then goes against it, it is a sin. Sin distances one from God. Recognizing one’s sin, resolving to extirpate the sin (as in: abstaining from what should be abstained from and resisting temptation), and seeking to obey God–all of this condensed into a word, “repentance”–eliminates this distance. (Although I should admit this is somewhat simplistic considering the role of grace, the Atonement, Christ, and so on.)

For those who reject a certain commandment, it no longer becomes a sin. For example, early Christians accepted certain aspects of the Law of Moses (such as not eating pork). When Christians expounded that Jesus’ law fulfilled the Law of Moses and was replaced by Him by new laws, this command to not eat pork was then considered null and void. Thus, eating pork ceased being a sin. Nothing about pork itself changed: the understanding of what God commanded of the faithful had changed. Thus, if one ate pork, it would no longer be sinful because God no longer commanded to abstain from pork.

But for those early Christians that continued to believe in the Law of Moses, this command of God (along with the rest) was still in force, and so eating pork would be sinful.

But neither would say that wanting to eat pork was sinful. The sin lies in the eating, not so much in the desire. And the same, with some modifications, can be said about other acts and dispositions.

93. Muslihoon - December 4, 2006

1. I do apologize for the very long comment. (Site Administrator: please feel free to delete it.)

2. These conversations are quite interesting.

3. I offer my comment as a glimpse of how others may see this issue. Obviously, for those who do not believe in God or for those who have a different understanding of God’s commands, the ideas behind what’s written would be irrelevant.

94. Michael - December 4, 2006

I’ve read that the Greek word for “sin” literally means “missing the mark.” Like an archer that keeps shooting and just can’t hit the target.

95. Michael - December 4, 2006

I do apologize for the very long comment. (Site Administrator: please feel free to delete it.)

Erm, Musli, I don’t think the Site Administrator is in a position to bitch about that right now. Anyway, I thought your comment was very interesting.

96. Muslihoon - December 4, 2006

And “repentance” in Hebrew (“teshuvah”) is related to the root for “return.” As in turning towards God.

Greek and Hebrew provide significant insights into the theology of sin and repentance. Thanks for the comment on the Greek, Michael.

97. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

I’ve read that the Greek word for “sin” literally means “missing the mark.”

Yeah, it’s Hamartia, (in Koine NT Greek) which I *think* is the Modern Greek word for Prostitute.

98. Michael - December 4, 2006

And “repentance” in Hebrew (“teshuvah”) is related to the root for “return.” As in turning towards God.

The entire OT is the story of God’s appeal to His chosen people to return to the covenant relationship that was doomed to fail.

99. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

I wrote to an Expert Sinner, uh, I mean a guy who has a blog devoted to sin, no, that’s not right, well, I invited the Sinner from “7 Deadly Sins” to come and join us.

100. Michael - December 4, 2006

Paul, BTW, says that the failure of the OT covenant was necessary. In some mystical way, the doom of Israel was a necessary precondition to the bringing of the Gospel to all mankind. It’s kinda hard to understand, but he says it, and venerates Israel for the debt that we owe them.

101. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

Repent in Greek is metanoeo, which means ‘to change one’s mind’.

Literally “perceive afterward”.

102. Michael - December 4, 2006

Yes, I threw that last remark in just to push the thread over 100 comments.

103. Enas Yorl - December 4, 2006

Why do y’all keep talking about the Greek and Hebrew versions? Just keep it to the original English and you’ll avoid all these translation problems.

104. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

Heck Yeah.
If it was good enough for King James, it shud b gud enuf 4 us.

105. Michael - December 4, 2006

Actually, God originally spoke The Word in German. The Holy Spirit translated this into Hebrew and Greek for the people of that time. Luther translated it back into German.

