Thursday, May 29, 2008

So Who Are These Bishops? Vatican Says No to Bishops Ordaining Women As Priests

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests on Thursday, punishing them and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication.
So who are these bishops who insist on defying Rome? What do they know that I don't know?

At the risk of sounding presumptuous, I cannot help but wonder how much of the Sacrament of Holy Orders they understand (or not). Being called to the priesthood is not a political act. It has nothing to do with the "social norms of the times." It is all about Christ and His Headship over His Church, which is His Body.

There is a hierarchal order that makes up the church. God is immutable and the typography of headship is seen from the very beginning with Adam all the way to Jesus Christ as King of King and Lord of Lords.

It is amazing to me how some of these women who think they should be ordained don't consider that Jesus Christ could have chosen women as some of the twelve apostles if it had been the will of God. Jesus was more than willing to break societal norms during that time. He spoke to a Samaritan woman, He defended a woman who was caught in adultery instead of allowing her to be stoned to death, and He allowed a woman who had a questionable background to touch His feet in adoration.

I don't think Jesus Christ was all that concerned with the "political-correctness" of the day. So I've never bought into that as a reason to ordain women.

In the Old Testament, the High Priest went before God as a mediator between Israel and God. He was making atonement for their sins. Men were chosen for this role. It didn't mean that women had no place in the worship of God. They did and the prayers of many of the Old Testament women changed the course of history. But in my opinion, women were created to conceive and nurture; men were given the authority to govern. Later, Jesus Christ was another High Priest, acting as both mediator and the sacrificial Lamb to be slain.

This isn't to say that women cannot be leaders. I've met some phenomenal women leaders in the church. But the ones that truly impressed me were those who looked at themselves as humble servants, passionately embracing God's plan for their life. They weren't demanding to be acknowledged as a leader. They weren't making lots of noise to gain attention. They simply prayed, recognized God's direction, and followed Him.

I've run into plenty of these type of women who want to be noticed. They often masquerade it as being "progressive" or a desire to bring "justice" into the church. Scratch the surface just a little and you'll often see a woman who is, in her most hidden moments, insecure. A secure woman doesn't need to chase after ordinations or fancy titles in order to be "taken seriously." She knows she is already taken seriously by God. Look at what He has done for women! Such mercy! Such generosity! Such lovingkindness! My heart sings with His praises when I look at what He has done for women and with women throughout the ages.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Luke 8:1-3 (ASV) where it says:

"And it came to pass soon afterwards, that he went about through cities and villages, preaching and bringing the good tidings of the kingdom of God, and with him the twelve, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary that was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,,and Joanna the wife of Chuzas Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered unto them of their substance."
These were women of substance in more ways than one. They had the monetary means to support Jesus Christ and His twelve and followed Him unconditionally. They were just thrilled to be near Him and did everything they could to make His life a little smoother.

This may be why this issue grates on my nerves. Because every time I see a woman insisting that women should be ordained, I think of Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Susanna, and the "many others" who unselfishly ministered to Him without any thought of themselves.

Oh, to have the heart of these women!


Motherhen said...

VERY good post!

X said...

Until these women want to actually SERVE, they will never understand. Their question every day should be, "Lord what can I do to serve you and build your kingdom? How can I spread the Gospel by my actions today?" They need not be subservient (ask my hubby, I am not!) but they must SERVE. There is a big difference.

Mary Rose said...

Paula, thank you! :-)

Angela, yes, you are right. There is a big difference between subservient and having a servant's heart. My husband calls me "militant" at times (LOL!) but yet he also knows I usually put his needs above my own. It's my love for him that does this, but perhaps more importantly, it's God's desire to place others above ourselves.

I loved what you said, "Lord what can I do to serve you and build your kingdom? How can I spread the Gospel by my actions today?" That pretty much puts the focus on the right spot - on Him and not us! As we seek to elevate God in every area of our life, He is magnified. And often, we end up getting blessed much more than we ever expected.

God is awesome!