Monday, June 30, 2008

Why Women's "Ordination" is a salvation issue

I am going to repost a comment I made on an earlier thread, not to blow my own horn, but to highlight vital theology that is often brushed aside. Zeroing in on the relationship between two of the sacraments (called also the Dominical sacraments) and salvation, requires this clear, to the point presentation. We welcome polite if robust dissent, because this is worthy of discussion, such discussion as it will not receive on just any blog. ______________________________________

The only theological position about sacraments and salvation that has ever been officially taught as the stated doctrine of both the Church of England and of Anglicanism everywhere, is in the Catechism. Whether the Reasserters like it or not, they cannot reject this and still believe in Anglicanism. Furthermore, whether or not it fits the SF and Reasserter unlearned "Young Life-Quasi-Baptist" theology or not, the Anglican position is based on scripture.

Now, the position I refer to, from the Catechism, is stated rather simply:

HOW many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?
Answer. Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord."

(By the way, that is, "Two only as generally necessary to salvation," not "two only." A subject for another day)

These words "generally necessary" imply that God is not bound or limited to the sacraments, but that, in general, these two are necessary. Therefore, to treat them otherwise is dangerous to the salvation of souls.

The role that baptism generally has in salvation is explained in Romans chapter six, which chapter also clearly teaches that it is in baptism that one is born again- raised to new life with the risen Christ. The meaning is not hard to see, but it can be avoided by willful neglect.

The role that Communion generally has in salvation is clearly taught in John chapter six, particularly vs.53-57:

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

Those who deny that baptism and Communion are salvation issues, deny these portions of the Bible. Their claims to be standing firm for the faith of God's word should include a defense of these two portions of that word, which portions they simply do not seem to believe. They do not defend them as scriptural or as stated Anglican doctrine, when, in fact, they are both.

The sacrament of Communion, by which we feed on Christ's Body and drink his Blood, the food and drink of eternal life, is a vital part of the sacramental life that is generally available, and generally necessary. If this sacrament is rendered null and void by the corruption of Holy Orders, then people are not feeding on Christ, but rather they are neglecting the food and drink of eternal life.

The Reasserters may argue with this interpretation if they want (and they find it easier to silence then to argue), but how dare they say "it is not a salvation issue?" Like it or not, in the world of theology, where grown-ups talk about serious things, it is a salvation issue- at least in terms of the debate. That is not simply our view; it is a fact.


poetreader said...

"This is my body, which is given for you, for the remission of sins."

How can the Eucharist NOT be a salvation issue when Our Lord Himself tied it so closely to salvation?

And, in that case, how can the validity of the celebration NOT be related to the salvation of souls?

And in THAT case, how can the validity of ordaining women to celebrate it NOT be a salvation issue?

They've completely lost me on that one. The acceptability of the ministers of the Sacrament is just as strongly related to the salvation of souls as is the Sacrament itself.


D. Straw said...

Fr. Hart:
Never let it be said that you can't cut right to the heart of something. You did a wonderful job with this subject.

I have a friend that disagrees with with me on this issue. I eventually simply said, "The bottom line is that my position is backed by holy scripture and two-thousand years of tradition...While your position is backed by fifty years of psychobabble and thirty years of revisionist theology. I'm going to have to say that I feel pretty secure in my position." My friend was completely speechless.

Anonymous said...

When certain parties allege that
"WO is not a salvation/salvific issue," they appear to be saying that the issue does not make enough difference to have a fuss over. Occasionally they use the elegant term "adiaphoron," a Greek term meaning a thing of indifference.

When we, on the other hand, stoutly declare that yes, WO is a salvation issue, we are not necessarily stating that people inevitably go to hell over it (as perpertrators,
or perpertratees). We are stating that this innovation is playing fast and loose with God's appointed means of grace, running a real risk of provoking Divine wrath. We are stating that it is seriously wrong to deal presumptuously or high-handedly with holy things.
Strange fire on the Lord's altar, or impiously touching the ark of the covenant are serious matters in God's eyes. "Thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God" by offering Him a strange worship.
ECUSA provoked God by attempting to make a fundamental change in the ministry He, as God Incarnate, had established. That presumptuous sin has not gone without a frightful judgment upon its instigators. The end of that judgment is not yet in sight.
Laurence K. Wells

Death Bredon said...

