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Raising Kids in a Different Religion?


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33 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I haven't internalized it because I don't believe it. But that's a very common perspective in any church. Many people see someone leaving their church (even if they don't have a personal relationship with that person) as a personal attack on them. I've seen a lot of people leave over the years. People talk about it, trying to figure out what happened. The 'go to' when people leave Orthodoxy is that they couldn't keep the fasts. The 'go to' when people leave Catholicism is that they want to use artificial birth control. Then the speculation is that the person wasn't educated enough about the faith or they wanted to sex outside of marriage, fill in the blank. 

It's really difficult for people to understand that another person can disagree about religion in good faith. It's also difficult for religious people to understand non-religious people. 

I think this is precisely one of the reasons I admire my parent’s personal practice of Catholicism so much. First, they truly live their faith every day in how they treat others and are of service. Second, despite only one of their children staying in the faith, they have never expressed any concern, anger, disappointment or any other negative feelings toward any of us for leaving the Church. But I also wasn’t raised to believe Catholicism or even Christianity is the only way to God, just the path they chose. I’m guessing some Catholics would say that means my parents aren’t true believers, but to me they are epitome of a Christian.

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I went through the same thing.  When asked the types of questions you pose, I would preface my answers with "Well, the church teaches that ..., but many people believe ..."  When they then asked, "Wel

I face this to a certain degree with some of the stories/requirements  in Islam.  Usually, I'm pretty open with my kids and will say that some people believe that this literally happened, while others

I'm confused about your question.    You daughter seems like a typical child asking questions.  Nothing earth-shattering and the Church does have answers for those.  As for behavior in church for adul

40 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Of course, there must be a base assumption that God actually calls anyone to the priesthood. 

Here's my take on this one after years of being "religious" and growing up in the Bible Belt. We all want to do various things; be a priest, go to medical school, marry someone or even minor things like buy a new car. A lot of people genuinely *feel* like God wants them to do those things. But do they feel that way because they really want to do those things or is really from God? Haven't we all noticed that God usually wants us to do what we want to do? KWIM? I honestly believe that most of the time, we're simply doing what we want to do and God has nothing to do with it. 

Another religious person is usually willing to believe that it's true inspiration if they agree with what the person is doing. For example, that person prayed and decided to join my church. God led them to do that. That other person prayed and decided to convert to Islam. God couldn't have led them to do that so they are deluded. (obviously this is not what I believe - I'm just going through the thought process) I remember a debate years ago about a bumper sticker that said something like "I pray and I'm pro-choice." The person I discussed this with could not believe that anyone could pray and be pro-choice. He was unwilling to ascribe any kind of good faith to that car owner's faith because he disagreed with the outcome. 

Sorry- I know I'm rambling here. 

I dunno.  I went to seminary, and there were a whole lot of calling stories where the person who was called really, really, REALLY did not want to become a pastor/ priest.  Often they fought against it, ignored it, did other things for sometimes decades.....  I'm just saying, this is a convenient narrative, but it doesn't really line up with the experiences of a lot of people who feel called.  As one friend said, "Called to do what?  Take a $40,000 a year pay cut to do a thankless job, in an arena I do not have a natural bent for, to serve a bunch of people half the time I don't even like?"  

Edited by Terabith
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I can't remember where I was reading/listening to it, but someone recently was talking about how just because you are called to be a housewife, and then called to work, that doesn't mean the first calling was wrong. Maybe God had certain thins he wanted you to learn in that place and time, and now he has other things for you to do or learn. (not really applicable to the priest calling thing, but more to the idea that changing religions may not be because you made a mistake, but because it is a journey and you are meant to learn or do different things at different times and all of it is God's will)

Oh! I remember! Pretty sure it was the Hobo for Christ lady! I love her insights!

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Mainly, OP, what I'm picking up is a LOT of discomfort, and edging into resentment, anger, etc with your current church. For that reason alone, I think yes you should leave, and ASAP. Because that feeling WILL spill out onto God and eventually your daughter is going to pick up on it and that's going to be confusing and upsetting. Get somewhere where the church helps you see God, instead of putting up roadblocks. 

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30 minutes ago, Terabith said:

I dunno.  I went to seminary, and there were a whole lot of calling stories where the person who was called really, really, REALLY did not want to become a pastor/ priest.  Often they fought against it, ignored it, did other things for sometimes decades.....  I'm just saying, this is a convenient narrative, but it doesn't really line up with the experiences of a lot of people who feel called.  As one friend said, "Called to do what?  Take a $40,000 a year pay cut to do a thankless job, in an arena I do not have a natural bent for, to serve a bunch of people half the time I don't even like?"  

I get what you are saying. 

So much of this is a mystery. What about priests who did more damage than good? Did God not actually call them? Or did God call them and they were corrupted? 

