For numerous progressive churches and denominations, allowing female pastors is an obvious step toward equality and inclusion. But not so for many traditionally-inclined faith groups. Their view -- stemming from a particular interpretation of biblical teachings -- is that women can never become clergy members, as only men are capable of performing the role.
Of all the pressing issues facing religious groups today, it's of no surprise that this topic hasn't received the wave of public attention that, say, clergy abuse has. But every once in a while, something (or someone) reignites the debate.
Traditionalists Push Back
Enter Seth Dunn, a theologian, host of a religious podcast, and Twitter user who generated a storm of controversy online after he decided to hit "send" on a particularly fiery tweet comparing female pastors to abusive priests:
Unsurprisingly, the overall reaction to Dunn's tweet was... less than positive. For some, it was a clear example of Christian bigotry in action. Critics alleged that it was typical of a religious conservative to focus more attention on shutting women out of leadership positions than on keeping children safe from abusers.
But even many of Dunn's fellow Christians expressed disappointment and called him out for making such an extreme and unproductive statement. Specifically, his detractors implored Dunn to consider how his words failed to align with basic Christian principles -- and how they would be received by victims of clergy abuse.
"Because The Bible Says So"
Not one to back down from a challenge, Dunn quickly doubled down on his claims. Saying women shouldn't be pastors is simply an extension of biblical teachings, he asserted. As for his critics, apparently they're just misguided anti-theist keyboard warriors.
And in case that wasn't clear enough, he sent out one more message to really drive the point home:
For centuries, the position of clergy was reserved exclusively for men. The rules were pretty simple: men were expected to lead, and women to follow.
However, things finally began to change in recent decades as society's views on gender roles evolved and women were given more opportunities to hold leadership positions. Certain forward-thinking denominations decided that excluding women from becoming clergy members was a silly policy, and began welcoming them with open arms.
Here's a statistic that stands out: in 1960, just 2.3% of clergy in the U.S. were women. In 2016, that number was 20.7%.
But despite this progress, women are still vastly outnumbered by men in church leadership positions. And unlike, say, the demographic makeup on an oil rig, that discrepancy can't be explained by other factors like career interests or physical ability. Some denominations simply refuse to allow women to become pastors or enter leadership roles - regardless of how interested they might be in the position.
And let's not even get started on how women who've been victims of domestic violence are treated by some mainstream religions.
Why Do Some Churches Exclude Women?
Would letting women take on more responsibility really cause irreparable damage to the church? In the minds of some, the answer is a definitive "yes."
As religious thinkers like Seth Dunn demonstrate, this resistance to allowing female clergy is so steadfast that women in cassocks are considered just as much of a threat as abusive priests.
If you're having trouble squaring that logic, you're not alone.
What does the future hold? Are faith groups justified in adhering to strict biblical interpretations regarding gender roles in the church, or should they instead look to change with the times?
Pfffft, denominations who refuse women deserve to die the slow death they will ultimately experience. Good riddance!
While I disagree with your comment about denominations die a slow death, a woman should have the right to become clergy just like men. That said if people want it that way so be it. Some religions like the catholic religion says you cant get married. I don't really understand that either but as long as the catholic folks agree to it so be it.
If they were allowed to marry there would be a lot less child abuse in the Catholic Church.
no, just ask any preacher's daughter, married clergy can just molest their own kids instead of other peoples'.
There is a special deviance with sexual predators. They go into professions of trust around children so they have access to their prey. It has nothing to do with sexual lacking. It's sexual preference access.
In these times we live it is so important as the true leaders in the church the pastors preachers , We tell and teach and preach the bible the word of God not false doctrine and worldly ways that contradict the word and misleads folk in the Gospel of Jesus Christ .There is not one scripture that supports Women called to preach or have preached or a name of any woman preaching . God did not call women to preach nor to have authority over Man . In the secular world there are women CEOs managers judges . teachers , How ever Not one Woman is called to have authority to preach and lead a man in the bible.. 12 men Jesus ordained .12 disciples not one was a woman .700 priest the bible states not one is a woman. Times have changed but this has nothing to do with changing the word of God. Many scriptures stand as commands and Law. God created Male and Female he made no mistakes . We have all a responsibility those who are believers , are to be obedient to the word of God , Not Man .The real truth is These Pastors and other male leaders in the church are the ones compromising the Word of God knowing they are wrong . Causing confusion positioning women to be leaders over Men in the church . usually for monetary gain and pride. , why would any woman want to be the head of a man ? Man was created before Woman , Woman was created for Man 1 Corinthians 11:9. She is to be a help meet to the man . as stated in Genesis 2:18 Man shall not compromise the Bible . KJV Word of God Revelation 22:18 -19 .. 1 Timothy 2:12 .. 1 Corinthians 14:34. Titus 1 :9 .. Titus 2:1-5 .. 1 Corinthians 14:35 .. 1 Timothy 2:11 -13 .. 1 Timothy 3:1
Elder Lee, you are biblically correct. Cannot argue against scriptural facts.
Mr Lee, I’m trying to understand why you advocate teaching and preaching to people about a book that advocates slavery, stoning, death and destruction, infanticide, blood and gore, global drowning by a mythical deity, mythical stories of magic, all somehow mixed in with love. Perhaps you can help me understand that dichotomy?
Until I hear back, I’ll stick to reading Harry Potter. It certainly seems a better story book for children.
It is always interesting to me how people pick and chose from the Bible the things they will cite, ignoring other passages. It is indeed a complex book and one can prove almost anything if they bend the passages to fit their views.
On the contrary William, I'm fully aware of biblical passages of love and acknowledge them, so do you think I'm bending those passages if I find love in them? Why is it that you cannot acknowledge biblical passages of slavery and stoning as condoned by your God? Are you denying the global genocidal flood? Are you ignoring the infanticidal tendency of your God or are you still thinking I'm bending biblical passages as though they didn't happen?