Would somebody explain (or point me in the right direction) the terms Reappraiser and Reasserter? Especially in relation to the Continuum.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I don't recall who uses "Reapparaiser" or how. But, the camp that call themselves "Reasserters" are modern Evangelicals who want to rewrite Anglicanism in such a way as to drain it of its Traditional doctrine. They claim to defend the authority of scripture, but in fact assert modern Evangelicalism instead, confusing that particular magisterium with scripture itself. They seem to live comfortably with everything except homosexuality.

If they consider my description unfair, they may comment here.

poetreader said...

Something has been troubling me about the very tern "salvation issue", and I've finally pot my finger on it. Those using this term are defibning the faith merely by what, in their opinion, is a serious enough error to threaten an individual's entrance into heaven, and perhaps to throw him into hell. Well, yes, there are errors being made in TEC that might fit that description. But is that kind of error the only kind of serious error? Is not wilful departure from God's standards sufficient reason for God to withhold His blessing from the church here and now?

You know, I could not care nuch less what is a "salvation issue" and what is not. That's no less than an attempt to weasel out of full obedience. I do care passionately about preaching the Word AND administering the Sacraments according to His instructions. He has not promised to bless any less than that.


Anonymous said...

This is an interesting topic, and I'm re-evaluating some of my thinking on it.

Since it is God the Holy Spirit, uniting Himself to the Words of institution Who confects the eucharist, why does it matter who does it? Was not the teaching of the Donatists, for which they were condemned, for which Belisarius was sent to crush them - opening the way for the Muslim conquest of north Africa - that they denied the validity of sacraments performed by apostate priests?

I am not hinting at favoring WO(!), but I am wondering about the criteria of apostolic succession (is it hands, whatever Rome says it is, or the -teaching- of Jesus and the apostles?) Has the Roman position mutated (unintentionally) into a form of Donatism in Rome's attacks on ecclesial communities not submitted to its ordinal control?

Sandra McColl said...

As I said in an earlier combox, Ed, the Reasserters appear to be too heavily concerned with the fate of the individual soul. They seem to hold a view of 'sola fide' under which faith = intellectual assent to a set of doctrinal articles. In so far as faith is demonstrated by works, 'works' = abstinence from a particular variety of porneia that poses no temptation to them. Fidelity to Scripture and Tradition and thus obedience to the will of Christ Jesus manifesting itself in the way they (pardon the dreadful expression) 'do Church' doesn't appear to come into it. They are like the anonymous gentleman who wrongly attributes Donatism to the Roman view: they think it's all about moral worthiness, which in the case of a women simply not being able to take on holy orders, isn't the case. Sacramental matter, intention and ministers are not meant to be moral issues.

Anonymous said...

Two responses to two comments:

(1) The terms "reasserter" and "reappraiser" were invented timid people who are squeamish about using the traditional terms "orthodox" and "heretical" The words "reasserter" and "reappraiser" look alike because, well, because they are alike.

(2) Please do not bring up the red herring of Donatism. The Donatist heresy alleged that the moral quality of the priest affected or invalidated the sacraments. It is not Donatist to say that a priest, of whatever moral status, must be valdly ordained. Donatism is utterly beside the point in this discussion.

Anonymous said...

"modern Evangelicals who want to rewrite Anglicanism in such a way as to drain it of its Traditional doctrine. "

I would insert, VERY modern Evangelicals. The magisterial Reformers of the 16th century would not recognize them. Their theological roots, such as they have, are rooted in Charles Grandison Finney and perhaps in the Anabaptists.

WannabeAnglican said...

First, I have issues with WO. I think it was and is a bad idea out of synch with both scripture and tradition. It is a sin against Christian unity. And I can’t foresee myself being able to receive when the celebrant is a woman.

Having said that, I think it is a bit of a stretch to say WO is a salvation issue. Follow where the reasoning leads. Is someone who receives communion from a woman endangering his soul?

Yes, ordination is very much connected to the Eucharist. So is the manner of reception. Is someone who doesn’t receive the body and blood just so therefore endangering his soul? If they don’t do the right gestures, etc.? Some think so:

I advise paying a little more attention to Christian unity. That’s part of Holy Communion, too.

poetreader said...


OK, if you choose to designate WO as something other than a "salvation issue", what have you accomplished? Is it any less necessary to 'get it right'? Is it any less reprehensible to refuse the will of God if such refusal is not labeled in that manner?

Is it sin? You yourself called it a sin against Christian unity. Sin, even "tiny" sin is indeed a salvation issue. It is sufficient to have put Jesus on the Cross.

