Thursday, October 3, 2013

Using the Catholic Sex-Abuse Scandal to Push for Women Clergy?

Women Clergy
Recently I followed a link to an article I saw on a liberal website. The article appeared on Newsweek's website on April 3rd 2010 under the title, A Woman's Place is in the Church with a tagline of "The cause of the Catholic clergy's sex-abuse scandal is no mystery: insular groups of men often do bad things. So why not break up the all-male club?" So even the tagline informs what the article is going to contain. But let me be clear, as a Reformed/Protestant Christian, I have no admiration for what the Roman Catholic Church has become since Papalism took over. Nor do I want to appear to be defending the pedophiles plaguing the RCC. However, this Newsweek article isn't really about those issues. Those issues are just being used by the Newsweek author to advance more liberalism. The thinly veiled feminist screed becomes even more apparent as Lisa Miller (the author), appeals to the virgin Mary and claims that women are becoming increasingly marginalized. Really? Most Christians think that like society, the Church has become so feminized that most men want nothing to do with it. Who wants to sit in a flowery room, often with pastel walls why a seemingly emasculated man stands and sermonizes us how we should practice effeminate "love". Jesus in the Bible defined love as obeying what He commands (John 14:15), not some gushy, fictitious "unconditional love" -- ALL love is conditional by the way. Even God only accepts us on the condition that we believe and follow. (How and why we believe is another topic) A study done in the UK for example (source) tracks the trend of declining male attendance from 1980 to 2010. Yet female attendance is trending upward. Interestingly enough, this trend is only within Christianity where more and more services are being geared to an effeminate audience, whether female or not. The problem with the Newsweek article is that it isn't being honest. The sex-abuse scandal within the RCC isn't due simply to male dominated clergy and further, the Church isn't like a social structure where it bows to the demand of the masses. Jesus came and started the Church and gave it its structure to be followed always. The Newsweek article misunderstands this structure as obvious from this quote:
"The problem—bluntly put—is that the bishops and cardinals who manage the institutional church live behind guarded walls in a pre-Enlightenment world. Within their enclave, they remain largely untouched by the democratic revolutions in France and America. On questions of morality, they hold the group—in this case, the church—above the individual and regard modernity as a threat."
If the Church changes with every new human revolution, then let's forget about Christianity and God. We then are our own "gods". The problem Miller, has is she doesn't appear to believe in absolutes. She thinks the Church should adapt to culture instead of the Church transforming culture. The real reason for the article is revealed in this next quote:
"By keeping modernity at bay, though, the men who run the Catholic Church have willfully ignored one of the great achievements of the modern age: the integration of women in the workforce and public life. "
To me it is as despicable to use the RCC sex-abuse scandal to try to advance feminism as it is despicable when homosexuals try to use the race issues to advance the homosexual agenda. Still revealing the real reason for the article, Miller says:
"The chasm between the church's stated principles and its functional reality yawns wide. In the U.S., 60 percent of Sunday massgoers are women; thus most of the contributions to the collection plate—$6 billion a year—are made by women. And yet the presence of women anywhere within the institutional power structure is virtually nil."
When Miller finally gets to WHY there are no women in the "institutional power structure" she isn't honest with the text of the Bible. Miller says:
"Jesus, of course, said nothing about the role women should play in his future church. As the leader of a small and radical movement he invited all to join his band, including married women, single women, and prostitutes; and the Gospel accounts give women a special role."
How about an actual quote from the Bible on the matter? I mean, Miller took time to quote from a book called, The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities -- no anti-white male bias there eh? This is another game liberals like to play, they will claim, "Jesus didn't say anything about XYZ" yet when the Bible, the New Testament clearly does address the issue, the liberal either dismisses it as unreliable or claim they only go by Jesus' words. When they do this, they must not realize they undermine Jesus' entire claim. After all, Jesus hand-picked the apostles and sent them the Holy Spirit to guide them. If the Bible is unreliable at any point, then it is unreliable at all points, even the words of Jesus. The Bible specifically structures the Church as to be led by "all-males". This is not to say women don't have roles, as the article does rightly note, the Church has early on recognized the role of deaconesses.
This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. -- 1 Tim 3:1-7 (see also Titus 1:5-9)
As you can see, the Bible does INDEED say specifically that the role of bishop/elder/pastor is to be male. There is a specific reason for this that will irk a liberal like Miller even more and prompt her to cry that the Church needs to change to culture rather than the Church changing culture.
Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. -- 1 Corinthians 11:2-3 (see also 1 Peter 3:1-7)
God instituted the family as a reflection of His authority -- there is a reason He is depicted as the Father and not the Mother. This is not to give license for men to be domineering or cruel, indeed love is self-sacrifice, not self-servicing. Perhaps the real problem then is that bishops/elders/pastors aren't living up to the qualifications laid out in 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Not just the part about being married (which is one place the RCC fails, and it is ironic they call their clergy "father" yet forbid them to experience being real fathers). The real problem seems to be allowing men who aren't "blameless" to become and remain in the clergy. The only thing Miller's article does, at least to people who aren't Christian or people who do not read the Bible is that it will make them see Christianity as an antiquated all-male social club that is being toppled by feminist agendas. And if that is all Christianity is, then no wonder people are staying they male, female young or old. Who wants to be part of a social club ran by a bunch of snobbish elites? However, the Christianity that Jesus started isn't anything like Miller describes. The Christianity Jesus stated is a reflection of God's plan and purpose. The failures have come when we disobey and thus show we don't really "love Jesus" (remember John 14:15?). It is time for the Church, RCC or Protestant to look more closely at texts like 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and start getting back to the kind of Christianity Jesus had in mind.

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