This is known as the Doctrine of Verbal Inspiration. :)

106. Michael - December 4, 2006

It’s actually a little more complicated than that. With respect to the teachings of Jesus, the Greek rendition in the NT is already a translation from Aramaic. So the full sequence is:

God — German
Jesus — Aramaic
Gospel Authors — Greek
Luther — Back to German
Thousands of Translators Today — English

You can see the problem for English speakers regarding a correct understanding what Jesus actually taught. Most of the Thousands of Translators are not Lutheran and they are working from the Greek, rather than from the original German.

107. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

I see that the Fwench were left out of the loop.

God did that on purpose, didn’t he?

108. Wickedpinto - December 4, 2006

Other than my fundamental indifference to a knowing and loving god, I have a problem with the female cleric position, because all portions of the historic texts are historic.

They were written in times when cultural norms, and understanding were different.

4K years ago (MAYBE 6 1/2K years ago) it was a very conflict oriented environment, women were so weakened in the face of warfare back then, partly because of build and partly because it was important to make sure that the males were well fed and trained to combat intrusions, or to allow expansion that women and children were actually secondary. Women were War Batteries, designed to constantly supply the need to defend or expand the Warrior forces that women who could not deliver, not just children, but male children, was relegated to service as pleasure vessels, living on something like alms.

All of that has changed thanks to the counter theological dominance of the world via science, so now, women can develop themselves in a relative leisure, both intellectually and physicaly, so opposition to women based on fundamental genetics is no longer significant.

As for the continuation of leviticus and deuterotomy (spelling?) hatreds of gay people via Saul/Paul, I think is wrong.

Saul/Paul, did not turn to the ideaology of christ until after the death of christ, and for some time after he was still historicaly one of the most active oppressors of christianity.

For non-Catholics to lend such credence to Saul/Paul is ironic, since it was Saul/Paul in the guise of final teachings by Peter became the first bishop of rome, acknowledging that in fact it was Peter who brought the word (how much of that am I dicking up? I don’t think it’s that much)

Saul/Paul looks like an opportunist who came in with a bigger hammer to validate his own position against any competitors (thats a common thing in power struggles, “lets see who can out hate eachother, and who agree’s more?” looks like modern politics in some ways)

I don’t like the references to Saul/paul as the re-validation of ancient texts of levite, or the rules of action of deuterotomy, because using a late convert to validate your position, is. . . .well, It looks like they hiered a ringer.

109. Wickedpinto - December 4, 2006

Something I think is funny is, “god hates shrimp”

Cracks me up.

110. Sinner - December 4, 2006

Thanks to “da geeze” for giving me the heads up on this thread.

I am no expert on organized religion, in fact I have contempt for all organized religion. Don’t read that as saying I am not a spiritual person. In matter of God, spirituality and society, organized religion has it almost completely wrong IMHO.

In order to see the worst practice of sins in the world, one simply must visit a “fundamentalist” Christian church in the USA. The people there will be worshiping Jesus, praying to Jesus and generally forgetting that Jesus was a messenger of GOD. He never claimed to be anything but a messenger. Read your bibles people, I might humbly point to the First Commandment. Of course, the bible isn’t really the bible anymore. Despite many “revisions” by forces that have motives other than spreading the word of God, there are some important hints there. Are you Monotheists or not? Islam at least gets that part right, one point versus about a million wrong… That’s another post altogether…

Well, now that I have alienated most of the audience…

The 7 deadly sins are a reasonable expression of my spirituality and rules of life. I sort of poke fun at them, but there is truth for society as a whole to be found there. The original post is about the coming split of Episcopal Church. This is on my opinion something that will happen from time to time in all groups. The real shame is that the splitting groups are engaged in the sin of “Greed”. It’s all about the Benjamins, and that is something to be ashamed of while desiring to form a new group based on shared beliefs is not a sin.

The sin of “Pride” shows in the discussion of gays/women in the “priesthood”. My useless position is that it doesn’t matter, but it does matter to some. Why? Maybe because they want a position of power or control within a false hierarchy, maybe not what the heck do I know. In any case since I have no use for organized religion, I will engage in “Sloth” and not care.

