Friday, September 08, 2017

"Gender" Confusion in Holy Orders

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana

I have tried to abstain from saying much about the fairly new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). But in light of the news about them at this time, it seems that a few words are in order. Clearly, one cannot tell, despite their name, if they are a church or a confederation of churches. In reality, it is confusing even to many on the inside; actually they are both in certain ways.

The tragedy of their decision regarding Women's Ordination is that they are following on the same road, in the same direction as the Episcopal "Church" from which they claimed independence only eight years ago (although absorbing two other Anglican church bodies that were older, the Reformed Episcopal Church and what used to be called the Anglican Mission in America, later renamed Province de l'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda in the USA). Once again they have imitated the Episcopal "Church," which years ago had decided that the ordination of women would be accepted, or not, by each local diocese. That is exactly what the ACNA bishops decided to reaffirm for their church just one day ago. 

"September 7, 2017
PREAMBLE In an act of mutual submission at the foundation of the Anglican Church in North America, it was agreed that each Diocese and Jurisdiction has the freedom, responsibility, and authority to study Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, and to seek the mind of Christ in determining its own convictions and practices concerning the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood."
Later in the same paragraph they say:
"It was also unanimously agreed that women will not be consecrated as bishops in the Anglican Church in North America."
Such was also the rule of the Episcopal Church until 1988, and of the Church of England until the 1990s. Once the idea of women's ordination is accepted at all, it is arbitrary at best merely to limit it.  So, do not expect this to last.
Then, with telling irony, they declare:
"We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. However, we continue to acknowledge that individual dioceses have constitutional authority to ordain women to the priesthood."
Learning from history
A brief history lesson is in order. What the ACNA bishops have reaffirmed is exactly the official position that the Episcopalians took concerning Women's Ordination throughout the late 1970s, into the 1980s and 1990s, before becoming heavy-handed and dictatorial about it when the new century began. Furthermore, this is the position taken by the Episcopalians at their General Convention in 2000 about the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions (they stopped short of saying "Same-Sex Marriage" at that time only for legal reasons. But the meaning was clear enough to anyone who knows that the ministers of Matrimony are the man and the woman. The role of the Church, through the clergy, is only to bless, not to effect, the Union of a married couple). In 2003 they repeated that, but have, since then, become quite solid in their affirmation of Same-Sex marriage. Their most recent General Convention was little more than Satan worship, reveling in heresy, apostasy and immorality in an open manner that was rebellious and brazenly malicious against Almighty God.
Ten years ago, when the ACNA was not yet even a gleam in Bp. Robert Duncan's eye, I wrote the following for this blog:
"The fact is, once the 'ordination' of women was accepted, the movement to bless same sex unions was inevitable. The arguments for Homosexualism are not merely similar to the arguments for women's 'ordination.' Rather, they are the exact same arguments. The blessing of same sex unions, practiced now throughout the heretical but official Canterbury Communion, is performed as a church rite by sincerely lusting couples under the direction of clergypersons of both sexes and all genders, to be as close to the semblance of marriage as the Law of each state, province or nation makes possible. In short, it imitates the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, and does so on the newly understood basis that the sex of a person has no significance in a sacrament. If Shirley and Maggie can be "ordained" they can also be married, and so can Adam and Steve.

"The 'conservatives' among the Anglicans have failed to understand the gravity of logic. It works the same way as this illustration. If I stand at the top of a thirty foot hill with a big round rubber ball, and decide to roll the ball only ten feet down the hill and no farther, like it or not, the ball will roll the entire thirty feet to the bottom before it stops after rolling even farther still. It does not matter that I intended only to roll it ten feet. Once I let go, gravity will take the ball the whole way. This is how a premise works in relation to logic. Once you let go of the ball, that is, once you state or merely accept a premise, the gravity of logic will take over. Perhaps you only meant to let women be priests, but not to let the premise take its own logical course to the final end. However, the premise itself is subject to the gravity of logic, and must keep rolling until you are "blessing" Adam and Steve in the imitation sacrament of Unholy Unmatrimony. Those who want to argue that this was not inevitable have two problems facing them: First, we predicted this would happen, and second, it has.

"So, with all due respect to our conservative and principled Anglican friends who want to keep their priestesses, and make new ones, we cannot surrender the doctrine that the sacrament Holy Orders is, by God's revealed will, reserved to men. Otherwise, we only slow the process down instead of preventing it. We don't need to be ECUSA part II, waiting to happen again."

In light of our plans
I invite the bishops and people of PEARUSA (formerly the AMiA), and those in Forward in Faith North America to consider those of us in the Continuing Church, despite our own obvious failing to stay together in unity in the past. It is not because we are perfect that I ask them to look at us seriously, because, indeed, we have been all too often ignorant of Satan's devices (II Corinthians 2:11). But that history is behind us, very much consigned to a previous time. This newer generation of bishops is working to repair every breach made by some who caused divisions in the early days. The upcoming Provincial Synods being held jointly in Atlanta merely make official what has been reality for years.

Human flaws are everywhere to be found, of course. The problem with false doctrine, however, creates a greater danger than mere human failing. It takes people down a destructive path, and at a pace that they cannot control, no matter how much they may feel in control. As I wrote ten years ago, once the premise is released, it shall go all the way to its inevitable end. Nothing can stop it, because it exists in the realm of ideas, and is committed to each new generation.

Gender Identity Confusion
Is it not obvious that "Gender Identity" is the great new deception of this time, and that its main victims are children and youth? The lie is spread everywhere that contradicts one simple fact: "God made them male and female (Genesis 1:27)." Children are suffering abuse at the hands of adults who actually force this confusion on young minds, incapable of putting up a defense. This can lead to the plastic surgery falsely called a "sex-change" operation, after which a patient becomes twenty times more likely to commit suicide.

The issue of women's ordination is part of the entire struggle, no less than same-sex marriage and "Gender Identity" confusion. It is part of the same overall deception that is harming the future of the whole society, and creating confusion for children and youth about basic human nature. I see it as part of the great spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness. My position may seem radical; but, I fear that nuance is never called for when people are racing to the edge of a cliff, or even merely plodding along at a somewhat slower rate than those who are racing. The destination is the same, and ultimately it is worse than rolling down a hill.

2 comments:

Mike Creek said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

You neatly accent a very striking declaration, "We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. However, we continue to acknowledge that individual dioceses have constitutional authority to ordain women to the priesthood."

What is this - or might this be - 'saying'? "Insufficient [...] warrant to accept" is contrasted - and combined - with "authority to ordain". Is this 'saying', 'We agree that there is sufficient scriptural authority to ordain women to the priesthood, but this does not constitute sufficient scriptural warrant to insist on all dioceses necessarily so ordaining women as well as men'?

Is it about the possible and the necessary?

That is, 'Women priests have never been necessary - so there have never been any for nearly two millennia - but have always been a potentially actualizable possibility - which has now occasionally been brought to pass'?

You point out that one of the two ministers of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony in a given instance must be a single lay woman, but also that only one can - the two ministers are necessarily one each of the two sexes.

And Richard Hooker in the Laws neatly argues (implicitly against Calvin's last version of Institutes - among I know not what other expositors and expositions) that a lay woman can be the minister of the sacrament of Baptism.

But I don't see any implication in one woman being able to Baptize that two women can marry each other.

So I don't seem why a case for a woman being susceptible of ordination to the priesthood (though there never need be one woman priest in the whole history of the world) even as lay women can be minsters of the sacrament of Baptism need have any implication the two women or two men (or any other numerical and sexual assortment) can marry each other.

The question which then remains/would remain is, is there or is there not a susceptibility of women to ordination?

Semi-Hookerian