We can debate all day whether to label this error as a 'savation issue' or not, but no amount of that can remove it from being a serious matter, and such a debate seems to me only a way of avoiding solution to such a grave situation.

As I said a couple of comments back, "I could not care much less what is a "salvation issue" and what is not. That's no less than an attempt to weasel out of full obedience. I do care passionately about preaching the Word AND administering the Sacraments according to His instructions. He has not promised to bless any less than that."


WannabeAnglican said...

Rest assured that I think WO is a serious matter.

I think unity is a more serious matter, to both the church and to salvation. And that means both sides of this issue need to flex. (That does NOT mean I think those opposed to WO should just accept it. I don't.)

LP said...

Anonymous @ 8:11 --

Since it is God the Holy Spirit, uniting Himself to the Words of institution Who confects the eucharist, why does it matter who does it?
Because Scripture, the apostles, the early Church and the Ecumenical Councils all say it matters.

I trust them to have a better and more accurate understanding of God's will -- and in the case of the first generations of the Church to have heard from the apostles themselves what Christ's will and instructions are -- than my own reflection and rationalization about what Scripture seems to mean to me in a 21st century mindset.

Was not the teaching of the Donatists
The Donatists did not deny the authority of Scripture or Creedal norms. They did not suggest that women should be ordained, or any other ordinations in conflict with Scripture. They did not offer an alternative notion of the episcopacy.

Their heresy was to be too strict in their penitential codes... to depose any cleric who had merely _seemed_ to conform to the Roman demands. (E.g. who handed over cookbooks when asked for Scriptures to make the soldiers go away... or to pay money for a black-market "certificate" saying they had burned incense to the emperor).

The catholics agreed that such even seeming to "go along" with apostasy was improper and might well require some penance, but that such non-apostizing actions didn't invalidate someone's ordination.

Notice -- this is not the case of the catholics saying that someone who had denied the faith -- who had actually apostized -- was still legitimate. Nor is it the catholics saying that someone who didn't fit the demands of Scripture and Tradition could still be ordained. Thus the Catholic/Donatist example is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the orders of heretics or apostates can be accepted, just as it is irrelevant to the question of whether ordination of those individuals whom the Church has not been given authority to ordain can be accepted. Thus it isn't relevant to the point in question.

I am wondering about the criteria of apostolic succession (is it hands, whatever Rome says it is, or the -teaching- of Jesus and the apostles?)
The patristic teaching -- as is the Roman, Eastern, and anglocatholic teaching -- is that BOTH are required: proper faith and the laying on of hands in the apostolic succession.

Why else do you think that all ordination services require the ordinand to make a profession of orthodox faith and intention?!

The early church and Councils are ABSOLUTELY 100% CRYSTAL CLEAR that both these things are required. There is absolutely no ambiguity at all that the early Church saw apostolic succession as a sine qua non of valid ordinations.

A few minutes looking at Church writings and manuals from within 100 years of Christ's crucifixion will bear this out... and that's easy enough for anyone to do online these days.

If you wish to propose some other theory of practice of ordination and reject the importance of the apostolic succession -- as Protestants (even most Lutherans!) do (and, unfortunately, as the Jerusalem Declaration leaves open the possibility for) -- then you're free to pursue such innovations.

But, doing so, you will not be remaining faithful to apostolic teaching and practice about the Church and the episcopacy.

Wannabe --

Having said that, I think it is a bit of a stretch to say WO is a salvation issue

Look at the original thread, from which the post starting this one is excerpted.

There you will find a discussion of why WO is, properly speaking, a "salvation issue" -- but how it is not so in the sense that Protestants (who do not come to the discussion with the same coherent and patristic sacramental theology which forms the context for the statement) frequently understand the term to mean... and, I think, as you seem to believe it implies.

I have argued, in angloprotestant circles, that a less misleading term would be "sacramental issue". Of course, that remains intimately connected to salvation, because of how the sacraments are tied up in the matter of our salvation. But the alternate phrase does make clearer to the Protestant thinker what is actually being said -- and help avoids the mistaken impression that those who say that "W'O' is a salvation issue" are saying that "to believe in W'O' is equivalent (for example) to denying that Jesus Christ is the Son of God".

Unfortunately, I think that the term "salvation issue" is thrown about in certain circles and blogs with the intention of creating precisely this confusion, and so getting the matter laughed out of court by fellow protestants who - thereby - never need to seriously think about the actual issue at hand, and about the profound (and necessary) ecclesial and sacramental ramifications of the belief that women cannot be ordained.

This is especially convenient for those who claim that they do not believe in W'O' but nevertheless want to avoid taking the necessary actions and jurisdictional clarifications that such a belief - if honestly held - necessarily requires.


LP said...

I think unity is a more serious matter,

Unity isn't just a more serious matter... it is the MOST serious matter.

But, don't you see, that's precisely why these other issues matter.

Because that unity is based on our unity in Christ, which is achieved through Word and Sacrament -- Faith and Order. "If ye love Me, keep My commandments."

A unity based on anything else is, thus, spiritually irrelevant. You might as well just say, otherwise, "let's all join the Rotary Club... because then we will have achieved 'unity', which is the most important thing."

And that's why the issue of WO is relevant to unity. Because it touches on the shared Faith and Order -- the sacraments and the apostolic succession -- which delineates what this "unity" in Christ and His Church is.

And though the matters and errors may not be of equal "magnitude", it is just as disingenuous to say "oh, we disagree on the divinity of Christ, but we can just all get along in the same body because 'unity' is more important" (which is what the apostates say) as it is to say "oh, we disagree on the nature of the church, sacraments, communion, and the apostolic succession.. but we can just all get along in the same body because 'unity' is more important."

See how absurd that is?

In both cases, the denial of a common agreement and maintenance of Faith and Order, means that you are ultimately saying "let's give up the spiritual unity for the sake of institutional affiliation".

Well, if that's all you want, then just get everyone to go join that Rotary Club, or the Book of the Month Club, or the World Federation of Churches, or the Coalition against Cow Flatulence. Or whatever. Because then you'll have your institutional unity and avoid all these piddling little arguments about basic theology and ecclesiology. Misson accomplished. Gee, that was easy. What's for lunch?

On the other hand, if you want to preserve that unity which is described in Scripture and praised and practiced by the apostolic Church, why then you are going to have to have agreement on the matters of Faith and Order which that kind of unity requires.

And ordination and the apostolic succession is one of those matters.


Andy B. said...

Someone who has an account should post this thread to this post on Stand Firm (who refuses to get it).

LP said...

Someone who has an account should post this thread to this post on Stand Firm

lol... don't do it. They'll ban you if you try. Because its precisely this kind of genuinely orthodox and catholic Anglicanism they don't want to see their commentators discuss, as it threatens their own "moderate revisionist" Anglicanism.

Heck, it was for articulating these very ideas that I got banned this weekend!

(You can tell if you get banned, by the way, because you get a fake little error page saying "Site Offline". Not only do they not offer even the minimal courtesy of an automated email notification, but also they put up that little dishonest message and fake error, perhaps hoping that the personae non gratae won't catch on to what is actually happening for a while.)


Anonymous said...

SFIF reports Archbishop Peter Jensen as saying, "Scripture never suggests an ordained woman is in danger of losing her salvation." (Remember, SFIF has on occasion reported various people saying things they never said.)

But to respond to the statement, which is unworthy of Archbishop Jensen: No, Scripture never suggests such a thing. Neither have the Continuing Churches, FIF, Eric Mascal, C.S. Lewis, the Holy See, or the vast majority of the Christian world which does not practice WO. And there are numerous other things on which Holy Scripture is utterly silent.

But this flippant remark is quite far removed from what the opponents of WO have been endeavoring to explain as we argue vigorously that we are truly dealing with a soteriological problem. If the statement indeed comes from an important spokesman for the conservative evangelical position, it simply goes to show that, as was the case with Lazarus and Dives, "there is a great gulf fixed" between Catholic Anglicans and Evangelical Anglicans, "so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot."

nevin said...

You DID get banned LP! Amazing! Of course only after your 12th post on a single thread, many of them quite lengthy dissertations not even remotely connected to the topic of the original posting which was the final GAFCON statement. And after several requests to stay on topic. It looked to me like they gave you enough rope to finally hang yourself. Too bad. BTW the big clue you were banned would have been the phrase "commenter banned" after your final posting.

LP said...

not even remotely connected to the topic of the original posting which was the final GAFCON statement

But a subject which was getting a lot of discussion from a whole lot of posters and was clearly of interest to the reading and posting community. It wasn't "off topic" or uninteresting to them... merely to Ms. Sarah Tin Goddess Hey.

And what you can't see -- because, of course, they deleted the posts to cover their tracks -- was that, after responding directly to the specific questions raised and asked by other posters, I refrained from expounding more fully on the more "general" issues and said (and I quote):
But, as I said, for any further details/discussion, perhaps it’s best simply to review the comparison between the Affirmation and the Declaration I posted above (#98 I think)… and to check out the posts and discussions on those other two blogs, where all this is discussed more fully (and by more posters than just me! :-> )

In fact, if you're interested, here is a copy of one of those posts which was apparently so "off topic" and "offensive" and "irrelevant" that -- unlike the periodic pro-homosexualism trolls or the scurrilous and insulting attack by bluenarrative at the end of that thread -- I was worth banning. (This was post #224 in that thread, which I saved a copy of).

You - and any reader - can see for yourself from the below the kind of comment which Ms. Hey thinks is so offensive, unimportant, irrelevant and off-topic that writing it calls for banning the commentator who posted it. (Note, by the way, that it starts off giving a quote from another poster in the thread, to which it is specifically responding.)

You will also see that it never once mentions or discusses the specific issues which Ms. Hey dishonestly claimed were raised or discussed or advocated in the post... while certainly those were the issues at hand, I specifically refrained from discussing them in any particulars... and, for such discussions, pointed readers to join the on-going conversations at others (and less censored) blogs precisely to avoid taking up more "bandwidth" on those issues on that SFiF thread.


As long as the essential elements of Jesus Christ being our Lord and Saviour and the only true way to salvation, and the Bible being the revealed word of God are there- why is there not room for us all?

Though this is obviously a topic a great many posters are interested in, I expect I’ll get scolded and censored if I continue to post on it in this thread.

Perhaps a separate SFiF thread on this issue might be created, since there does seem to be so much interest on the topic… or perhaps those who are interested can join the parallel discussions going on over at the MCJ or the AnglicanContinuum blogs. In fact, I give a partial answer to your question in my first post already on that latter site, so I won’t repeat all that here.


Suffice to say that in the catholic (anglocatholic, Orthodox and Roman) tradition, the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture are not the only essential norms for being in commuion. They are the most essential, but they are not the only essential ones.

Heck, the Arians, even some Gnostics, would agree with those two norms! Even many of the homosexualist heretics of PEcUSA would—in all pious sincerity—agree with those two norms!

Being “in communion”—and being able, thus, to share the “same jurisdiction”—requires more: it requires shared minimal norms of authority and interpretation, a shared sacramental theology, and mutually recognized clergy and orders. If you look above at the “differences” between the Affirmation of St. Louis and the Declaration of Jerusalem, you will see that there are differences on precisely these issues.


NB—these are NOT trivial differences, like the ones you give of liturgical style or costume. And I am NOT talking about the differences merely between “high church” and “low church”—though people often mistakenly mean merely “high church” when they say “anglocatholic”. Yes, there are lots of practices, customs, even pious beliefs where people can differ without any impediment to being in communion being caused thereby! Absolutely! But I am talking, instead, about fundamental theological differences over issues of “what is basic doctrinal authority”, “what is the church”, and “what is commuion”.

You cannot meaningfully say “We are a churches in communion who teach the same faith” if you don’t agree on what “church”, “communion” or “faith” mean—for that statement to be meaningful and true, you must, of logical necessity mean the same things by those terms. If you don’t mean the same things, then the statement cannot be meaningful or true—EVEN IF you do have some basic points of fundamental agreement (such as the Lordship of Jesus and the authority of Scripture).

My point is simply that I think it quite clear that the norms of authority, interpretation, ordination, and ecclesial practice which are set forth by the “mere” or “minimal” anglocatholicism of the Affirmation are not adequately compatible on all requisite fundamental issues (though, certainly, compatible - even identical! - on others, as I show above) for a meaningful “communion” and “shared jurisdiction” to be possible with the kind of jurisdiction and theology which the Declaration (especially when read with an eye toward the teachings and practices of many of GAFCON’s members and supporters) presents.

In no way do I mean, thereby, that there aren’t points of significant overlap and commonality; in no way do I mean that anglocatholics and angloprotestants shouldn’t continue in all charitable, fraternal feeling toward each other nor support and encourage each other as much as possible.