The Bible is there to pick and choose whatever we want. If your god didn't want us to do that he would have made sure they were not in there to read. It's a very narrow minded person that only reads a book and finds passages of love, and totally discounts everything else because it doesn't fit their narrative of what they want the book to be all about.
As Richard Dawkins excellently states: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Elder Lee, there are just so many things WRONG!!! with your and other conservatives' and neo-Nazis (the same thing, actually) "thinking" here that I don't know where to begin and am like a kid in a candy store!! If, as even you admit, there are women CEOs, managers, judges, teachers, presidents and prime ministers of countries, and other women in positions of responsibility and authority in the secular world, then it can only be the chauvinism, patriarchalism, and misogyny in Christianity (and especially the Catholic Church) in that male dominated religion that keep women from becoming priests and ministers because these clergy positions are, just obviously, not harder or more caring about people's spiritual and other needs than are all of these other positions that women fill all of the time! If they can do all of those jobs, they can, quite obviously, handle being clergy people even easier! "Why would any woman want to be the head of a man?" you ask chauvinistically! Your own mother was the head of a man (you and any brothers that you may have had). By your "thinking" and standard, she shouldn't have had any authority over you at all! All of our mothers were women and had authority over men (their sons) and some authority over their husbands, too, to influence their thinking, sometimes, and lead them in a better direction, but, again, if you had your way, none of their authority or influence would exist at all! Single mothers who never get married or involved with any man and, of course, lesbian mothers (two women raising a child together, which opens up a whole other "can of worms" with people like you!) have ALL!! of the authority over their male children. So, would you have those children not have any authority over them whatsoever and just grow up uncontrolled and wild, since they aren't going to have a man in the house over them, in any case? Only in the Bible mythology was man created before woman because, whenever the beginning of the human race actually occurred, you can bet that there were two participants in that beginning, since procreation never happens with only a man or only a woman (and there were no artificial insemination clinics around back then) or "a woman being formed from the rib of a man" (because men and women have the same number of ribs and so how would women have been formed from a man's rib?). That is just such a ridiculous story, but why would it be any different than the rest of the made up stories in the Bible?!! Woman wasn't made for man, to be his helpmate, but they are equal partners in any relationship or marriage (or, at least, that is what they should be!). The "fall from grace in the Garden of Eden" fairy tale didn't happen because of women or the woman Eve, as has been misogynistically and chavinistically claimed by the male dominated church down through the centuries because both people, in that story, participated in that "fall" and there was never actually a fall in the first place, since people have always just been people, that's all! Bible writers could write all of the misogynistic and chauvinistic verses in the Bible that they wanted for you and other misogynists and chauvinists to read and be hypnotized by and blindly accept and follow thousands of years later, but that doesn't actually make any of that patriarchal propaganda the truth about women, since it, quite obviously, isn't the truth, anymore than Hitler's writing his lies against Jews in Mein Kampf (believing that they were also "inspired by God and the Holy Spirit" and that, by fighting against the Jews, he was "fighting for the Lord") made any of that garbage true!! The Bible should be compromised and rewritten to include ONLY!!! the words of God and not the words of men that were put into "God's mouth" and passed off as "the word of God"! This is enough casting pearls before swine today and I'll write more about this later!
Was that some sort of good Christian remark? I’m not religious so my morals compass is obviously different to yours. I try as best I can to treat people with some sort of civility. I can assure you it’s well worth trying.
Dear Lionheart2020, was this not an excessively snarky comment, or did I misinterpret it wrong? And was it directed to the person saying congregations disallowing women should die a slow death, of course via a diminishing congregation? Or was this your somewhat misguided comment to say you do not want women ministering in a religious capacity? I am merely trying in the most civil way I can formulate to say your comment was not only vague, but definitely not civil!!!
You misinterpreted it wrong. I’m more than happy for women to serve in any capacity, religious or not. I very much doubt they could make a worse job of it than men have done in the past.
Thank you for your comment.
The Pope may not realize it but there have always been female priests. There's a bit of a girl in all of us, and some are more in - tune with that aspect of themselves than others. Wearing dresses doesn't helpmake them feel manly. So accepting women into into the clergy really isn't doing anything different, except coming to terms with reality, which may be too much to ask of those girls.
When i attended a chaplaincy event two weeks ago guess what the ratio was ? 70% women and 30% men that were Ministers, Reverends,or Chaplains; all ordained !!!! I believe the wheels of denying women their place out of the sits are over..Some of these women spoke far better of the Bible and The Glory of Jesus than i have heard from our males.. Yes allow them To take up the position of being head of A Church ...They have my Blessings.....
Women deserve more rights than anyone else, and should be worshipped like demigoddesses, not only in the bedroom. However, that's a good place to start.
No one deserves to have more rights than anyone else.
THIS is definitely a touchy subject, but to my knowledge of the scriptures Jesus treated women as equals , there is even mention of a female Prophet in the church when Jesus was dedicated as a baby . And from what I understand , Paul was the only one that discriminated against women's role in the church. Most of the apostles took their wife's with them when they went on a mission trip, including Peter. And it wasn't until the formation of the Catholic church that woman was denied access to the function of the church . And it was centuries later that they allowed the formation of the nuns.
You need to read the book of Timothy regarding women as ministers. Paul clearly states women are not to take that role. Also, would a true Godly woman ever wish death on anyone for any reason. Perhaps you should read what Jesus said. Something about loving they neighbor etc.
"Paul clearly states women are not yo take that role."
Not Jesus. Not God. Paul.