“Gluttony” applies to the substance abuse and really even to the sexually charged issues as well. I agree with commenter Muslihoon, it is not a sin to be tempted, just to act on those temptations. The sin of gluttony describes the act of indulging in excess, not the temptation. Would there be any hope for any of us if that were not true?

Mainly, debates like this usually devolve into “Anger”. Honest people disagree, angry and sinful people demonize those that disagree with them.

I am posting this at 7 Sins to see if there is reaction from my generally secular readership.

111. Muslihoon - December 4, 2006

My favorite sin is gluttony. I love food.

112. lauraw - December 4, 2006

Oh, gluttony’s a keeper, for sure.

113. Mr Minority - December 4, 2006

Ok, I am back into the discussion with my 2 cents.

Sin – Michael brought up the point that sin translates into “missing the mark” which is I agree with. And to expound upon that: God has a plan for your and my lives, whether you are saved or not. But when you except Jesus, you are beholden to follow his plan. When you sin, you “miss the mark” in God’s plan for you, in other words, he has a path for you to walk on, and when you sin, you have just wandered off of that path. The great thing is that we can get back on the path through seeking repentance and asking for God to help guides us back.

Michael and other have stated the fact, and I agree that sin is a sin in God’s eyes (which he abhors), homosexually is as much a sin as lying, stealing or adultery, all are bad.

Homosexuality – The issue with homosexuality is not that they sinned, it’s that they sinned, but don’t wish for repentance and want to continue sinning, like a alcoholic that continues drinking when they know that they have an alcohol addiction. Thus homosexuals should be treated just like the rest of us sinners and helped to seek repentance. And that is why I have an issue with Homosexuals in a Spiritual Leadership position, they are sinners that don’t want to quit sinning, and are demonstrating to their flock that it is acceptable to continue in sin, when it is wrong in God’s eyes.

Sinner brought up the issue of organized religions (actually I think he meant organized Christian denominations, but I could be wrong). There are good and bad attributes with organized denominations:

Good: It gathers the faithful together for worship and the teaching God’s word.

Bad: A lot of mainstream denominations are more concerned with man’s dogma than God’s word.

And this will always happen. Because man is always trying to define, in his terms, the meaning behind God’s words in the Bible, which has led to wars & gruesome violence. I left the mainstream Protestant Church because of this issue, man’s dogma will not lead me to doing God’s will, and the way some denominations fight over ‘legal’ issues reminds me of the Pharisees, whom Jesus despised for that reason.

I am not a Hellfire & Brimstone kind of guy, I like to think that God’s undying Love, Mercy and Grace will motivate me to do God’s will, so I can’t get into ‘pound the sin out of me’ messages. And I understand everyone is different and approach their faith differently, so a mainstream denomination may be perfect for some, and not for others.

Religion is a personal issue that can be debated, but in the end we will never know who is right and who is wrong until we get to heaven. And some of us will get a rude awakening to what God really wants from us and what His words truly meant.

And I hope that Fred Phelps is wrong and God takes a 2×4 to his head.

114. Dave in Texas - December 4, 2006

I don’t always pick up all of my nail clippings.

I mean, I try, but sometimes those little suckers just go flying off somewhere, and I pretty much keep it to a ten second search. Sometimes eleven.

What about spanking? Is that a bad one? What if I used my left hand, you know, almost like dating a stranger. Oh wait, better yet, I can sit on it for about 15 minutes until it’s numb. Now THAT would be a blind date fo sho.

115. The 2x4 - December 4, 2006

I hope that Fred Phelps is wrong and God takes a 2×4 to his head.

Hey, don’t contaminate me, what about that lead pipe over there?

116. Mr Minority - December 4, 2006

Hey, don’t contaminate me, what about that lead pipe over there?

Better yet, Flaming Lightening Bolts from the finger tips, that way nothing is contaminated.

117. kevlarchick - December 4, 2006

SLOTH is my game! Oh yeah.

118. a-a - December 4, 2006

Im a “wrath” man myself. Fortunatly for my enemies im pretty big on “sloth” too.