I simply mean that, given the irreduceable and fundamental logical and theological requirements of what “being in communion” means (at least in the catholic definition and understanding), I do not believe that traditional theological (as opposed to mere liturgical) anglocatholicism and the implicit angloprotestantism of the Declaration are adequately compatible.


But, as I said, for any further details/discussion, perhaps it’s best simply to review the comparison between the Affirmation and the Declaration I posted above (#98 I think)… and to check out the posts and discussions on those other two blogs, where all this is discussed more fully (and by more posters than just me! :-> )




Fr. Robert Hart said...

Wannabe Anglican:

I am not going to make my reply easy for you, because I know you are too intelligent to merit patronizing.

If you believe that there is a case to be made for not calling women's "ordination" a salvation issue, please suggest how that idea can be reconciled to John 6:53-57.

Some have tried to spiritualize the meaning in such a way as to avoid the obvious reference to the sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood. The problem is, only the institution of that sacrament by the Lord himself explains the meaning, a case of scripture interpreting scripture.

Others do not share our belief in the sacrament of holy orders (Hooker called ordination a sacrament in Book IV of his Laws)or apostolic succession, or necessity of the priesthood. But Anglicans cannot be Anglicans and deny these things (no matter what gibberish comes from Sydney Australia).

The term "salvation issue" is potentially dangerous when used by Reappraisers. For the super-modern Evangelical, the one-time-decision-plus-"eternal-
security" doctrine can amount to a deception as dangerous as the indulgences that flamed the anger of Martin Luther.

To understand salvation, and the sacramental graces that are part of salvation, requires us to understand the many ways that God gives his grace. He gives it by our faith, and he creates in us that faith by his word when it is preached. He gives it to us by moving us to repentance. He gives it to us through sacraments, baptism, communion, and also the absolution that follows confession.

"Generally necessary to salvation" speaks to us of the general condition, those who have the time and opportunity to receive these good gifts. Why would anyone, trying to follow Jesus Christ through this world into immortality, neglect any of these means of grace?

Furthermore, I wish to say that the salvation of an individual soul is the most important thing. Even visible unity in the Church Militant is not eternal; but there will be perfect unity in the Church Triumphant.

Anonymous said...

Wannabe has already been answered well, but I cannot resist responding to this:
"Having said that, I think it is a bit of a stretch to say WO is a salvation issue. Follow where the reasoning leads. Is someone who receives communion from a woman endangering his soul?"

Wannabe, you you know the difference between a valid and an invalid sacrament? Do you believe that the Eucharist has anything to do with salvation? If the answer to either question is "No," then you are logically required to say that WO is an adiaphoron.

Do you know the difference between real medicine and a placebo? It is surely no crime to accept a placebo from someone in a white coat imersonating a physician. But if you really need that medicine, you will probably die if you don't get it.

Taking bread and wine from a woman impersonating a priest might not be a sin. But it will surely lead to spiritual starvation.

Your line of argument seem to reflect an attitude that sin is not ultimately serious, and salvation is just learning to be nicer. But the Gospel is a life or death matter, since sin kills. We cannot have unlicensed physicians running around passing out placebos.

Fr Odhran-Mary TFSC said...

Holy Communion is indeed a salvation issue. Many post communion prayers state that the "sacrament which we have here received" is "the means of our salvation."
The post communion prayers point to the truth that we cannot "work out our salvation..." without grace provided by God. He has assured provision of that grace via the Sacrament.
It is also true that our Lord did not give His Church the authority to ordain women to the Priesthood.
It follows that a priestess does not consecrate bread and wine and that the person receiving same from her receives bread and wine.
No sacramental grace is attached to that bread and wine.

On another note, those women who were found not be priests by the Council of Nicea were sent to the Court of the Weepers, indicating that they were in the state of sin and in need of repentance.

WannabeAnglican said...

Your line of argument seem to reflect an attitude that sin is not ultimately serious, and salvation is just learning to be nicer.

That is NOT my attitude at all. And, for the sake of civility, I better leave it at that.

Anonymous said...

Wannabe: If you in fact consider sin to be truly serious, wouldnt you rather have real medicine than placebos? Are you easily satisfied with "physicians" who are not recognized by 80% of the medical world? Would it be a "salvation issue" to baptize with rose petals rather than water, or celebate Mass with fritos and koolaid instead of bread and wine? What is your view of the sacraments, anyhow?

And since you bring up civility, what did you mean by this:
"Now, there are some Anglo-Catholics who just can’t be pleased. They would rather the One Holy and Apostolic Church meet in their apartment than to join with churches that aren’t just so."
What do you have against apartment-dwellers? This sounds like something Caiaphas might have said about the Christians who met "from house to house."


Albion Land said...

I missed Wannabe's comment about meeting in apartments, but I find it to be particularly offensive.

At the beginning of Christianity, everyone met in someone's "apartment." At least they did after they got kicked out of the synagogues, and before they were numerous and wealthy enough to be able to afford to build their own premises, and then only after it was safe to do so because of the Roman persecutions.

I am forming a mission in Nicosia, and we will be meeting in my home until we are, God willing, numerous and wealthy enough to need/afford a venue of our own.

And I give thanks to God that I have a living room big enough that I can install an altar in it and have space enough for the dozen or so people I hope will be worshiping with me every Sunday.

Furthermore, if Wannabe knew anything about what is happening in the continuing movement, he would know that we meet in other people's churches when they are generous enough to allow us to do so.

John said...

We meet in a house that we have struggled to buy and renovate. It beats a whited sepulcher any day. Before that it was VFW's, other peoples churches, homes, fields, etc., etc. Maybe someday if we are pleasing to God we too will erect a larger sanctuary.

The old garage has been transformed into a chapel that seats 40 with a Communion rail. It may be small and humble but it is orthodox, more than can be said for much of what passes for Anglicanism in the USA.

I have never thought of this journey in the diaspora as one of pleasure- "be{ing} pleased", in any material sense. However it has been a joyful one with the presence of Christ felt all along the way.

How ever I am glad to report that indeed a little part of the One Holy and Apostolic Church is in our little hovel every Sunday and in most every other Continuing Church as well. Praise be to God!

Many will decide their ultimate fate on a building facade and social acceptance. What a pity.

I do not believe that wannabe is suggesting that he endorses such.

Sandra McColl said...

Whether Dr Jensen actually said "Scripture never suggests an ordained woman is in danger of losing her salvation" or not, I think the statement does much to say where the SFiF crowd are coming from. They see events and actions in terms of 'will this stop me going to Heaven where I die?' Now, this isn't a stupid question, since it is in fact necessary, but when it becomes the only question, it becomes selfish and unproductive. As the hymn goes, 'My God I love thee, not because / I hope for Heav'n thereby / Nor yet because who love thee not / Are lost eternally.' And as the Apostle says, 'and have not love . . .' To see things in terms of sins disqualifying the individual committing them from a happy Hereafter--or causing one to 'lose' one's salvation, and other things which don't, misses the point. We are taught to obey the Lord Jesus out of love, and to be members of His Body, which means that we have to look after the rest of the Body, both individually and corporately. I'm afraid the SFiF approach to religion is too influenced by the me-generation. (So also is the approach of the Newmanite clerics and even bishops who desert the souls committed to their cure and effectively renounce their orders in the interests of saving their own scummy little souls, but let's not go there . . .)

poetreader said...

Luther is quoted as saying that, even if he became convinced that obeying God would certainly result in his being damned eternally, he would still obey Him. Why? Because he loved God and wanted to please Him for God's own sake, and not for Martin's. Luther (as I learned well in my Lutheran years) was a man of extremes, not always to be taken at face value, but in this (even if in nothing else), I've become more and more convinced, he was expressing the essence of sanctity. Anything less demanding may be good, but is not holy.


Fr. Robert Hart said...

Whether Dr Jensen actually said "Scripture never suggests an ordained woman is in danger of losing her salvation" or not, I think the statement does much to say where the SFiF crowd are coming from.

It is easier to answer arguments that no one ever made, then to it is to discuss sacramental theology.

Sandra McColl said...

Interesting, Ed. My rather shallow knowledge of Luther had suggested that he was somewhat too obsessed with his own soul, and was a product of renaissance individualism, and it's nice to know that he wasn't. (I figure that if Luther and his followers were all bad, God wouldn't have given them Bach.)

Fr Hart: sorry I don't do sacramental theology too well, but it would appear that Ed thought I had a valid point--and I do note above that you seem happy to treat Dr Jensen as if he did say what is attributed to him. The problem with the 'not a salvation issue' people is that they have no idea that there is such a thing as sacramental theology at all. (I may not have the degree but at least I've read the syllabus.)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I figure that if Luther and his followers were all bad, God wouldn't have given them Bach.