And He said it was his opinion not a command of God...I take from scripture, "God does not see male or female..." and "There is no marriage given in heaven..." There has been women prophets and church leaders with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to share with the church and one usually sees women/mothers in a teaching position with children of both sexes and of course women's groups, as Paul suggested. If God leads you to serve, serve in the capacity He has given you male or female on this Earth.
I read that women were thought to be deformed males back in the day, how male minded is that? They are the center of creation, the first made/born, thus the privileged ones in all things...let them keep messing up and women can clean up after, making everything okay for all. Unless they get prideful too. Strive for Peace amoungst mankind, both male, female, confused or confident in calling themselves whatever they "feel" they are...It is written, "Hate the sin, love the sinner."
God clearly calls upon Men to lead the Church, but Women to take an active role in teaching the the " Good Book ".
Patrick Gordon Connors, according to a Bible wriiten by men, "God calls upon men to lead the church" and women only to have "an active role in teaching the 'good' book". However did that happen?!! Well, that is certainly amazing, isn't it?!!
What’s your point Vicky? Paul’s letters are clearly to edify the church members. It was accepted as canonical in 325 ACE.
I would probably accept your argument If Jesus had chosen at least one woman among his twelve.
Gary, you mean that the patriarchal, chauvinistic, misogynistic, and never ex-Pharisee (but only Pharisaical about Jesus Christ, instead of against him) Paul said that women should never be priests or leaders in the church?!! However did that happen?!! Well, wasn't that just amazing?!! Loving your neighbor as yourself is also letting women become priests and ministers and not blocking them from doing so. Let him who is without sin among you cast the first stone.
God wrote the rules for his church!! Who has he given the right to change it? Satan is changing it to recruit students for his Home in HELL. Gods words can’t be changed or altered to suit mans ideals.
Are you referring to his rules on slavery and how to treat slaves, or are you referring to his rule on stoning people to death? Just asking!
If Satan is the antipathy of everything God is and approves then I assume Satan would not approve of stoning and slavery. Sounds like he might actually be a nice guy.
Ummm. You are aware that the bible that we read today has been changed many times to suit man's ideals. Simply ask yourself which version of the bible you read. King james, or one of the others. Throughout our history the bible has been edited to reflect what the church needed its followers to believe at the time. For all we know putting women at the head of the church was God's original plan, until men got a hold of it to change it.
Boom! Well done.
Oh my, Larry, man alters His Word all the time to create their very own church groups and dogma with their own view of what God is demanding of all. Why are there so many churches proclaiming to be the "Only True Church of God/Christ" and Teaching the only "Truth". Follow them or perish! I do not belong to any of them, I am a "Relationist" if one must name my belief system. I trust in God, Christ and the Holy Spirit in a personal relationship as One. I do and say what the Spirit tells me, love your neighbor, lay hands on this or that person, seek peace with all you meet, pray for others and forgive those who persecute you. Follow Christ's example..
Women Clergymen should lead some things in the Church God doesn't discriminate so why should the Church if a Church does such things then they are not much a Church they are not much of God as they say they are.
For Amber Castleman, Katelynne Victoria Shouse, T'Keren Valmaz, and other pro-feminist persons here: "I do not regard the rise of woman as a bad sign. Rather do I fancy that her traditional subordination was itself an artificial and undesirable condition based on Oriental influences. Our virile Teutonic ancestors did not think their wives unworthy to follow them into battle, or scorn to dream of winged Valkyries bearing them to Valhalla"---H.P. Lovecraft, letter to Clark Ashton Smith, October 28, 1934
Why is that christianity has to change but no other religion is put up on the chopping block....what about sikh or muslim? Why do christians have to change what their teachings are but no one else does??? Just a thought.
The Bible is full of great Spirit FILLED WOMEN . Would you tell Mary the mother of Jesus she could not preach ?
Fighter pilots, front line soldiers, doctors, judges... 'bout time?!
They also make good cooks, waitresses, and maids. I don't think there's anything that women aren't good at.
Churches will need to either change with the times or go the way of the dinosaur.
I agree with all of these comments so far. No more pedophile priests. Women are almost always more nurturing.
Let's not get to optimistic. Perverts will always seek positions of power.
Why would any woman want to be a Christian priestess? It's clear in the Bible the God hates women.
No, the bible we all assume as gospel was decided on by a group of MEN under Constantine in about the year 400. That makes it a guidance written by men for men, and women were not even considered at that time! I am very sure our Lord had NO hand in this!!!
I believe in the scripture of his travels; Christ met with two femal teachers an spent many hours discussing religious teaching! It also said he favored them for their interests as teachers !
Ben, I totally agree. The men who wrote the bible invented a god-head in their own image with their own hates & prejudices. The question is how to get more of today's men to realize that and change their attitudes. Why any woman would want to honor such a creation or allow themselves to be subjugated is a mystery to me. Women need to wake up and realize that.
If they had female pastors when I was growing up, I would have been an alter boy...
The religion of Ancient Egypt lasted for more than 3,000 years yett today only scholars know anything about it. If you had told an Egyptian that his beliefs one day would be considered as only myths he would have you killed. Our present day religions, with the exception of Judaism, are relatively newcomers and who knows when they will be relegated to museums. High priestesses existed in ancient times and History will repeat itself. I consider this discussion an sterile one.
Great points Gerardo. If I had to choose a mythical deity it would be Isis. She loved Osiris so much that she brought him back from the dead with him having been killed and his body parts distributed all over the place. Now THAT’S what you call a miracle!!!
I could take five pastors put them on the pulpit ask each pastor the same exact question and off I’ve passed us will have a different answer.
The bible did not hate women, but the priests, who interpreted it did, and the society at the time blindly followed . It is time that true Christians followed the example of Jesus's love and a new way of life and allowed women into office, gays to marry and stop harking back to ancient Jewish practices, which certain mysoginistic and homophobic earlier church leaders saw fit to follow. Jesus's one law was to love one another, full stop, not make excuses to hate and alienate.
“Jesus’s one law was to love one another?”
NIV Luke 12:47 “The servant (slave) who knows the masters will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows”
NIV Luke 19:27 “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me”
All typical statements of a man seeking retribution, and one who dotes on punishment. Sounds like statements from a major cartel drug Lord to me, or a radical religious fundamentalist. But let’s ignore these verses and pretend it’s all about love.
Blessings: even respecting every person opinion, I always recommend caution in establishing a theological position by using just one(isolated) verse of the scriptures. Beware of a wrongful interpretation due to the incapacity to do a responsible exegesis.
Ummmm, I think I listed two verses, not one, but I can list many more if you wish.
Respectfully; equality is equality...it applies to all areas of life..."organized religions" that exclude women from positions of any kind are not ethical...and I agree with Joe; it is irrational to take the position that women can die for their country, but can not lead the country in prayer...Peace...Tom
women have ALL the rights to become involved in the clergy, I have worked with them in different parts of the world and as far as I am concerned they are more superior, as that creature called dunn did not have a mother, don't know how he has survived for so long.
Women who remain members of a belief system that doesn’t respect them as equals have made that choice for whatever reason. It is what it is.
It amazes me that in this day and age women are not considered for roles they could fill as easily as men. No wonder the modern world is leaving the church in droves! Evolution of a religion is no different than evolution of a species... Adapt or become extinct.
@GSethDunn Ephesians 4:29-32 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." That being said, formulating hateful and divisive opinions based on a 2000+ year old text is also not productive. The original language and cultural definitions of the words has been watered down and translated many different ways, usually to the benefit of whomever is doing the "new" translation. For example, the gospels of Mary and Judas are both "left out" of any bible version. Why? My question is why would any woman choose to adhere to ancient customs that "allows" her to achieve at the most, 2nd best? According to Christian Biblical teachings, god chose a woman to carry transform a prophet to earth, not a man. That seems an important point of who did the leadership role for Jesus. I'm not a follower of religious organization because they seem to be unjust yet threaten their believers with some form of eternal fiery torture if the religions "rules" are not followed. Where's the love? I wonder if Mr Dunn as a child, had religious instruction from his Mother? Would that not have made his mother a teacher of God? Isn't that the role of leadership positions in religious organizations? This is not a post from a judgmental or fearful stance and do not intend to hurt anyone's feelings or belief system.
Thank you we are all just trying to send out the word of god not hate.
Actually Danielle, we are not all trying to send out the word of God because we all don't know what that is, or even means, due to the great number of incongruencies listed in the Bible, that's if it's the Christian God you are referring to. Much of the word of God seems to be filled with anger, jealousy, and hate, so we wouldn't want to espouse that type of behavior anyway.
Many of us don't even believe in any god because we see no evidence for it. All we see is superstitious mumbo jumbo written in a book that has been deemed holy by some very dubious and questionable individuals.
Having said all that, I'm in total agreement though to spread the word of love as best we can without bringing any fictitious, or mythical, deities into it.
All religious institutions have arbitrarily rituals and restrictions that are made up be the originators of the mythology. Because of perilous times, and often at the end of a sword of coercion, concessions are made on all sides. Overtime, it is inevitable that what seemed perfectly usual can no longer be observed meaningfully or with peril of life. It is said that to the victor go the spoils. I have seen that same attitude in all religious, except Zen Buddhism. So many religions are set up on segregations of one form or another, for some arbitrary reason or another. That is why we must call them all as branded mythologies, as the origin is a human or a group of humans who wish to enlarge their circle for some arbitrary ideology, and which is always centered around accumulation of some form of wealth, real or imaginary, such as crowns in heaven, stars after you die, post-life planetary tyrant dictator, a place on Cloud 9. They also feel a push back, and someone decides to impose their power position onto others who do not wish to participate. But that jihadit-style warring, or dictatorial-style administration, all takes load of money to operate. Keeping the "holy commune" is expensive and a great deal of overhead. So it is really the sheep who are feeding their alpha lion at the top. Over millenial time, it all becomes about money, and religion only leads to corruption and power grabs. Brick-and-mortar churches in the USA are just licensed businesses of one form or another, and they all sponsor commercial activities, to make money to feed the alpha lion at the top.
As a minister of this ULC fellowship, I know we all must have some sort of base to hold us steady in the storms of life. I am glad to promote freedom of religion, as long as all of the warnings, side effects, requirements, rituals and restrictions are understood up front by the initiate. Too many people get suckered into a quagmire of undue peer pressure to keep you a member, and toss you out when convenient or a burden.
But in any case, let Freedom ring loud and clear. We all are free to believe as we see fit, and we are not empowered to impose our ideology onto anyone else. We all should be a port in a storm for any beleaguered person we encounter as we take this journey of life. If you can't choose anything to be, at least, be nice and be kind. You will need it to be returned one day, like it or not.
Don't worry. Be happy! And, most of all, "Be Vigilant!" After all, Vigilance keeps Freedom alive and well."
May the Universe bless you with goodness, kindness, and just enough substance to make your brief existence worth living to you and to those you encounter along your path.
So well written. With all of the bru ha ha about women in the clergy, there are already women Catholic priests. I met two several years ago in southern Arizona and was really surprised. Oh, here is the website for Roman Catholic women priests: https://romancatholicwomenpriests.org/
I have had amazing male pastors and likewise amazing female pastors.. but the most powerful team of pastors I EVER encountered was a husband and wife team of Ordained Ministers, working together to grow our church in tandem. So, what does that mean for this conversation is this.. our church was different from most "traditional" churches... The congregation had the final say in every aspect of the church's life, financial decisions, charity causes, etc., Everyone had a vote, secondly, the pastor's were EQUAL in their role, there wasn't a pastor and asst. Pastor... Just pastors... ( That's important to understand ). They took turns delivering the Sunday messages, depending on their working schedule outside of the church. We had deacons, a choir director, and children's church director.. we had a board of directors to handle things like money, insurance, secretary duties, etc... All normal activities a church needs to function. We DID it ALL without any allegiance to a conference too. Because NOT one conference was willing to accept our charter. Because we were way beyond our time...
I would agree that your church was before it’s time- but it’s about time to reclaim what your church modeled. One scripture not mentioned in other posts is that part in Genesis where it’s said that the two shall become of one flesh. I believe that this reflects more of the image of God; being as God exceeds the illusions of duality needed for a time-based reality. As such God has been grossly misidentified by many as being a male; which, if so, would prevent “him” from encompassing the totality of creation’s illusion of duality. God is neither male or female at the same “time” God is both. God is. We are. It’s like God’s position may well have been: “I think therefore I AM. I see therefore we are. If anything, the notion that God is a male may have come from interactions with what I call subcontractors: entities tasked with performing various tasks within the hierarchy of the heavens, which ascends/simplifies back to the true essence of the One. So, though male or female pastors are both allowable I think the combination of both is the closest we can get to having pastors mirror the nature of God, and not just the lopsided, dominance of a patriarchal system that actual limits moving beyond this plane of duality (which also tends to keep people locked into the half-ass dominance of a patriarch).
I don't follow a particular religion, for these reasons. However, if your religion follows certain rules and proticols then you should follow those rules. If you don't like it, then stop following that religion and find one or create one that is a better fit. Personally, I feel God could care less either way. But religion isn't about God, it's about a doctrine created by man set for the masses.
Women represent half the world's brain power, compassion, and history. We are not so rich that we can ignore such wealth. A lot has happened in 2,000 years, we now know the earth isn't flat as well as a lot of other stuff. Get over it. I welcome great women clerics in the same way I welcome great male clerics. I can learn from both. How about you?
I expect that women are excluded from the clergy because they don't have the upper body strength for all that heavy lifting that is required of priests.
That is so true! I’m sure some altar boys can be quite heavy to lift and carry them away. ?
I simply don't believe that Christ would have ever said “sorry, you don’t qualify because you are a women”.
As a Pagan Priest, I find that this is not a problem. Sometimes, in Pagan circles, men are forced to take a back seat. I feel that there should be both. Although their roles are not the same, They deserve equal respect.
When Christianity first began is was very much a patriarchal society (many could claim we haven't made much progress since then). However, things are-a-changing and women are as connected with God as any man. Jesus didn't discriminate and God sure as heck doesn't.
We're all created out of the Divine, and frankly I think the female perspective needs to be interjected into doctrine and religion.
I'm content being labeled a heretic . . .
I believe women and men should be treated equally when it comes to becoming clergy and everything on Earth! Jesus and God both would agree.
Isn’t Jesus also God? I could never get my head around that one when I was messed up being a Christian.
I think each faith and there members should decide for themselves and it is none of our business
I don't understand what the problem is, as long as the person (Male or female) is bringing praise to God. I know a lot of Pastors that are female and they are doing a great job.
God does not change. His word is as solid as it was 2,000 + years ago. Women can teach women and children in Sunday School, but 2Timothy is clear. Again, the Bible does not change. It was given to us to adhere to. 2 Timothy says husband of one wife, NOT wife of one husband. Times change, the Bible does not.
Yet there are glaring inconsistencies and omissions in the standard KJV. It was translated for King James (a man), with many, many books left out. It's a wonderful guide, but.....
And don’t forget that there is a belief among theologians and historians that King James was homosexual. And that’s okay if he was. Just saying!
I wonder if his sexual preference affected his decision making in any way when compiling/editing/translating the KJV? At least he left Sodom and Gomorrah in, and Songs of Solomon. ?
As a woman, I liked reading the part in the Bible that said, "Trust no man. Only the Spirit knows the ways of God, let the Spirit teach you the things of God."
"Times change, the Bible does not."
ALL things change and evolve. That which does not finds itself in opposition to Harmony and will eventually cease to exist.
My opinion: Females should absolutely be ordained clergy. It wasn't but a couple generations ago in many locations that only women could be teachers (and as long as they stayed single), only women could be nurses (and as long as they stayed single). One of the attractions that drew me to Wicca was that the religion strongly recognized the gender duality of our species. Females are recognized as the moon, the male the sun; the holiness of maiden/mother/crone and the strength of the pantheon of goddesses.
I think that a woman minister would be good., times are changing , and God is the judge , let it happen if he does not it should be then he will not let it be, that's my opinion,
When I was a 7 year old boy, I joined the "He Man, woman haters club" just like Spanky and our gang. Then I grew up! Isn't it time for organized religious groups to grow up too? Imagine if "Priesthood" was only allowed for blond haired, blue eyed, males who disdained normal sexual activity, We have come so far, that now light brown hair is sort of acceptable. It seems to me that it is time to encourage well adjusted married couples to co-pastor congregations.
Why not? We should all know by now that it is all about the unity of mind, body, and spirit. These have no designated gender and are available to everyone. As long as one can put the eccentricities of man/men/women aside from these basic observed principles what does it matter? Joan of Arc was one of the most devote of Christians defending God and gave her life in belief. Are there no modern Joan of Arcs who can devote their lives to God and still lead as long as it is in a truly righteous direction?
Satan is doing good. Look how many argue for his trueth. God said it, Believe it go to heaven,change it any way you want will get you some place.else?
Bishop Thomas, I have read the post as by Mr Seth Dunn, who is a theologian as well as some ministers. " Should Women be clergy?"
Let me start with Mr. Seth, first, he has made an incorrect statement about it being biblical as too women clergy. More correctly stated, biblically speaking, women can not become a priestess. There is no biblical support for this in antiquity. As for minister Rene, she is wrong about the bible being made by a bunch of men around 400A.D. It was the 4th century and it was not made by men, but God Himself!
Fact, throughout the history of the church of Christ, there is no support for women priestess. Jesus Himself chose twelve men to lead His Church as well as seventy others, all males. Jesus, taught the twelve how He wanted them to lead His Church. Those marching orders were taken seriously, as we see inPaul's writing, "stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word(verbal teachings- these not found in bible but handed down though the leaders of the church), or our epistle(New Testament writings), see 2 Th 2:15; see also 2Th 3:6. These teachings of Christ are to be safeguarded by the church that Christ created, which is known today as the Orthodox Church, of which, in 1054 A.D. the church of Rome was cut off from, see 1 Ti 3:15. What minister Rene needs to be careful about is teaching that the bible came from men in 400. The word "priestess" is not found in the history of the Christian Church. However, clergy is a word that can be used for women the church ordained to carry out duties assigned to them. Instead of fighting about women priestess, we need to focus on what women are allowed to do in the Church of Christ, namely be clergy. The fight is mainly about consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ. So, allow women to do other things like baptisms, weddings, funerals, reading of the scriptures, etc...
A little known fact that the church does not like to talk about is The la, or as the church or Rome calls her St. Thecla. St. Thecla, was a companion of the apostle Paul. He did not like what she was doing, but he himself could not stop her because he witnessed the Holy Spirit come down upon her. She did all the things that I mentioned above, but she did not consecrated the bread and wine. We must be careful about how we attack church's who profess Christ as their God, this goes against His teachings and it does no good to those unbelievers who see us fighting one another. Discussions are needed for us to learn to understand the teachings of Christ and the apostles along with their disciples. As for the theologians who in the future that speak out on theological issues, I ask that you do so as you were taught, defend your statements. Give plenty of scripture references as well as historical evidence. Teach those you post to.
On behalf of The Universal Life Church Bishop John Thomas.
If your perticular faith or denomination allows it then fine, if not that's fine to. Not everyone believes the same so why should we expect all faith's be the same.
This falls into the "Russian propaganda on Facebook and Twitter made me vote for Hillary Clinton" category. If I don't like women preaching, I can choose to go to another church. Women preaching, gay marriage in churches, "tolerance", etc., are more about the love of money than the love of God.
Women can become Deaconesses, 1 Timothy 3:11. But not allowed to teach or hold authority over man, 1 Timothy 2:12.
Good point, David. We can all just look at Don's comments and see what happens when women hold authority over men.
John Owens, all of our mothers were women and had authority over men and that has usually worked out just fine. Head nurses in hospitals have and have had authority over male patients and, again, have usually done a very good job. There have been female presidents and prime ministers of entire countries, such as Golda Meir of Israel, Indira Gandhi of India, Corazon Aquino of the Philippines, Angela Merkel of Germany, Margaret Thatcher of the United Kingdom, Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark, Catherine the Great of Russia, Queen Elizabeth of England, Mary, Queen of Scots, and many, many others down through history and today, and they were and are, somehow, able to do their jobs just fine!! How many other responsible positions have women held down through history and all around the world still today, holding power over men, and doing a great job of it, but, for some stupid reason, out of all of those examples of women's holding power over men, only women serving as priests or ministers are singled out by conservatives and neo-Nazis (actually synonymous terms!) as being "totally unsuited to the position"!! Priests and ministers simply don't have more responsibility or even responsibility for people's "spiritual welfare" than all of these other positions that women are filling do. This restriction against women clergy is entirely due to male chauvinism, patriarchalism, and misogyny in a male dominated religion, especially in Catholicism, which have barred women from those positions. If they can handle all of these other positions (and they can!), they can certainly handle the far lesser responsibilities involved in the priesthood and ministry. There is a priest shortage in the world and the solution to that is staring the church hierarchy right in their faces, but they refuse to act on that and accept that solution: women priests and ministers and openly gay and transgender priests and ministers, instead of closetedly gay priests and ministers, as they have now. It is long past time that they thought outside of the box of their conservative idiocy and did what is actually necessary for the solution to their problems, just as Jesus did in healing people on the Sabbath Day and going outside of his tradition.
You know John you had a great post going till your comment about conservatives and Neo-Nazis. That was a statement that you could have left out and made your point more believable.
Jim, I included neo-Nazis in that post because very often (and you could even say always and be well within the truth) conservatives are just more "socially respectable" Nazis. They aren't as blatant and outrageously offensive as the Nazis are because they have seen that that doesn't fly very well with very many people and they are better politicians and more public relations conscious and caring than outright Nazis are. Just under their surface and pretensions about and to themselves and others, though, you will very often find de facto Nazis. Subtle and game-playing agreement with and expression of Nazi views aren't the same thing at all as being actually against the Nazis. That is the game that John Owens and others like him play with themselves and all others whom they can fool with all of that, but their games don't change the reality underneath and their actual position on this matter. I have asked him repeatedly to come out with the same venom that he uses against liberals and other people also against neo-Nazis and give equal time to raging against them and he has continually refused to do so and hemmed and hawed and made excuses why he "couldn't do so", proving that he doesn't actually disagree with them or he would just come out and make those statements against them, the same as he does against all of these other people!
awesome response...you have my vote @ 97%
Thank you very much Chaplain John Whitmer! 97% is good enough for me!
I love people who know what God wants. If God wants to call women to the ministry there's NOTHING that mysoginistic men can do. Just because there aren't women in the Bible as ministers doesn't mean there can't be today. After all, there's no internet in the Bible, but we're all happy to have this discussion via the internet! Test the vocation of a woman exactly as you would a man and find out if God is calling her.
Yes, we all know what God wants, just ask any Catholic Priest, or the Fairy God, or the Santa Clause God, or even the God of Wine and Beer.........now that's a God I can always pay homage to. I think the beer god is real, I read it in a beer magazine once. If it's in print it must be true, right? If fact,......I think I'll go down to my wine and "spirits" place right now and pay homage to my God. All Hail Dionysus, the God of ale!
Burn his church to the ground. Turn him into a Eunuch! Do upon him with glee all the pain before he shall upon ye. There is a Mosque where the imam is a women. It was built by women. It is run by women. Men who enter must sit in the back of the room. All women are welcome no matter what their faiths. Men on the other hand are not welcome have been known to be ask to leave the place. Women security are Dykes. That is one thing about America where all religions are on a equal footing. No one is above the other. One thing about this Mosque is that the pay county property taxes. It is the Will of God.
Read the web site 39 Popes and it will show you that the most prolific group of people preaching the Gospels up until the 900’s were women. Women have always been a big part of ministers in all denominations outside the US. For some reason this country has always had problems with women of power. It’s funny that people who use the Old Testament to rationalize that women should not be ministers are the same ones who reject the Old Testament when it doesn’t align with their narrow teachings
A RIGHT? Does that mean like a "constitutional right", a civil right? Why use that wording?
How can anyone have a "right" to become a member of the clergy? The very thought of it being a "right" is preposterous.
John Owens, it's called human rights and civil rights! That's how anyone can have the right to become a member of the clergy. That's not ridiculous (except to you and your ilk), but just common sense and reason! What one human being can do and has the right to do, another human being can do and has the right to do. The days of different standards for people are over or getting over pretty damn quick!! If there can be women truck drivers and women mechanics and women wrestlers and women soldiers and women police officers and women in so many other fields that were thought, by just such patriarchal and chauvinistic and misogynistic people as you in the past and still today, to have been and be "only doable by men", their being priests and ministers are no harder or "unsuited to women" than all of those other jobs are, and then they can prove all of you conservatives WRONG!!! once again about that!!! Equality across the board for gay and transgender people, women, black people and other minorities, liberals, socialists, and everyone else (except your kind, who don't believe in or want it for ALL!!! others) is the wave of the future!! Get used to it!! We are taking back the reins from all of you conservatives and neo-Nazis!!
Besides, there is a priest shortage in the Catholic Church and, maybe, not enough ministers in Protestant denominations, either, and so women priests and more women ministers and openly gay and transgender priests are the necessary and perfect solution to that problem and staring church leaders and hierarchies right in their faces!! It's only their being stuck in their traditional thinking, conservatism, and chauvinism that keep them from seeing or considering that and acting upon it and making it happen! It's long past time for all of them and the rest of you conservatives and neo-Nazis to think outside of the box and do what is necessary, not just conventional, and ordain women priests and more women ministers.
John back to the statement about conservatives and Nazis. I consider myself to be very conservative. I think government should stay out of our lives and only involve itself in our lives when absolutely necessary. Nazis on the other hand are 100% different look up the definition of Neo-Nazis. I believe that it is my responsibility to take care of myself and my family and not the government. It is not the governments responsibility to take care of me or my family. It is not their job to make sure I go to college or my kids go to college, its not their job to make sure I have health care. Its not their job to make sure I even have a job. If there is an organization that is Neo Nazis it would be more liberal than conservative just by nature of the beliefs that each has. Nazis believe that government should have the power as with Hitler. Liberals think the same thing. You think they want to give you free stuff out of the kindness of their heart? No, once you become dependent on the government the government owns you. That is what made Hitler so powerful during WWII. Government had total control. Now if your statement that if you are a conservative you are a Neo-Nazis then you do not understand several key things. One basic definitions of each. Two how our country was actually founded with the constitution. Three that almost every president since Lincoln could have been impeached for failure to execute the oath of office of the presidency. One of the worst to violate the oath of office was Obama. Read some history John.
Somewhere in the new testament it mentions how the original christians were to meet together often to share their strengths while having their resources be “in common. As such, it was MUCH closer to socialism than to the inherent dominance and exploitation of capitalism; which fits so nicely with the mistaken notion of the dominant patriarch paradigm. Another example: when they asked Christ if he was God he basically said that when he was in alignment with God he was one with God, in the same way that anyone who followed his examples would be one with him and one with God. There was no limitation on this only applying to males. As such, any woman who follows the Christ heart examples is also one with the Christ and one with God. One of the Christ heart examples was being a faithful shepherd and servant for a flock of others. So, OF COURSE women are capable of leading a congregation. The only problem is with the current paradigm of the dominant patriarch; which was even more of an issue during the incarnation of Isua the Christ.
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” -Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Jim, you stated that, as a conservative, you believe that "government should stay out of our lives and only involve itself in our lives when absolutely necessary". That is how the Nazis believed and acted, too, who only involved themselves in people's lives "when absolutely necessary", as they thought, for "state security": elimination of the Jews and to maintain control over the German people and their expressions and rights and freedoms "for their own good".The Nazis had no problem with the rest of the German people and gave them no problems, as long as they stayed in line and didn't cause them any problems. The Nazis weren't only genociding Jews and other "inferior" people during their 12 years in power, but also taking care of the normal responsibilities that are required by any government for its people: trash and garbage collection and disposal (not just human collection and disposal), maintaining the sewer systems, maintaining the electrical grid and power, keeping the buses and public transportation running, normal police protection for arresting non-"inferior" regular criminals and running regular courts and trials for these people and their regular incarceration if found guilty, maintaining the economy, building public roads, etc., which conservatives also have to deal with. As Michael Aquino said: "It is fortunate that the Auschwitz taboo prevents people from looking at the regular governmental operations of the Third Reich because they worked. Antisemitism was irrelevant to them". And, yes, Mussolini made the trains run on time---but at what cost? Again, conservatives don't go as far as the Nazis did in advocating, creating, and maintaining outright dictatorship because they couldn't get away with that in this society and because they have seen that that won't fly with very many people here and they are better politicians and more public relations conscious and caring than outright Nazis were and are. However, doing something in a different way isn't actually the same thing as doing something different and conservatives are pushing in the direction of dictatorship, even if they can't be as blatant in that direction as the Nazis were, by their continued efforts to limit and de factoedly deny gay people's right to marry and many other civil and human rights (even though the Supreme Court declared that denying these gay and lesbian people the right to marry is unconstitutional and assured them of their right to marry), women's reproductive freedom and full equality with men in equal pay for equal work, civil rights for black people and other minorities, legalization of recreational and medical marijuana use, and in other areas by introducing bills in the local legislatures and in selective enforcement of laws that they don't like that would obstruct those rights and impose their wills and dictatorship upon those people!! So, that is conservatives' attempt to impose dictatorship and their wills upon everyone else, even though they do it much more sneakily, pretentiously, and hypocritically than the Nazis did, not their doing something totally different than the Nazis!! As I said before, subtle and game-playing agreement with Nazi views and practices isn't the same thing at all as being against the Nazis! Whatever brings out at the same place, by whatever method, is the same as that which brings out to that place in a more direct manner!! You compare liberals and Nazis and say that they are the same thing, but, quite obviously, there are and were NO!!! Nazis who were in favor of gay rights or women's rights or minority rights or labor unions or child labor laws or interracial marriage and association or free elections or democracy or transgender rights and existence or political and social dissent or many other things that liberals are and have been for. It's a very strange kind of "closet or de facto Nazi" who is in favor of everything that Nazis are against and against everything that they are for. Many conservatives, however, do, again, agree implicitly, if not explicitly, with Nazi and Fascist views on gay rights ("they shouldn't have any or even exist in the world), women's rights, transgender rights, etc. It's, again, a very strange kind of "non-Nazi or anti-Nazi" who agrees with the Nazis, however subtly, on so much!! You yourself are similar, in some ways, to liberals, if you believe in any freedom (liberalism) at all, as compared to no freedom, other than a very narrow definition of it (as the actual Nazis believed) and so, by your own "thinking" here, you must "actually be a liberal". It makes no more sense to believe that liberals are "really Nazis" because of just some similarities that they share even with Nazis (and all other people on Earth)!! "Socialist" in "National Socialist" was just to lure the SUCKERS!! in, who could be convinced by just a word in the title of a political party that it "must actually be a Socialist party", even though it stood for none of the principles of Socialism and was always fighting the Communists and Socialists!! As for "big government" and "imposing on people's lives by liberals", what, exactly, put forth and enacted by liberals would you like to get rid of "because it is an imposition on people and big government"? Social Security, the Civil Rights Bill, the Equal Rights Amendment, integration of the schools and busing, fair housing and employment, non-discrimination based on race, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religion, mental or physical disability? What? If these things are impositions on the people, maybe, sometimes, they need a little imposing on if they won't be fair and equitable with other people on their own, consistently or reliably, without that "imposition" or would you really prefer that society was without all of these protections, rights, and services?!! You stated that it's not the government's job to make sure that you go to college or have good health care or have a job and many other things and if you really don't need its help with any of those things, that's great, but what about those people who do need help with all or some of those things? What are they supposed to do? Go without that help just because you and some other people don't need it? Isn't that very self-centered and self-interested alone on your and some other people's parts? Isn't the government and our society, generally, supposed to take care of all of our citizens and especially those who can't help themselves? Aren't we our brothers' keepers? Besides, as I just pointed out, conservatives want and try as much as you can to impose your agenda upon the people, too, and so there is going to be some imposition going on either way, no matter who is doing the imposing, and it is just a question of which is the better imposition. Pick your poison!! If conservatives, such as John Owens and many others, weren't really in agreement with the Nazis' views and were really against the Nazis, they wouldn't have to be goaded and pressured into coming out with statements against the Nazis, instead of always only coming out with statements against liberals, Muslims, gay people's rights, and other matters and people, because that doesn't have to be done to people who really hate the Nazis!! Nobody has to pressure or goad me or other people into denouncing and condemning the Nazis and so if John Owens and his ilk really hated the Nazis as much as we do, nobody would have to goad or pressure them into doing so, either!! John Owens' father fought in WWII and shot bullets at the Nazis, but his son won't even shoot a few words against them (more than once in a blue moon and as a token word against them) and so dishonors the memory of his father!! You mentioned that you are a family man and father, but so were many Nazis and that didn't contradict their being outspoken and outright Nazis. If it didn't contradict their being Nazis, how could that possibly contradict people's being more subtly and implicitly in agreement with the Nazis, though they can't go as far and as obviously in their direction as they did? As for Obama's "being one of the worst to violate the oath of office", if I don't even believe you people about yourselves because you are simply not objective about yourselves, why on Earth would I or anyone other than your own people believe you about anything else, either, especially someone that you are as antagonistic and subjective toward as you are toward Barack Obama?!! What "violation of the oath of office" are you talking about, other than one dreamed up in your own jaundiced and skewed view of the man?!! I'm reading incessantly, when I'm not here posting or doing other things, which is why I don't buy conservative lies about yourselves or fall for any your lies about Barack Obama or other people, either!! Well, I could go on against your post and conservatives, generally, forever, as you may have guessed by now, but we both, I'm sure, have other things to do. Reply when you want