119. Retired Geezer - December 4, 2006

Is ‘spending a large part of your life in front of a keyboard’ on that list?

Cause I’m afraid I’m there.

120. BrewFan - December 4, 2006

The people there will be worshiping Jesus, praying to Jesus and generally forgetting that Jesus was a messenger of GOD. He never claimed to be anything but a messenger. Read your bibles people

Mr. Sinner, when you admonish people you should really practice what you preach. The above statement shows a profound lack of scriptural knowledge. You might be interested to know that Jesus’ death sentence was a direct result of His claim to diety. I would recommend you read C.S. Lewis’ essay on Jesus’ claim to diety. In essence C.S. Lewis says if you have read scripture you’re limited to three options when it comes to Jesus; He was either a lunatic, a liar, or the Lord (God incarnate).

121. skinbad - December 4, 2006

Well, there are kind of different Jesuses depending on which part of the Bible you read aren’t there? In the first part of John he is the Word and “the Word was God” — from the beginning.

At the day of pentacost, it’s different: God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ. God gave him the power to be the Lord. There are other examples, but I’m many years away from that NT class. Jesus can be a different character from one biblical writer to the next. Not really disagreeing with you Brew. I believe he asserted he was much more than a messenger.

122. Dave in Texas - December 4, 2006

Is this thing on?

123. sandy burger - December 4, 2006

if you have read scripture you’re limited to three options when it comes to Jesus

A fourth option is that Jesus said one thing and the scripture authors wrote down another thing.

124. Michael - December 4, 2006

Not really, sandy. A fraud of that magnitude would require too many conspirators, and would have been confounded by the fact that there were too many witnesses who knew the truth. It would also require a motive. The disciples, and Paul, were almost all executed after living very difficult lives. They weren’t raking in royalties on the material they contributed to the Bible.

125. Sinner - December 4, 2006

Point taken, and I will retract that specific example of polytheism. The point I was trying (so very badly) to make is that if you profess to be a monotheist, why are you praying to saints and have multiple layers of the divine between you and the one true God?

In some cases the same people pray at statues and icons. Why the need to confess to a mortal man when you should be appealing to God?

This is the sin that drives me from Christian churches.

Sorry, I’m having Catholic flashbacks…

126. Dave in Texas - December 4, 2006

why are you praying to saints and have multiple layers of the divine between you and the one true God?

Hey, I don’t do that.

I read Hebrews.

127. sandy burger - December 4, 2006

If I pray for you, Sinner, does that mean I’m playing God?

128. BrewFan - December 4, 2006

God gave him the power to be the Lord.

The doctine of the Trinity is probably too much for this thread :) If anybody is interested in participating/being cc’d drop me an email and we can have a go at it that way. All are welcome and we’ll share some thoughts as opposed to debating/proselytizing.

*bing bong*

Oh for crying out loud skinbad!

129. BrewFan - December 4, 2006

why are you praying to saints and have multiple layers of the divine between you and the one true God?

I’m on board with that thought! As I stated earlier, Its one-on-one when it comes to God and BrewFan. I like to think of it as cutting out the middle man. You get more value that way. :)

130. The Middleman - December 4, 2006

I don’t see why I have to be dragged into this.

131. Bart - December 4, 2006

Dusty Springfield sums up this argument in a beautiful song.

132. skinbad - December 4, 2006

All are welcome and we’ll share some thoughts as opposed to debating/proselytizing.

Wasn’t trying to proselytize or give an LDS take on it. Apologies if it came across that way. I was thinking of a secular NT class taught through a literature dept. The authors of the gospels have a lot in common, but they have some differences as well.

133. Dave in Texas - December 4, 2006

Ok, I’ll bite.

Here’s one that’s bugged me for years.

Do you guys think Adam and Eve had belly buttons?

kind of a stumper for me.

134. Dave in Texas - December 4, 2006

Get a down,
get a funky.

http://www.glumbert.com/media/bboypope

Hey, they did kiss his ring at the end. So that was nice.