Speaking only for myself here - it seems obvious to me that none of this is black and white. It's interesting because ISTM that as religious practice has decreased and church membership falls, that the lines become even stronger. It's not exactly "here comes everyone" (James Joyce) in either the Catholic or Orthodox churches today. It's hard to be a hanger-on, KWIM? Sure, in the past when everyone went to Mass, a lot of people just went through the motions. That's the logic for a smaller but more 'pure' church. But I think it can be a vicious cycle because as it becomes more 'pure' then it exclude and alienates more people. Thus making the church smaller and the cycle continues. 

This isn't just a Christian thing. One of my law school classmates was a Hasidic Orthodox woman. A very unique woman. She told me that her generation is more strict in their religious observances than her parents and her children's generation are stricter than hers. She said this causes more people to be excluded because they can't keep up with the community's expectations. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I get what you are saying. 

So much of this is a mystery. What about priests who did more damage than good? Did God not actually call them? Or did God call them and they were corrupted? 

Speaking only for myself here - it seems obvious to me that none of this is black and white. It's interesting because ISTM that as religious practice has decreased and church membership falls, that the lines become even stronger. It's not exactly "here comes everyone" (James Joyce) in either the Catholic or Orthodox churches today. It's hard to be a hanger-on, KWIM? Sure, in the past when everyone went to Mass, a lot of people just went through the motions. That's the logic for a smaller but more 'pure' church. But I think it can be a vicious cycle because as it becomes more 'pure' then it exclude and alienates more people. Thus making the church smaller and the cycle continues. 

This isn't just a Christian thing. One of my law school classmates was a Hasidic Orthodox woman. A very unique woman. She told me that her generation is more strict in their religious observances than her parents and her children's generation are stricter than hers. She said this causes more people to be excluded because they can't keep up with the community's expectations. 

 

I agree entirely. 

As for priests doing more harm than good - no idea. Maybe they were not called but sought power. Or maybe they were called, but then went against what they new to be right and sinned. I don't know. 

 

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To clarify, I'm not at all saying that all people who seek to become pastors/ priests are called.  Some people are called.  Some people seek it out, for good reasons (a desire to serve others), for neutral reasons (my father and grandfather were pastors and my family wants me to be a pastor, and I don't have any other real idea of what to do, and I have some moderate talent in the arena), for horrible reasons (lust for power, easy access to vulnerable persons who are easy to abuse).  Some people are called but fall.  People are people.  

But I do disagree with the notion that call is always about what you really want to do.  

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I don't really understand this 'calling' thing.  It is not a teaching I was raised with.  It was more.....find out what God expects and do your very very best to do it-religiously and morally that is.  As far as what work  you do, or whether you work outside the home, or whatever....as long as you apply Bible principles (for instance not work for a company that promotes something immoral) then a lot of things in life are purely personal choice/free will.

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16 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I don't really understand this 'calling' thing.  It is not a teaching I was raised with.  It was more.....find out what God expects and do your very very best to do it-religiously and morally that is.  As far as what work  you do, or whether you work outside the home, or whatever....as long as you apply Bible principles (for instance not work for a company that promotes something immoral) then a lot of things in life are purely personal choice/free will.

Having a “calling” to the ministry is probably something you would hear from church workers in certain Protestant denominations. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod(LCMS) and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod(WELS) come to mind. DH felt called to the ministry when he was in high school. 

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1 hour ago, May said:

Having a “calling” to the ministry is probably something you would hear from church workers in certain Protestant denominations. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod(LCMS) and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod(WELS) come to mind. DH felt called to the ministry when he was in high school. 

To my knowledge, a "call" in the LCMS or WELS does not equal what seems to be implied here: an inner direction from God to do a certain thing. Confessional Lutherans consider a call to be a qualification for ministry bestowed upon a person (in those denominations, a man) who has been adequately instructed and trained and shown himself to be fit for the office of pastor. Confessional Lutherans generally consider Christians to have freedom in making temporal decisions like what job to pursue and do not put much stock in there being a specific destiny or what have you for each person. Our vocations are shaped by God's Law as given in scripture, but within those bounds we have freedom to make choices in regards to employment, marriage, etc.

The idea of an inner calling like what appears to be implied in this conversation is much more of an evangelical concept.

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20 minutes ago, PeachyDoodle said:

To my knowledge, a "call" in the LCMS or WELS does not equal what seems to be implied here: an inner direction from God to do a certain thing. Confessional Lutherans consider a call to be a qualification for ministry bestowed upon a person (in those denominations, a man) who has been adequately instructed and trained and shown himself to be fit for the office of pastor. Confessional Lutherans generally consider Christians to have freedom in making temporal decisions like what job to pursue and do not put much stock in there being a specific destiny or what have you for each person. Our vocations are shaped by God's Law as given in scripture, but within those bounds we have freedom to make choices in regards to employment, marriage, etc.