135. Muslihoon - December 4, 2006

No joke: this is used by some Sedevacantists as evidence that Pope John Paul II was not a real pope or at least one that was true to Church.

I felt sorry for him. He looks so alone.

136. Dave in Texas - December 5, 2006

well that’s just retarded.

137. Muslihoon - December 5, 2006

DiT: of course they did not. If you believe differently, I have a stake and faggots who’d like a one-on-one meeting with you.

(NB: “faggot” in this case refers to little pieces of wood used to light a fire, often beneath and around a stake to which a condemned had been tied (usually strangled to death before the fire is lit), and not to its more common meaning, that of “cigarette.”)

Pet peeve: No one prays to saints or the dead. This is a pet peeve because I hear this all the time, especially in commentaries of the Qur’an criticizing Christians and Christianity and exposing them as polytheistic and, thus, unfaithful to God who (evidently) revealed an Islam-like monotheism to them. (Muslims consider Jews, for the most part, to be monotheists, but certain aspects of God which Jews ascribe to Him would be considered heretical if not absolutely inappropriate; one such attribute would be “our Father” (אבינו, avinu: אב, av, “father” + ינו, -inu, first person plural possessive/objective ending), which Jews use quite copiously in their prayers and petitions.)

The issue is a bit more complex than person A praying to person B to get C, as it commonly supposed. The foundation of this is commonly described as being “the communion of saints,” in this regard including both living and deceased Christians. As such, all Christians, whether living or dead, share one communion or community, united by faith in and obedience to God, particularly their testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Irrelevant trivia: the Hebrew for “my Lord” is אדני, adoni (אדן, adon, “lord” or “master” + י, i, first person singular possessive/objective suffix). The word used by Jews to substitute The Name, while praying and reading Torah, is אדני, adonay. The difference between the two words is the last vowel: the former has chireq followed by yod (technically, this is chireq malei; the yod is not pronounced and exists to alert the reader of the suffix), the latter has qamets gadol followed by the consonant yod. The suffix chireq malei is used to indicate the first person possessive for a singular noun, while qamets gadol followed by a consonantal yod indicates the first person singular possessive for a plural noun. Thus, what Jews are really saying is “my Lords,” but like אלהים, elohim, which technically means “gods,” verbs and adjectives for אדני, adonay are conjugated in the third person masculine singular.)

Some believe that the prayers of the faithful are pleasing to God, and one ought to ask other saints (that is, Christians) for their prayers on one’s behalf. As is customary, one asks for prayers for a particular need. Within the communion of saints, this can be done with the living and the dead. As such, just as Christians pray for the living, they pray for the dead, because they are as much as part of this communion as the living are.

The concept of saints as is commonly connoted particularly in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy comes from the theory that of course one may solicit the prayers of the dead, but how can one know whether someone is in heaven or elsewhere (Hell, purgatory, recently outsourced Limbo)? It came to be that one can be sure someone is in Heaven (and, thus, in close proximity to God and, thus, of especial efficacy as far as prayer may be concerned) if he or she was particularly or extraordinarily pious and accompanied by authentic manifestations thereof, or if one has asked him or her to pray for something and that something has come to pass. Regarding the latter: this is considered proof that one is near God, for if he/she were not near God, his/her prayer would have been ineffective.

Properly, people do not pray to the saints or even to Mary; the technical terminology is “asking for intercession,” and this does not mean the intercession seen as vital and special by our Lord Jesus but, rather, refers to pleading or praying on one’s behalf. Whether God will grant such pleas, whether for oneself or another, is up to His sovereign will. No saint’s prayer is guaranteed, not even Mary’s.