The idea of an inner calling like what appears to be implied in this conversation is much more of an evangelical concept.

Yes, I agree. DH is now a retired LCMS chaplain/pastor😊

Edited by May
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26 minutes ago, Terabith said:

Catholics and Episcopalians believe in calls.  Methodists.  I thought it was kind of universal, but apparently not.  

I think it depends on what is meant by the term "call." 

In some denominations, it's the church body that issues the call. (Or perhaps, technically speaking, they would say that God issues the call through the church.) In other expressions of Christianity, the call is considered to be internal -- i.e., straight from God himself to an individual. There are a number of large American churches that are pastored by people who believe they received an internal call and then went out and planted a church, apart from the support of a specific denomination, seminary, etc. So I think it can be the kind of situation where people talk past one another by using the same word to mean different things. 

I agree that it's fairly universal to believe in calls, so far as I know, if you consider both definitions of the word. But I could be wrong.

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5 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

To my knowledge, a "call" in the LCMS or WELS does not equal what seems to be implied here: an inner direction from God to do a certain thing. Confessional Lutherans consider a call to be a qualification for ministry bestowed upon a person (in those denominations, a man) who has been adequately instructed and trained and shown himself to be fit for the office of pastor. Confessional Lutherans generally consider Christians to have freedom in making temporal decisions like what job to pursue and do not put much stock in there being a specific destiny or what have you for each person. Our vocations are shaped by God's Law as given in scripture, but within those bounds we have freedom to make choices in regards to employment, marriage, etc.

The idea of an inner calling like what appears to be implied in this conversation is much more of an evangelical concept.

It’s definitely a Catholic concept. I don’t know about other denominations. But given my experience with relatives who were priests and nuns, family pressure and status (at least for priests) often had more to do with it than any true calling. Back in the day, becoming a nun was also one of the best paths for a Catholic woman to become educated and achieve leadership positions in education and healthcare.

Edited to add that I don’t think status is nearly as much of a reason today for entering the priesthood. If anything, it might be the opposite. In general, I think priests today are viewed quite differently, even by practicing Catholics, than when my parents were growing up or even when I was a child.

Edited by Frances
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I would say that in most of the liturgical churches with a structure beyond the parish level the idea of a call is both internal and external.  There is the sense that you are being called (though as was said not always one a person wants, it can be more like being dragged into something you aren't interested in.)

But also there is always some process whereby the individual presents to the parish, to the higher levels, and they accept that there is or at least might be a call, and there are usually a number of steps to go through beyond that.  In my church a parish needs to sponsor you, there is a groups that does all kinds of examination of the person, tests, the bishop has to accept them, they have to do work in several kinds of parishes and the leaders there report back.  Then they can be ordained as a deacon but it's still a year to be ordained as a priest and its not a guarantee. 

Lots and lots of people are rejected, they thought they had a call, but the Church says they didn't.

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But in certain denominations, say Catholicism and EO, women would always be rejected from the priesthood even if they thought hey had a call. Whereas some men would be accepted and some would be rejected after going through the process of discernment. And some would stop the process voluntarily.

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8 hours ago, Frances said:

But in certain denominations, say Catholicism and EO, women would always be rejected from the priesthood even if they thought hey had a call. Whereas some men would be accepted and some would be rejected after going through the process of discernment. And some would stop the process voluntarily.

I think this goes back to the definition of "call," though. I am not Catholic or EO, although my denomination also does not ordain women. If the primary meaning of call in the RCC or EO is the same as in my denomination (i.e., "the qualification for the office of priest/pastor issued by God through the church"), then women would not have had a "call," nor would the men who didn't fit the qualification criteria. The call has to come via the church, and the church has established parameters for issuing said call. One of which is that the candidate must be male.

We can argue whether that stipulation is good or correct (not that I really want to have that argument), but the fact that it is a requirement to receive a call is established. In my church, a woman who felt that God was leading her to become a pastor would be told that she was mistaken; in the view of my church, scripture reserves the pastorate for men only, and God would not lead a Christian in a direction contrary to scripture. Her internal sense of "calling" would not be considered an actual calling from God, any more that would that of a man who doesn't meet one of the other qualifications for the pastoral office. Or any more than a sense of leading to do any number of other things contrary to church doctrine -- divorce a spouse to marry another person, for example.

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On 9/13/2019 at 5:36 AM, Mrs. A said:

, it's not so much about doing as about being, and preference, strong as it may be, doesn't change that.  

 

But for someone who has had female friends become Episcopal priests, OE and RC restrictions seem to be about patriarchal rules, not about “being.”

 

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33 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

 

But for someone who has had female friends become Episcopal priests, OE and RC restrictions seem to be about patriarchal rules, not about “being.”

 

Or maybe it's just that Episcopalians and OE/RCC have different conceptions of what the priesthood is and does.