There is no middleman (or middlewoman or middlepeople) between the faithful and God. When one asks for a saint’s intercession, it is (ideally) in addition to one’s direct prayers to God. Asking for saints’ intercessions without actually placing one’s petition directly at God’s feet is wrong. The idea, in a way, is to get as many holy and virtuous people to pray for oneself or one’s desire in addition to oneself. The saint does not grant anything; the saint is special because God is thought to listen particularly to the very righteous and holy people’s prayers and petitions. It is, in the end, God Himself to answers prayers (or refuses to answer them). Asking for saints’ intercession is not necessary; it’s simply a help.

Think of it this way: why do Christians ask their friends to pray for them, whether in general or for a specific need or desire? If one asks living friends, why not those friends who are no longer on earth but are beholding God’s magnificent presence? Saints, holy people, one’s dead ancestors are all one’s friends. Especially, in Catholic and Orthodox theology and piety, the Mother of God. (As a somewhat irreverent quip goes: what good Jewish son would not listen to his mother?)

As far as “confession” is concerned: the priest does not and cannot forgive sins. When one goes for the sacrament of reconciliation — a reconciliation between the faithful and God, a reconciliation that is needed because of sin — the priest, as during Mass, stands in for God. On behalf of God, representing His mercy, the priest absolves the penitent of his/her sins. This all has to do with the theology of the priesthood’s duty to stand in persona Christi, “in the person of Christ” (or in persona Christi capitis, “in the person of Christ the Head”). The priest does nothing of or by himself. Rather, he exists as a vessel for God, as His representative, standing in for Him, to bestow His mercy and grace. Thus, it is not the priest who absolves the penitent but, rather, our Lord Jesus Christ, via the priest in persona Christi, who absolves the penitent of his/her sins.

I should note that the above is not necessarily what I believe, but is as I have studied from Catholic (and, in some cases, Eastern Orthodox) sources. I offer it as an explanation of what they (Catholics and Eastern Orthodox) believe and thereby hopefully dispelling some (common) misconceptions about what they do and why. I also recognize that there may be theological and religious disagreement with the above, which is not only good but to be expected. But I would rather someone disagree with a practice based on its real theological grounds rather than misconceptions thereof. Sorry for being so long-winded and pedantic, but I simply cannot let Michael steal these attributes from me.

138. Michael - December 5, 2006

Actually, Musli, I am much more relaxed on the whole subject of intercessory prayer than you might imagine, and than is typical for Lutherans.

(Digression to your digression — consistent with your side note regarding the plural nature of “lord” is the phrase “Lord of Sabaoth” or, in English, Lord of Hosts. I’m sure you know all about that.)

Unquestionably scripture establishes Jesus as intercessor for us. The notion that others can do this, departed saints in particular, or angels, is simply based on the view that this intercessory role need not be exclusive to Jesus and is an extension of the understanding that the communion of saints includes the departed. In my view, it is extrabiblical, but not necessarily unbiblical. We know that Jesus performs this office, but there is no explicit biblical teaching that departed saints can hear us. So, properly understood, at best it’s a good idea, and at worst it’s a kinda harmless waste of time.

The Lutheran revulsion for the concept arises from the historical reality that the Catholic practice of intercessory prayer actually does become idolatrous. This was certainly true at the time of Luther. You can still see it today amongst uninformed and superstitious Catholics. I’ve seen it at places like the monastery devoted to the Black Virgin of Guadalupe in a remote part of Spain (Extremadura). It’s quite an eye-opener to see people getting extremely emotional as they complete their pilgrimage to worship a chunk of cedar. (If memory serves, the legend is that it was allegedly carved by Luke, disappeared for many centuries, and was then discovered by a peasant in Spain with the help of an angel.)

139. BrewFan - December 5, 2006

Hey Musli, Michael, DinT, Pups, Sobek, et al (and anyone else who is interested) I’m starting an email thread to kick around the idea of the Trinity. Four of us are signed up already. It won’t be the same without you! Drop me an email!

140. Michael - December 5, 2006

It’s also possible that it doesn’t matter if people pray to saints even though the saints can’t hear those prayers. There could be an AT&T switchboard-in-the-sky that intercepts prayers that are misdirected to St. Poindexter and sends them to the Jesus anyway. We just don’t know. :)

141. Dave in Texas - December 5, 2006

Brewfan,

Take an apple.