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3 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

I think this goes back to the definition of "call," though. I am not Catholic or EO, although my denomination also does not ordain women. If the primary meaning of call in the RCC or EO is the same as in my denomination (i.e., "the qualification for the office of priest/pastor issued by God through the church"), then women would not have had a "call," nor would the men who didn't fit the qualification criteria. The call has to come via the church, and the church has established parameters for issuing said call. One of which is that the candidate must be male.

We can argue whether that stipulation is good or correct (not that I really want to have that argument), but the fact that it is a requirement to receive a call is established. In my church, a woman who felt that God was leading her to become a pastor would be told that she was mistaken; in the view of my church, scripture reserves the pastorate for men only, and God would not lead a Christian in a direction contrary to scripture. Her internal sense of "calling" would not be considered an actual calling from God, any more that would that of a man who doesn't meet one of the other qualifications for the pastoral office. Or any more than a sense of leading to do any number of other things contrary to church doctrine -- divorce a spouse to marry another person, for example.

Of course she would be told she was mistaken, that was precisely my point. A woman would always be told no, you must be misinterpreting what you believe God is saying to you. But only some men would be told that. And these interpretations of scripture, including that the candidate must be a male, were made by men. Although of course they believe they come from God, just as those that allow the ordination of woman believe they come from God.

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1 hour ago, PeachyDoodle said:

Or maybe it's just that Episcopalians and OE/RCC have different conceptions of what the priesthood is and does.

 

Other than traditional patriarchal rules what about the OE/RC conception of what priesthood is and does makes it impossible for a female?  

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11 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Other than traditional patriarchal rules what about the OE/RC conception of what priesthood is and does makes it impossible for a female?  

The priest or bishop stands in the place of Christ. He is a living image of Christ as head of the Church to the people. Jesus is a man. There's no way around that. 

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29 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Other than traditional patriarchal rules what about the OE/RC conception of what priesthood is and does makes it impossible for a female?  

I can't answer that. As I said above, I have very little experience with either the RCC or Orthodoxy. 

In my own tradition, the role of scripture to lead and guide the entirety of the church dictates that the scriptures that prohibit women from holding the office of pastor be upheld. 

My point is that people of good faith can hold differing views, even within the same religion.

Edited by PeachyDoodle
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57 minutes ago, Frances said:

Of course she would be told she was mistaken, that was precisely my point. A woman would always be told no, you must be misinterpreting what you believe God is saying to you. But only some men would be told that. And these interpretations of scripture, including that the candidate must be a male, were made by men. Although of course they believe they come from God, just as those that allow the ordination of woman believe they come from God.

No. I am not saying a woman "misinterpreted" what God said to her. In traditions in which the call MUST proceed from God through the body of the church there simply was no "call." Same is true for any man who doesn't meet the qualifications. The reasons for denying a man ordination might differ from the reasons for denying a woman, but in the end it all comes down to the fact that there is a fairly stringent list of qualifications and if you don't meet them all, then you're denied. Men are no more called to the pastoral office directly and internally by God than women are. God issues the call THROUGH the church.

My own tradition would say that God ONLY speaks through his Word and doesn't issue calls or directions or anything of the sort to an individual, woman or man. Obviously, denominations vary on this. Usually it has to do with the role of scripture in the tradition, whether it's regarded as being vs. containing the words of God. But we generally eschew any kind of what we call "enthusiasm" -- internal, subjective experiences of God. This isn't a "women are too silly to know what God is saying to them" kind of thing. We simply don't believe God communicates in that way, period.

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20 minutes ago, PeachyDoodle said:

No. I am not saying a woman "misinterpreted" what God said to her. In traditions in which the call MUST proceed from God through the body of the church there simply was no "call." Same is true for any man who doesn't meet the qualifications. The reasons for denying a man ordination might differ from the reasons for denying a woman, but in the end it all comes down to the fact that there is a fairly stringent list of qualifications and if you don't meet them all, then you're denied. Men are no more called to the pastoral office directly and internally by God than women are. God issues the call THROUGH the church.

My own tradition would say that God ONLY speaks through his Word and doesn't issue calls or directions or anything of the sort to an individual, woman or man. Obviously, denominations vary on this. Usually it has to do with the role of scripture in the tradition, whether it's regarded as being vs. containing the words of God. But we generally eschew any kind of what we call "enthusiasm" -- internal, subjective experiences of God. This isn't a "women are too silly to know what God is saying to them" kind of thing. We simply don't believe God communicates in that way, period.

Interesting. So how does the whole process begin? Does a man express an interest in being ordained, even though it is not due to any feeling of direction or guidance from God. Or do church leaders choose men to be considered and ask them to enter into the process of reviewing qualifications? Or do church leaders go through the process with no involvement from the individual and then tell them they have been called to be ordained?

Edited by Frances
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OP, I recently listened to this podcast episode, and the guest was a former baptist who grew up feeling the call to ordination but was told and believed she must be wrong, it was really just a call to service in other ways, and then eventually became an Anglican priest. https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/theology-in-the-raw/2019/8/5/751-a-southern-baptist-girl-turned-anglican-priest-a-conversation-with-tish-harrison-warren

This podcast episode (different show) is about how she can to believe women can and should be ordained. https://www.missioalliance.org/podcasts/tishharrisonwarrenjonathanwarren/

You might want to listen, since she has also had a journey from a male led religion to something else. Might also be good to have on hand if you have questions from your daughter you need to answer. 

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2 minutes ago, Danae said:

 

Salvation, in the classical Christian traditon, is only possible because of the Incarnation— Jesus taking human flesh. It does not matter that the specific body he was incarnate as was male, both women and men are included. Yet somehow when standing in the place of Christ for the congregation the specifics of the particular body suddenly do matter. I don’t believe that sex/gender can be incidental to the process of salvation and yet crucial when it comes to ordination. Which is why, despite being attracted to the more formal liturgy I will NEVER  join a church that does not ordain women. 

Same. I can't and don't find evidence that maleness is any more required to stand in for Jesus than a certain height, skin color, etc. But I can accept that others differ. 

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7 minutes ago, Frances said:

Interesting. So how does the whole process begin? Does a man express an interest in being ordained, even though it is not due to any feeling of direction or guidance from God. Or do church leaders choose men to be considered and ask them to enter into the process of reviewing qualifications? Or do church leaders go through the process with no involvement from the individual and then tell them they have been called to be ordained?

It happens the way you would expect it to happen: men who are interested in pursuing vocational ministry go to school for it and then enter the process of examination and, once qualified, receiving a call from a congregation in need of a pastor. Pretty much the same way anybody else goes about getting any other kind of job. 

It's not that we don't believe that God directs and guides our choices in employment. We just don't think he speaks directly to individuals to tell them what he wants them to do, outside of the commands of scripture. He doesn't issue an internal calls to pastors any more than he does to bakers or lawyers or SAHM's. A lot of factors go into choosing a particular job -- interests, temperament, practical considerations like whether you are or intend to be married/have a family, etc. Christians have freedom to pursue employment in line with their personal preferences. 

Edited by PeachyDoodle
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2 hours ago, Mrs. A said:

The priest or bishop stands in the place of Christ. He is a living image of Christ as head of the Church to the people. Jesus is a man. There's no way around that. 

 

I can understand that as a belief system. But think it may not be what Ordinary Shoes wants for her dd.  

It reminds me of someone I knew IRL who was very emphatic about the place of men versus women from a Biblical standpoint.  Man was made in God’s image, he would say, not woman.  Only man . Women were created only to be a Man’s help meet  and companion, and of course to raise children.  But generally Man was who was in a special covenant with God. Woman an afterthought to keep Man company.  That’s what the Bible says and in his view and that of his Church, that is the Truth . No way getting around that either in that view.  

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5 hours ago, Mrs. A said:

The priest or bishop stands in the place of Christ. He is a living image of Christ as head of the Church to the people. Jesus is a man. There's no way around that. 

What's missing here is the reliance on authority. You can't justify a male only priesthood based on the Bible unless you also justify the other problematic things in the Bible about the differences between men and women. That's why feminism is such a challenge to traditional churches. 

Also, there are many ways to logically refute this statement. How do we know for certain that there were no female priests or bishops in the early Church? We don't. Danae's point above is a good one too. Why does maleness matter here but not elsewhere. No one has ever credibly argued that women can't saved through Jesus because they are female and He was a male. There isn't even credible evidence that Jesus existed, let alone was a man. 

Authority of the Church is the only way to justify this, at least IMHO. If the Church is what she claims to be then it has the authority to say that only men can be priests. You accept the authority of the Church or you don't. That's why these arguments go in circles. Someone who accepts the authority of the Church will accept the teaching, on that basis (even if they don't state that explicitly), and those who reject the Church's authority won't be convinced by their arguments. 

That the Church has this authority is a much more compelling argument, IMHO. If the Church does not have this authority, then who does? Without the authority of the Church, you have the Bible. First, why is the Bible The Bible? The Church (both Orthodox and Catholic) says that this group of writings is The Bible because the Church says it is. 

Once you've established that the Bible has authority - how do you interpret it? It is not written in any modern language. Most of us read translations of translations. Aside from the language issues, what does it mean? The Church claims that it gets to decide what it means because it is the Church. 

The authority of the Church is a compelling argument, at least to me. Where are we without that authority? Like I wrote, you can credibly argue that Jesus didn't exist. Even if you concede that He existed, there is no evidence of the crucifixion or Resurrection. You can't have little 'o' orthodox Christianity without a crucifixion and a Resurrection. All of the things that Christians agree about Jesus were decided in councils of the Church. You take a hatchet to those roots - then how do you know that Jesus was true God and true man? 

I think (only speaking for myself because I know that everyone thinks about these issues differently), it all comes down to whether the Church has authority or not. For me the question is if you take away the authority of the Church, then what is the basis for Christianity? And ultimately for me, that is why no matter how much I gripe and complain, I haven't actually stepped over the line and out of that body that claims to have that authority. No matter how disappointing both Catholicism and Orthodoxy can be in their current manifestations. "The road to hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lampposts that light the way." - generally attributed to St. John Chrysostom 

 

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Ordinary Shoes, we are SO similar. I also struggle with the authority of the Church issue. 

I do think you'd really like the second podcast I linked. I listened to it today and it was REALLy good - drawing on both scripture and tradition in the early Church. 

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2 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

Not believing in the authority of The Church doesn't mean all of those things you claimed, though. Protestants by and large don't believe in it and would 100% disagree with what you just said about the credibility of The Bible and Jesus. 

Right, but those from RC, EO, and Anglican traditions don't actually understand why the Bible is an authority, since the only reason is found within the Bible, and they would consider that a circular argument. So if she's still in that place, that won't work. 

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Ordinary Shoes, the Episcopal church still relies on Tradition, but not on absolute authority, so that's maybe something to look into. The "three legged stool" of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason are often mentioned in Episcopal/Anglican circles. 

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24 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Right, but those from RC, EO, and Anglican traditions don't actually understand why the Bible is an authority, since the only reason is found within the Bible, and they would consider that a circular argument. So if she's still in that place, that won't work. 

I admit up front that I don't know much about Protestant teachings about these things. How does the Bible have authority if not from an external source? It claims authority but lots of books claim authority. Why believe the Bible but not the Koran? Why believe the 2 books of the Bible but not the Book of Mormon? 

I know it's true because I feel it's true does not work, IMHO because doesn't every religious tradition feel that their religious books are divinely inspired? 

Years ago, I took a class at a Catholic church that was taught by a priest who spoke multiple languages. He would read a passage from his Bible and then ask us to read it from our Bibles and we would compare. As someone who never learned to speak a foreign language, I was shocked that there wasn't a one to one relationship between words in one language and another. (I know that sounds stupid.) Then he would write the original Greek word on the board and go through the English words that are commonly thought to translate to that Greek word. It was fascinating. My take away from that was what Bible has authority? 

Later as I began to learn more about Orthodoxy, I came across the idea that one of the reasons for the schism was that the two parts of the Church (east and west) grew apart because they spoke different languages; the west spoke Latin and the east spoke Greek. Greek is more descriptive and theological (not good words, I know) than Latin. So the East would write something in Greek and the West translate it into Latin. The Greek words would have a broader meaning than the Latin words simply because of the differences between the languages. After a thousand years, east and west had grown very far apart in theology. 

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41 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I admit up front that I don't know much about Protestant teachings about these things. How does the Bible have authority if not from an external source? It claims authority but lots of books claim authority. Why believe the Bible but not the Koran? Why believe the 2 books of the Bible but not the Book of Mormon? 

I know it's true because I feel it's true does not work, IMHO because doesn't every religious tradition feel that their religious books are divinely inspired? 

Years ago, I took a class at a Catholic church that was taught by a priest who spoke multiple languages. He would read a passage from his Bible and then ask us to read it from our Bibles and we would compare. As someone who never learned to speak a foreign language, I was shocked that there wasn't a one to one relationship between words in one language and another. (I know that sounds stupid.) Then he would write the original Greek word on the board and go through the English words that are commonly thought to translate to that Greek word. It was fascinating. My take away from that was what Bible has authority? 

Later as I began to learn more about Orthodoxy, I came across the idea that one of the reasons for the schism was that the two parts of the Church (east and west) grew apart because they spoke different languages; the west spoke Latin and the east spoke Greek. Greek is more descriptive and theological (not good words, I know) than Latin. So the East would write something in Greek and the West translate it into Latin. The Greek words would have a broader meaning than the Latin words simply because of the differences between the languages. After a thousand years, east and west had grown very far apart in theology. 

That was a big part of why the couple in that podcast shifted their view of female ordination. The husband was in seminary and writing a paper about how the Bible doesn't allow it, and hit the word translated as "authority" in most english bibles, as in a woman should not have authority over a man. And he realized that the word was not used anywhere else in the New Testament - so you couldn't understand what it meant by looking at scripture. Those saying it means authority were citing references from 100 years later if I remember correctly. He came to understand the passage to mean more that a woman shouldn't browbeat her husband, not that a woman shouldn't have authority over a man. 

They also admitted that they don't feel this is an issue anyone can have total assurance they are right about. That although the Bible is clear on things necessary for salvation, some of it is complicated, and we may get it wrong. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I admit up front that I don't know much about Protestant teachings about these things. How does the Bible have authority if not from an external source? It claims authority but lots of books claim authority. Why believe the Bible but not the Koran? Why believe the 2 books of the Bible but not the Book of Mormon? 

I know it's true because I feel it's true does not work, IMHO because doesn't every religious tradition feel that their religious books are divinely inspired? 

A Protestant doctrine of the authority of scripture would rest in large part on the historicity of the New Testament and of Christ as a real person who lived, suffered, died, and was resurrected and who affirmed the authority of of the Old Testament and commissioned the New. So if you reject the historical arguments, particularly for the resurrection, those doctrines probably aren't going to hold a lot of weight for you.

The Protestant Reformation was primarily about making the authority of the Church subject to scripture. Some Protestant traditions took sola scriptura to the extreme and reject the authority of the church and tradition altogether. Others, including Lutherans (and I believe Anglicans/Episcopalians would fall into this category as well), retained some belief in the importance of church/tradition, so long as those traditions were in alignment with scripture.

Towards the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a shift in some denominations away from viewing the Bible as the Word of God to viewing it as containing words about God. Some conservative denominations retain the former view, and these are usually the ones that are considered more Fundamentalist. The more mainline denominations tend towards the latter view and take more leeway in interpretation within a modern context.

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I cannot speak for your specific situation (and I do not know what Jurisdiction you are in), but here are some things I've come to (and are held up by my Jurisdiction and parish...though, even parishes can vary):

Those who leave are not *insert whatever*. They are on a different part of their journey. Do we trust God or do we not? Eyes on our own plates (ftr, my husband and several of my children have left the Church also).

Children are the life of the Church and adults can behave badly also. Children are expected to wiggle, be redirected, and not expected to sit and hold it when they have to go to the loo. We have yiayias and papous and nouni to sometimes take a wiggly child and walk them around to show the icons to when they simply can't be still. We had an elder woman (we called her Monastic Koula, even though she was married) that once stood up and loudly told all the adults to SHUSH and remember where they are. Not the children...the ADULTS. The adults deserved it. Everyone hushed and no one spoke badly about the incident. People need reminding and children are learning. It is the adults that need to remember that THEY are the role models (and we can be terrible at it).

Modesty is subjective. There are those that will flaunt the expectations and there are those that will abuse the expectations. This can happen in any faith or church. It's not even a patriarchal issue. Women can do it to each other without ANY man involved. 

The Church is DIVERSE. Every end of the political and social spectrum make it up. I've seen extremes and people spread throughout the middle.

If you are questioning or not believing everything, THAT IS OKAY! We all go through things and this is part of our journey at different points in our lives. Some choose to stay through it and some do not. I'm not one to judge you or your salvation and shame on those that do. All I can say is that this is apparently something you are working through...just like the rest of us. 

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It would not solve the patriarchal aspects, but you also might want to try a church that is not OCA such as Greek Orthodox to possibly get a sense of orthodoxy with less American convert fanaticism and fundamentalism , if that’s part of the problem in your parish. 

 

 

16 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I think (only speaking for myself because I know that everyone thinks about these issues differently), it all comes down to whether the Church has authority or not. For me the question is if you take away the authority of the Church, then what is the basis for Christianity? And ultimately for me, that is why no matter how much I gripe and complain, I haven't actually stepped over the line and out of that body that claims to have that authority.

 

Yes. I think That’s the core issue.

 

and why I recommend reading both some George Fox and some Matthew Fox

 

What is Christianity ?  What is the church?

Is it a very simple Quaker/Friends sort of church of “Wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in my name” and to do good works and “to love your neighbor as your self” and to love strangers as oneself also?

Or is it an Authority based Church with complicated hierarchy and rules? 

Or something else? 

It sounds like you are on an interesting faith journey.  

If you believe in an omnipotent and loving  God, then I don’t think you need fear stepping away from a Church in order to seek God and what God may want for you and your daughter      And if you decide that OE was most right for you after all, I think you can return to it, can’t you? Or would you be shunned if you stepped away and then tried to return? 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Pen said:

It would not solve the patriarchal aspects, but you also might want to try a church that is not OCA such as Greek Orthodox to possibly get a sense of orthodoxy with less American convert fanaticism and fundamentalism , if that’s part of the problem in your parish. 

If you believe in an omnipotent and loving  God, then I don’t think you need fear stepping away from a Church in order to seek God and what God may want for you and your daughter      And if you decide that OE was most right for you after all, I think you can return to it, can’t you? Or would you be shunned if you stepped away and then tried to return? 

 

 

 

This. So much this. I know in the GOA, we can step away and not be shunned or shamed. I am rarely at Church right now due to life issues. I have been told that the Church is always there and this is just the stage of life I am in. My parish is there and I show up for things as I am able. In fact, I have attended, but avoid, certain Jurisdictions for the reasons listed.

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On 9/13/2019 at 2:19 PM, PeachyDoodle said:

.

The idea of an inner calling like what appears to be implied in this conversation is much more of an evangelical concept.

This is true and correct, but I’m 60ish and that evangelical view of a felt call floated around a lot in confessional LCMS circles when I was young.  It had crept in, and in the last 10-15 years has been corrected back to what you describe.

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On 9/13/2019 at 11:49 AM, Frances said:

 But I also wasn’t raised to believe Catholicism or even Christianity is the only way to God, just the path they chose. I’m guessing some Catholics would say that means my parents aren’t true believers, but to me they are epitome of a Christian.

That's the Catholic upbringing I had but everyone we knew was pretty much the same so my parents weren't ostracized or even looked down on for their views. They were also mostly liberal politically. Social justice, civil rights, etc. was always part of our religious teaching by nuns, priests, and adults.This was the 1960s and I think younger cradle Catholics as well as converts actually became more conservative as time went by. Then again, I've also wondered if it's because our parish was Franciscan, and our family and friends also belonged to RC churches of the Franciscan order, even if they didn't attend the same church. 

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50 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

That's the Catholic upbringing I had but everyone we knew was pretty much the same so my parents weren't ostracized or even looked down on for their views. They were also mostly liberal politically. Social justice, civil rights, etc. was always part of our religious teaching by nuns, priests, and adults.This was the 1960s and I think younger cradle Catholics as well as converts actually became more conservative as time went by. Then again, I've also wondered if it's because our parish was Franciscan, and our family and friends also belonged to RC churches of the Franciscan order, even if they didn't attend the same church. 

I think at least part of Catholicism becoming more conservative in the US is due to many Catholics moving away from their working class roots through upward mobility.

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5 hours ago, mommaduck said:

 

Those who leave are not *insert whatever*. They are on a different part of their journey. Do we trust God or do we not? Eyes on our own plates (ftr, my husband and several of my children have left the Church also).

 

Here's my beef with the "eyes on your own plate" idea - it downplays the reality of systemic problems. 

Take climate change - we're not all equally culpable for the future awaiting our children. My choice to use a plastic straw is pretty insignificant when the majority of emissions come from a small group of people and companies. The idea that we're all to blame is actually dangerous because it keeps us from focusing the blame on those who have the ability to make changes that we cannot, the fossil fuel industry and those who prevent the rest of us from making changes. 

Look at David Koch who recently died. What a horrible human being. During the liturgy, we proclaim ourselves to be "first among sinners" but what about this man who will cause the deaths of millions of people in the future? David Koch, a bad man, has died.

This intense focus on personal failings keeps us from making a better society. It's also very convenient for those who benefit from the status quo. 

I walked out the sermon the Sunday after the El Paso shooting because the priest stated that it was not about race. He then went into the standard "we all should love each other more" thing. Not disagreeing that we should love each other more but that shooter said clearly that he was trying to shoot Mexican people because they were invading the US. Obviously he was motivated by racism and influenced by others who stoke racism because it benefits them politically. I've never heard a sermon that pointed blame at the rich and powerful. That's "too political." 

What if all of us took the attention we pay to worrying about our small sins and instead focused that attention on a system that produces tremendous inequality in this country and world? 

What would happen if a priest preached a sermon along the lines of David Koch stole from you and your children? He manipulated you by buying politicians that you vote for thinking it's benefiting you but it's not. He funded a network of media, think-tanks, whatever whose sole purpose was to keep from you the truth about climate change and how it would negatively benefit you and your child. Simply because Koch wanted to make even more money. 

I know what would happen in my parish. People would complain that the priest is "too political." People would rather hear a sermon criticizing them for not fasting or being on the internet too much than anything directed at the larger system. 

I'm sure all of the Orthodox people on this thread are familiar with the famous saying of St. Seraphim of Sarov. "Save yourself and thousands around you will be saved." There are slightly different translations of this. The Russia made by Russian Orthodoxy was a pretty awful place for the majority of its peasants. The kind of 'quietist' mentality perfectly expressed by St. Seraphim did not improve the lives of the average Russian. The Revolution eventually happened because the Church would never do anything to better the lives of average Russians. 

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Actually, it had made me fight more for the rights of others and believe that we are very much responsible for changing things for the better globally, including caring for the Earth. And, lordy, I would have walked out on that homily also! That is NOT something you would have heard in our parish. I'm sorry. Sadly, there are some awful people that came into Orthodoxy in the past 20yrs and they brought their nationalistic fundamentalism with them 😞 I would stay out of your parish also, because I'm guessing that our family would not be welcomed and I would not feel that it is a safe place for my family.

 

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