Cut it in three pieces.

You’re welcome.

142. Michael - December 5, 2006

The Doctrine of the Trinity according to Curly.

143. Dave in Texas - December 5, 2006

nyuk nyuk nyuk!

144. BrewFan - December 5, 2006

Thats why we want you in the chain, Dave. The Frisbyterian point of view.

145. Muslihoon - December 5, 2006

DiT: LOL!

Michael: That’s how I believe prayers work. No matter whom they are addressed to, as only one God exists, all prayers, by default, go to Him. We (Christians) believe that God has stated how we are to pray to Him (to Him in the name of His Son Jesus Christ), but I do not recall His saying He will ignore the prayers of those who may not pray the way He revealed. In other words, He will not ignore anyone’s prayers. I have enough faith and confidence in God’s mercy and love for us that He will listen to whomever speaks to Him, however one understands (or misunderstands) Who and What He is.

The question, of course, remains: if Person A prayed to Idol B for C, and C comes to pass, ignoring the reinforcement of Person A’s faith in Idol B, is the coming to pass of C the work of God or of Satan/demons?

And then, why would God answer prayers that would inevitably reinforce the cult* of Idol B (and D and E and F, et cetera)?

*By “cult” I mean the organized worship around and regarding some thing. In other words, the academic and neutral definition of the word.

146. boys of the vatican - March 1, 2008

I’m going to pray for all of you commenters. Remember this “God doesn’t like ugly”

147. Hot Amish for only $1.99 per minute - March 1, 2008

No matter whom they are addressed to, as only one God exists, all prayers, by default, go to Him.

Unfortunately, I think he may screen his calls.

148. Rosie O'Donnell - March 1, 2008

Remember this “God doesn’t like ugly”

I knew it! That bastard has had it in for me from the beginning.

Well at least i still have my knitting.

149. Men of the Vatican - March 1, 2008

boys of the vatican saidRemember this “God doesn’t like ugly”

Hey, dont worry – we arent as discriminating.

So boys who wants to be the first one to shake hands with ‘the Bishop’?

150. Universal Life Church - March 5, 2008

Very well written post. Made me think of things differently in certain areas. Thank you.

151. Bart Wyrd - May 21, 2008

Feisty,

If I understand your posting, you are claiming Gay is a genetic predisposition with triggers like an abusive father. Hmm very interesting, so is murder also a genetic condition with triggers? If someone is descended from a murderer and is then abused they will murder? I’m not so sure, the connection between abuse & social mis-behavior is fairly well documented, but it seems a little hard to swallow (pun intended) that non-reproductive behavior can be inherited. I tend to view sexual behavior as a matter of choice and have seen little real evidence to change that viewpoint. As far as the gay in the clergy issue, I left an Episcopalian church where my children had been baptized because of the Robinson decision. The church bylaws clearly prohibited active gays from the clergy period much less promoting a clergyman to Bishop while engaging in what the bylaws describe as a sinful behavior. How to trust a clergyperson who openly defies the word of the Bible and their own church’s rules of behavior. I personally do not care what a person does in their personal life but it falls under the general rule of change the laws if you do not agree, not break them and say well I felt it was ok. That is sophistry at it’s worst and morally repugnant to people who have ethics and principles. As far as Paul’s remarks regarding women in positions of power, both the culture of the time and the context of the situation need to be a part of interpretation of Scripture. He was addressing a church that he felt was out of control and needed guidance. And as was stated elsewhere in the comments, women being in positions of power were largely unknown then. Personally, I was married by a woman and had one of my children baptised by one. No issues for me there.

152. Muslihoon - June 23, 2008

Tip: Never throw scripture verses at people. Doesn’t work.

Quote scripture, explain what it means, explain why it’s relevant, explain how it can be implemented.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 196 other followers

%d bloggers like this: