Tag Archives: Marriage

Responsibilities of Parenthood fully discharged

Parenthood (2010 TV series)

Parenthood (2010 TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We cannot guarantee the salvation of our children by our own godly advice, but we can ensure that our responsibilities of parenthood are fully discharged. With the greater integration of family life which has come through the Christian development of marriage into one man and one wife, there are ample opportunities, especially where both partners are in the one faith, of obeying the ancient and still valid command of Moses:

“These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:7).

– Harry Tennant, The Man David, pages 96-97

+++

2 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Religious affairs

The Catholic synod on the family and abortion

In the United States Catholic bishops hire public-relations firms to discourage abortion and the last few months also evangelical groups join hands with conservative Catholics and Muslims.

In certain countries there have been lots of teenage mothers. For them certain groups advised them to consider abortion. But this is not an option for those who want to turn to pleasing God, as the Bible makes it clear that abortion is against God’s law. (Exodus 20:13; 21:22, 23; Psalm 139:14-16) In God’s eyes the life of any embryo — including one conceived out of wedlock — is precious.

Those situations were also subject of the talks at the Vatican, were in continuation of the previous meetings the Synod on marriage and family spend only a little bit of time for the women in need of advice and pregnancy support.

Last year there were already surprised looks at the request of Pope Francis I to absolve from the censure that is incurred by the crime (not just sin) of successfully procuring an abortion, as part of the Year of Mercy.

On Saturday evening the Synod of Bishops on the Family came to a close when Synod Fathers voted paragraph by paragraph on the final text. At the end of the vote the text was presented to the Holy Father. All 94 points received the required two-thirds majority vote. For the pope the Synod was not about settling issues but attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church’s tradition and two thousand year history. The Pope said it was about interpreting reality through God’s eyes.

The Holy Father said it was about making clear that the Church is a Church of the poor in spirit and of sinners seeking forgiveness.

Than we may ask what the Catholic Church is going to do about the sex offenders in their clergy and how they are going to treat the young girls who were molested by priests and got pregnant. At the same time we want to question the Catholic Church fathers how they are going to treat those girls who decided to have an abortion.

Quoting Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said

Mercy is indeed the central nucleus of the Gospel message“.

The Holy Father said that many of the delegates felt the working of the Holy Spirit who is

“the real protagonist and guide of the Synod.”

To conclude the Synod, he said, is to

“return to our true ‘journeying together’ in bringing to every part of the world, every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God’s mercy!

But when we look at the results we can not see that there is much progress made in handling the gender issues and in coping with matrimonial and out of marriage family formation.

Did those bishops really listened to and made heard

“the voices of the families and the Church’s pastors, who came to Rome bearing on their shoulders the burdens and the hopes, the riches and the challenges of families throughout the world.” ?

There was a “disparity in the voting” on the subjects of pastoral care for divorced and remarried persons. While preserving the Church’s teaching and current pastoral practice on dealing with divorced and remarried couples, the synod urged the bishops to treat these couples as baptised persons who must be

“more integrated into the Christian community

while

“avoiding every occasion of scandal.”

For sure the Catholic Church itself had to endure enough scandals the last ten years and strangely enough those homosexual priests did not want to have an ear to be more lenient to the homosexual and transgender civilians. Now they had an opportunity to show their comprehension for people with such feelings, but they mist that chance.

The bishops called the homosexual ideological colonisation

“unacceptable in every case.”

They also rejected the pressure exerted on local churches by those who are pushing for the acceptance of gay “marriage.”

Perhaps those pushing the Church to adopt a more welcoming and tolerant stance towards the LGBT community might ask themselves what stern opposition to that position was all about during the synods of 2014 and 2015.

They might realize, for instance, that for many African Catholics, such demands come off as another chapter in what Pope Francis has described as “ideological colonization,” meaning efforts by the West to force its values on the rest of the world. (The final document acknowledges the legitimacy of those concerns.) {After the synod, can Catholics put Humpty Dumpty together again?}

DignityUSA is deeply disappointed in the final report out of the Synod on the family.

“The respectful language of the midterm report is gone,”

said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s Executive Director.

“A return to what we’ve heard for decades will dishearten LGBT people, same-sex couples, and our families.”

“What we saw through the Synod process is that there are deep divisions in what the Catholics bishops think about LGBT people, even at the highest levels of leadership. Unfortunately, today, doctrine won out over pastoral need. It is disappointing that those who recognized the need for a more inclusive Church were defeated,” {LGBT Catholics Disappointed by Final Synod Report}

Duddy-Burke continued.

We may not underestimate the importance of what the Vatican decrees and sends into the world. those words are not only used by the 1.2 billion Catholics of which more than 40% live in Latin America (483 million Catholics) – but Africa has seen the biggest growth in Catholic congregations in recent years. Since 1970, Catholicism has seen a global shift southwards – the proportion of Catholics living in Europe has declined, while Africa has seen a growth in the number of Catholics – from 45 million in 1970 to 176 million in 2012. Asia has also seen a growth in Catholicism and now represents almost 12% of the total Catholic population in the world, or 137 million people.

The people in Europe do not mind to have their own Catholicism for their own region and perhaps this is going to show up even more after this missed change for this church which according to some bishops prefers to stay in the world of 2000 years ago.

Catholics in the world - shows percentage catholics by continent: L America 41.3%, Europe 23.7, Africa 15.2, Asia 11.7, N America 7.3, Oceania 0.8%

 

In a final speech to the synod, Francis took some clear swipes at the conservatives who hold up church doctrine above all else, saying the church’s primary duty isn’t to condemn or judge but to proclaim God’s mercy and save souls.

That condemnation we can see a lot in the Catholic denominations and in several evangelical and Pentecostal churches. On that part we can find certain organisations which are doing more damage to the unity of people and formation of Bible readers and followers.

The bishops were willing to take Francis I his direction, finding “positive elements” in couples who live together even though they are not married. Rather than condemning these couples for living in sin, the document says pastors should look at their commitment constructively and encourage them to transform their union in a sacramental marriage.

The Pope already gave several examples how to show respect and love for others and asks his pastors also to show respect for those who are not like the majority. He even demands that particular pastoral care shall be given to families with gay members. though the Church can not accept such a declination. Gay marriage and “gender theory” are strongly rejected by the document which omits references to church teaching that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

The final synod document also supported Church teachings on life issues such as abortion and contraception.

It reiterated that all human life

“is sacred because, since its beginning, it involves the creative action of God.”

The document rejected the “biotechnical revolution in the field of human procreation” which

“has introduced the ability to manipulate the generative act, rendering it independent of the sexual relationship between a man and woman.”

The document gives notice that only God

“is the Lord of life from its beginning to its end,”

and that no one, under any circumstance, can claim for themselves the right to directly destroy an innocent human being. But they did not go deeper into different conditions or certain necessities.

The document focused on the beauty of marriage and the family, emphasising the indissolubility of marriage from beginning to end.

It quoted Pope Francis’ Oct. 4 homily during the opening of the synod where he said, “God didn’t create the human being to live in sadness or to be alone, but for happiness, to share his path with another person that is complimentary.”

The document said, “God united the hearts of man and woman who love each other and unites them in unity and indissolubility. This means that the goal of married life is not only to live together forever, but to love each other forever!”

Gregorio III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch said
“In a way, we experienced the Pentecost here. We held a Synod here in the Vatican hall, under closed doors, just as the apostles did in Jerusalem. Now it’s time to reach out to the world, through our local dioceses with the message of the Synod.”

+

Preceding articles:

  1. Fruitage of the womb
  2. Abortion: The expulsion of an embryo or foetus before it can live on its own
  3. The Risk Factors Associated with Abortions
  4. Should I Have An Abortion
  5. My Choice (by Jezabel Jonson)
  6. The Real ‘Choice’
  7. “They Told Me What I Wanted To Hear” – Real Abortion Stories
  8. The Things We Carry, by Penny
  9. Not an easy decision to make
  10. Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion
  11. Stop Burning Rape Survivors at the Stake
  12. How to heal after childhood sexual abuse
  13. “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga
  14. Abortion — Not a Trouble-Free Solution
  15. About a human being or not and life

++

Additional reading:

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. A synod not leading to doctrinal changes because it is about pastoral attention
  3. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  4. Conclusion of the synod of bishops for seeing the family in the light of the Gospel and church tradition
  5. What’s church for, anyway?
  6. Human relations 2013
  7. About lions and babies
  8. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  9. Always a choice
  10. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  11. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  12. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  13. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  14. Belonging to or being judged by
  15. 2014 Religion
  16. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  17. History of Christianity
Pope Francis leaves a session of the synod in the Vatican

Pope Francis had pointed words for conservative bishops after the meeting

+++

 Further reading:

  1. How many Roman Catholics are there in the world?
  2. Catholic bishops end divisive synod on family
  3. Final report to be a general guide, not hard answers, says cardinal
  4. Ask Father: Why were non-bishops voting at Synod of Bishops?
  5. Catholic bishops at synod call for a more welcoming church
  6. Explaining the Year of Mercy “abortion forgiveness faculty”
  7. Deafening Silence on Abortion at Synod
  8. What’s Behind the UN Attack on the Church? | Crisis Magazine
  9. 50 million babies a year? What’s that got to do with anything?
  10. Bishop Mark Davies: Assisted Suicide Bill Will Put Lives of Many Vulnerable People at Risk
  11. Ed Peters on the ‘sin’ of abortion, the ‘crime’ of abortion, and excommunication
  12. Clergy defending Big Business Abortion
  13. Nancy “The Theologian” Pelosi tears the throat out of a reporter asking about big-business abortion
  14. Damien Hirst’s latest work praised by pro-life workers
  15. Her heart spoke volumes
  16. 9 Months
  17. It May Be A Legal Right, But it Seems Wrong, Doesn’t it?
  18. Katie Revisits Pain and Purpose–or, She’s Back in Black
  19. Forget Your Perfect Offering – 10/23/15
  20. The empty cradle in her heart. My story and tribute.
  21. A Flower for a Friend
  22. A little bundle of God’s Awesomeness
  23. The next, and likely even more aggressive, wave of persecution
  24. Bishop Swain speaks out after Catholic insurance co. adds contraceptive coverage
  25. Is NCAN a “front group” for LCWR?
  26. The Child Who Never Was
  27. Why There Should Be No Issue With Jenner Being Woman of the Year
  28. Court Sides With Transgender Widow In Fight Over Texas Estate
  29. Share Your Story : Nat
  30. Glamour’s First Man of the Year
  31. Living Outside Society’s Shit
  32. Reason 46: Because Having Your Children Retreat Is Good When The War Is Lost
  33. Semi-Closeted TGirl Problems 2
  34. Day Zero
  35. Falling Leaves and Family Love.
  36. Entitlement and Free Speech….
  37. Germaine Greer: Transgender women are ‘not women’
  38. In defence of Germaine
  39. Germaine Greer Slams Caitlyn Jenner: ‘Our… – Stephanie Soteriou
  40. Germaine Greer – The Feminist Who Won’t Back Down (Nor Should She)
  41. Violence against trans women increase following the decision by the Federal Court
  42. Gender.
  43. The power of words
  44. Incomplete Transaction
  45. A Difficult Decision
  46. The Subject Of Debate
  47. To My Trans-national Friends!
  48. The real transparent experience
  49. New York Legally Safer for the Transgendered
  50. Trangender University student interview [ part one]
  51. Transgender University student interview [part two]
  52. Transgender university student interview [ part 3 ]
  53. Transgender University student interview [part 4]
  54. It feels just like I’m falling for the first time.
  55. Stephanie Rose declared her hate for God
  56. US: NY Gov Cuomo Extends Protection To Transgender New Yorkers
  57. Who Is a ‘Transphobe’?
  58. Spotlight of the month – Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
  59. How bad is the epidemic of violence against transgender women? It’s hard to know. – Vox
  60. The strangest thing about being transgender….A.K.A My passive aggressive post about being transgender
  61. The Irony of my GID diagnosis..
  62. Falling Into Place
  63. All together boys and girls…. Part 1
  64. Planned Parenthood: Profiting from Infanticide
  65. The miracle of life: art in service of truth
  66. “No success can compensate for failure in the home“
  67. Guest post on March for Life UK’s blog
  68. Erroneous thinking
  69. Every Unborn Child Has the Face of the Lord: Pope Francis addresses medical professionals.
  70. Of Kings, and Popes, and Abortions, and the Environment
  71. Recreation?
  72. Reformed Church Statements on abortion
  73. Christian Reformed Church its official stand on abortion
  74. Abortion from the Religious and Moral Perspective: An Annotated Bibliography

+++

2 Comments

Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Abortion — Not a Trouble-Free Solution

A tantamount to murder

Bill had grown up to believe that abortion was a serious sin, tantamount to murder. But his firm, decades-long stand softened in 1975 when this issue became personal. His girlfriend, Victoria, became pregnant, and Bill could not face the commitment of marriage and parenthood.

“I quickly opted for the convenient solution,”

admitted Bill,

“and told Victoria that she had to have an abortion.”

Pregnancy in the 26th week.

Pregnancy in the 26th week. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Bill called a convenient solution to an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is not uncommon. A 2007 global study reported that in 2003 there were an estimated 42 million induced abortions worldwide. Women who have abortions come from every race and nationality, from a variety of religious backgrounds, and from every level of income, education, and age between puberty and menopause. If you were facing an unwanted pregnancy, how would you react? Why do so many choose abortion?

‘All I Could See Was One Option’

“I had just gone through a scary pregnancy and a hard birth, and there was a mountain of monetary and family stress,”

explained a 35-year-old woman.

“Then six weeks after the birth, I was pregnant again. We decided for abortion. In my heart I felt it was wrong, but all I could see was this one option.”

Women seek abortions for a variety of reasons, ranging from financial problems to a failed, perhaps abusive, relationship that results in their not wanting any further ties with the man. Or the pregnancy may simply not fit into the plans of the woman or the couple.

At times, abortion is chosen to protect a reputation. Such was true of the case reported on by Dr. Susan Wicklund in her book This Common Secret—My Journey as an Abortion Doctor. A patient of hers who was seeking an abortion confessed:

“My parents are very religious. . . . If I have a baby out of wedlock, it would be a mark on them. It would say to all their friends that their daughter has sinned.”

Dr. Wicklund then asked:

“Okay, so you’ve sinned in their eyes, but how do they feel about abortion?”

The girl confided:

“Oh, abortion. That’s totally unforgivable. But it’s the lesser evil because it would be a secret. If I have an abortion, [my parents’] friends in church will never know.”

Regardless of the situation, usually the decision to terminate a pregnancy deliberately is not an easy one. It is often intensely painful. But is abortion a trouble-free solution?

Consider the Consequences

A 2004 research study of 331 Russian and 217 American women who had an induced abortion revealed that about half of both groups felt bad after the abortion. Nearly 50 percent of the Russians and almost 80 percent of the Americans felt “guilt” over the procedure. More than 60 percent of the American women were ‘unable to forgive themselves.’ Since guilt is such a pervasive problem — even among those who do not consider themselves religious — why do so many young women still have abortions?

They often come under intense pressure to have an abortion. Parents, a mate, or well-meaning friends may encourage abortion as a lesser of two evils. This can lead to a hasty, ill-informed decision.

“However, after the stressfulness of the decision and the procedure have ended,”

explained Dr. Priscilla Coleman, an expert on the mental-health risks of abortion,

“women’s cognitive abilities return to normal, often ushering in feelings of pronounced guilt, sadness, and regret.”

This regret often centers on the question: Did the abortion terminate a life that already existed?
A report by the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion concluded that many pregnant women considering an abortion

“were misled into thinking that nothing but ‘tissue’ was being removed, and relate that they would not have had an abortion if they were told the truth.”

After an evaluation of the “stunning and heart-wrenching testimony” of 1,940 women who had abortions, the study concluded:

“Many of these women are angered by grief at the loss of a child they were told never existed.”

It also stated that

“the psychological harm of knowing she killed her child is often devastating.”

But what is the truth? Does an abortion merely remove some tissue from a pregnant woman’s body? Is an unborn child actually a living person while in the womb?

GIVING BIRTH VERSUS HAVING AN ABORTION

A 2006 study reviewed the life history of scores of women who became pregnant as teenagers. Half of them gave birth, and the other half had abortions. The study concluded that

“childbirth was associated with a lower likelihood of receiving psychological counselling services, less frequent sleep problems, and a lower probability of smoking marijuana when compared to abortion.” — Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Another report provided

“the results of the four largest record based studies in the world.”

What did these studies reveal?

“Women with a known history of abortion experience higher rates of mental health problems of various forms when compared to women without a known abortion history.” — Report of the South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion—2005.

+

About this subject:

Should I Have An Abortion

My Choice (by Jezabel Jonson)

The Real ‘Choice’

“They Told Me What I Wanted To Hear” – Real Abortion Stories

The Things We Carry, by Penny

Not an easy decision to make

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

Stop Burning Rape Survivors at the Stake

How to heal after childhood sexual abuse

“Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga

++

Additional reading:

  1. I can’t believe that … (4) God’s word would be so violent
  2. I Can’t Believe That … (2) God would allow children to suffer
  3. God does not change
  4. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  5. About lions and babies
  6. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  7. Always a choice

+++

Further reading:

  1. Things people say…. and don’t
  2. The Sexual Revolution hurts everyone, especially children
  3. On consent & choice; objectification & violence
  4. When Does Life Begin?
  5. New study: unborn babies are viable at 22 weeks
  6. Frozen Embryos, Parenthood, and Personal Property
  7. Abortion objectifies both women and children
  8. If the baby is part of the woman’s body…
  9. Mum whose unborn baby was cut out from womb shares ordeal …
  10. A Letter To My “Almost” Baby
  11. To My Children, That May Never Be,
  12. Diary Of An Unborn Child – Anon
  13. Letter to My Unborn Child – 7
  14. It’s your choice (Part 3)
  15. Why You Should Take Iodine In Pregnancy
  16. What is abortion?
  17. ABORTION: THE HARD AND SOFT OF IT
  18. Relentless War on Unborn Babies
  19. Abortion on Demand and Without Apology
  20. The Real Story of an Abortion
  21. Since Abortion Was Legalized in the U.S., Women’s Risk of Breast Cancer Has Quadrupled
  22. A generation lost
  23. The Risk Factors Associated with Abortions
  24. Feminism, Patriarchy and Misogyny
  25. Celebrities, Activists Read Misognynist Anti-Abortion Tweets from Trolls
  26. Scott Klusendorf defends the pro-life view on the Unbelievable radio show
  27. Planned Parenthood executive admits abortion victim is a baby in fourth video
  28. Governor Scott Walker signs ban on pain-capable abortions
  29. Clinton-appointed judge rules that pro-life license plates are “patently offensive”
  30. Apologetics, Diatoms and the Flood, patriarchy, and more!
  31. Barbara Kay: Tough questions on the health risks of abortion remain
  32. The Damning Middle Path of Abortion Stances
  33. Nauru refugee and rape victim sent home after not making ‘quick’ decision about abortion
  34. Planned Parenthood attacks are the pettiest of politics
  35. Looking the Other Way!
  36. Churches That Don’t Speak Against Abortion Are Like 19th Century Congregations That Stayed Silent on Slavery
  37. Clueless
  38. Kansas court speeds handling of lawsuit over abortion law
  39. Proposed Bill Would Restrict Abortion Clinic Doctors
  40. The Story behind The Keyhole- Part 1
  41. Grandma Palin Couldn’t be Prouder of Her Pro-Death Stance
  42. Choosing a cursed life
  43. Connecticut court case takes up issue of when fetuses become people
  44. How Should Christians Respond to Abortion?
  45. Another Consequence of a Liberal Victory
  46. “Empty the Uterus”
  47. Bodies that matter. Bodies that don’t.

+++

4 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”

World Youth Day is a popular Catholic faith th...

World Youth Day is a popular Catholic faith themed international youth event initiated by Pope John Paul II but those very enthusiast youngsters do not always come out very happy families and often meet lots of friends from new assembled families (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

72 Synod Fathers got together at the Vatican to look after family life, debating at the Synod on Marriage and Family from October the 4th until the 25th.

The Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said this synod wants to give more space to the various language-specific groups (circuli minores) and under the new proceedings, there will be a commission of ten Synod Fathers nominated by the Pope, who will follow the work of the assembly.

Pope Francis I in his brief speech underlined that this Synod is to develop in continuity with last year’s Extraordinary Synod. He said that

“three documents from the last Synod are to be considered official: the opening speech, the concluding speech and the final relatio synodi.”

The clergy has a year time to go locally in debate and to come to some conclusions which should be further discussed in Rome. Additions were made to this concluding document between the 2014 assembly and the start of this October gathering, with contributions received by the Synod secretariat, which then turned it into the Instrumentum laboris – the Ordinary Synod’s working document – “with the Pope’s participation”.

Catholics and those interested in the Catholic Faith should know that

Catholic doctrine on marriage has not been touched, no one called it into question in this assembly or in the Extraordinary assembly. It has been preserved in its integrity”.

the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said, adding,

“We must not let ourselves be conditioned or limit ourselves seeing the question of communion for remarried divorcees as the only problem”. Instead, “the Instrumentum laboris requires a broader outlook.”

When the cardinals a few years ago choose a cardinal coming from a free-thinking religious society known to question Vatican directives and church teachings, they probably had not expected the new elected pope would become so popular and so forthcoming to the general public; Question is now how much does this pope wants to be open to the changed society where some governments even to introduce a third sex, taking into account those who have a dual sex or have changed their sex and want to have normal relationships as well. As the first Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis I is also working in response to a 1990 call by Pope John Paul II in his Ex corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church), for closer ties between the church and Catholic colleges.

Those who hoped that Ex corde would usher in rapid change have also been disappointed. Many advocates maintain that the bishops have never fully enforced its guidelines. Catholic colleges still remain highly autonomous and do more or less what they want. When I talk to American Catholics outside academe, most draw a blank when Ex corde is mentioned. When Pope Benedict XVI addressed Catholic educators during his visit to the United States in April 2008, he made no direct reference to the Apostolic Constitution. {Catholic Colleges 20 Years After ‘Ex Corde’}

“Catholic identity” and “faith and reason” since that call have been circulating, bolstered by Pope John Paul II’s 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), which was widely discussed on Catholic campuses worldwide. But the Catholic Church did not seem to come to reason and had even more difficulties to address other gender feelings than in the 1960ies. The clergy came to exclude more and more people. Also having difficult family issues made even more Catholics shunned by their church. The exclusion of many parishioners made the churches run faster empty. Feeling the water at their mouth, nearly drowning some Catholic church fathers are aware that there must come an end to exclusionary language and a strong emphasis on embracing reality as it is.

“We should not be afraid of new and complex situations.”

says Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s English speaking language spokesperson,who was speaking at the briefing of the Synod’s second day in the Vatican press office, with its director, Father Federico Lombardi, Italian Archbishop Claudio Celli, and Canadian Cardinal Paul-Andre Durocher.

Fr. Rosica Speaks on Synod Delegates, Fathers Discussing the Need to Embrace People Where They Are

The importance of changing language used to address certain difficult situations, Fr. Rosica said, was highlighted.

“The language must be renewed,”

he said, noting how this is especially appropriate and linked to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy which Pope Francis has declared, December 8, 2014 – November 20, 2015.

“The Jubilee of Mercy requires a language of mercy,”

he stated. Father Rosica underscored how language ought to always be inclusive, rather than exclusive, particularly for homosexuals.

“In particular, when speaking about homosexuals or gay persons,”

he said,

“we recognize them for who they are: They are our sons, our daughters, and brothers, sisters, neighbours and colleagues.”

Not only the Catholic Church is struggling with that subject of feelings people can have for people of the same sex. When you look at the net in Christian circles the gay matter may be a seriously discussed parcours where some so called Christians may use a terrible language or send horrible messages to those who are having other preferences than the mainstream people in our society.

Healthy seriously sane people are sensible enough to approach this matter with much caution and are aware that it is much more complicated than it looks at first sight. Most religious organisations from whatever denomination do know that it is not easy at all to convince people of the value of God’s Word.  They all know also how difficult it is nowadays to build up an ecclesia or church and to have that church grow. It might well be that it looks like we are living in a marvellous world, people over here are confronted with loads of problems and often need social, psychological and communal help. There is a huge need today for pastoral work. Also the Catholic Church knows that a better approach is needed for couples living together, to welcome and help them move forward toward a fulfilling married life, one which says:

“Look, God loves you as and where you are, but God doesn’t want you to stay there. He wants you to go further.”

A common suggestion of the delegates, Father Thomas Rosica noted, was not only for greater preparation before entering into marriage, but to continue into its early stages to help couples adapt to their lives as spouses.

Moreover, the synod fathers and delegates spoke about the role and treatment of the elderly, especially for their importance in transmitting the faith and values with in families.

There are Americans who think that dissident Catholic pressure groups — aided by the liberal media — are feverishly working to dismantle vital Church teaching on marriage and family at this Synod on the Family in Rome. The American TFP was joining forces with over 20 more pro-family groups around the world to collect as many signatures as possible before this Synod started. They want others to believe that

they are bombarding the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers right now with messages of revolt against traditional moral values as they lamor for “change, change, change” inside the Church. {Filial Petition to Pope Francis}

+

Find also:

  1. Two synods and life in the church community
  2. A synod not leading to doctrinal changes because it is about pastoral attention
  3. Different assessment criteria and a new language to be found for communicating the faith
  4. People of 2013
  5. Liberation, salvation and the Latin American voice entering the Vatican
  6. Slum pope joins Catholic jamboree on famous beach of Copacabana
  7. Marriage covenant
  8. Marriage vows
  9. Same-sex marriage or Gay marriage
  10. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  11. Helping against or causing more homophobia
  12. A so called man of God say Christ was wrong about marriage
  13. Antichrist and The Most Hated Family in America in crisis
  14. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  15. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  16. Mixed marriages
  17. Child marriage
  18. Bible Guidelines for a happy marriage
  19. That We May One is a book for married couples about awesome marriages
  20. Manifests for believers #1 Sex abuse setting fire to the powder
  21. Manifests for believers #2 Changing celibacy requirement
  22. Child sexual abuse
  23. What’s church for, anyway?
  24. Liberal and evangelical Christians

 +++

Further reading

+++

8 Comments

Filed under Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs

What Does The Bible Say About….Fornication?

In this article is looked at man having his desires expressed in physical actions. It looks at what man does with his body.

The article also warns us that our lives as Christians should be a living witness to others and that we cannot break the laws of God without hindering others from coming to Christ.

We must live our lives in purity before a sinful and wicked world. We should not be living according to their standards but according to God’s standard in the Bible. No couple should live together outside the bonds of marriage.

It reminds us that

As Christians, the goal of any relationship should be to cause the people in our lives to love and know the Lord better.

Today we may find lots of people just living together to have sexual pleasure, living to please their own lust and selfish desires.

This type of life style is destructive and especially so for children whose parents are living a bad example before them. No wonder our children are confused about right and wrong when parents degrade the sanctity of marriage by living together out of wedlock. How can living together cause children to love and honor God when their parents break the laws of God before them because they are lustful?

The dictionary meaning of the word “fornication” means any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery.

In the Bible the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit sexual intercourse.

The Bible also lists whore-mongers as fornicators.

What constitutes unlawful sex? Whose laws do we live by? Worldly standards or laws many times do not always line up with the Word of God. The founding fathers of various nations established many laws that were originally based on Christian standards and the laws of the Bible. However, through time they have drifted far from these standards and at the present our moral standards are shocking. Immorality is a world-wide epidemic. Societies throughout history and around the globe have embraced sexual standards that are called sins in the Bible.

The Bible must be our standard of what is right and wrong. We must change our standards if we do not want the wrath of God to fall on us.

+

Preceding articles:

Part of a great team but also of gender discrimination

Reactions against those of the other sex

Leaven

Purposeful Inspiration

Retrieved from: Christ Unlimited Ministries

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

“Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

The dictionary meaning of the word “fornication” means any unlawful sexual intercourse including adultery. In the Bible the Greek definition of the word “fornication” means to commit illicit…

View original post 1,138 more words

4 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Silencing Women – Of God or Men ?

There are 2 passages in the Bible which  appear to say that women should be silent in church.

1 Cor. 14:34-35  & 1 Tim. 2:11-12

A closer look shows that they are talking about different things and use a different Greek word for silence.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (KJV)

“ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

Notice that it doesn’t just say that women can’t speak – even if they have a question they must ask their husbands at home. This implies that husbands are able to answer their wives spiritual questions.

Notice also that Paul appeals to the law, but he doesn’t say where he’s quoting from.

What’s also interesting is it seems to be the ONLY time Paul says he’s quoting the Old Testament, and he doesn’t back it up with the quote.

Let’s take a look at Paul’s normal writing style when he says he’s quoting scripture.

CITING QUOTES – (Thanks to Ian McHaffie for his research on this)

Paul introduces an Old Testament quote by “It is written” about 30 times and Includes full quote

Paul says “it says” or “the law says”  about 25 times and includes the quote.

Sometimes Paul just quotes with no introduction about 36 times

So that’s a total of 91 times where Paul gives the actual quote.

The only where he says he’s quoting scripture, but doesn’t say where, seems to be this verse .

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

1 Cor. 1:1–2a from the 14th century Minuscule 223

It seems strange that if this is a weighty passage intended to stop women speaking for all time – that Paul doesn’t back it up with the exact scripture in the way he normally does. There’s another possibility. Corinthians was written to mostly Gentile believers living in a Roman city.  Maybe it’s Roman Law mentioned here.

ROMAN LAW

The word “law ”in 1 Cor. 14  can mean  any law whatever -not just the law of Moses.  For example Rom.3:27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith – so here the word law refers to a law of works and a law of faith.  It’s possible the word Law in 1 Cor. 14  could be referring to yet another Law – the Roman Law. Under Roman law a woman was subject to a man all her life.  The Romans had a law called Patria Potestas -power of a father – absolute authority – power over life and death.  When his daughter married this power could either go to her husband to have control over her, or stay with the father, whichever way, she was always controlled by a man.

But the traditional church argument has been that Paul is referring to Genesis and a Law that women must submit to men.  Let’s see if such a law exists.

GENESIS 3:16 is where the traditional argument takes us back to – the events in Eden.

“Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”

What is the context of this verse ?  It’s often been interpreted through Paul – but let’s think about it again realising that we don’t know if Paul was referring to it.

What happened in Eden was a breakdown of relationships, especially with God, and it lead to sin.  When Eve was tempted she didn’t turn to God, she turned to her husband.  It was a mistake to turn to her husband, she should have turned to God.

It’s also interesting that the term, “cursed”, arur, is absent from God’s announcement to Eve. The serpent is cursed above all the animals and punished, and because of Adam’s sin, the earth is cursed. But nothing is cursed, using the word ‘arur ‘because of Eve. 

Let’s compare this verse in Gen. with Paul’s verse in Corinthian –

“Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16

“They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as also the law says. If they want to learn something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34

Notice that The verse in Genesis isn’t a commandment, it’s a statement  -That men WILL rule over women – a prophecy. The verse in Cor. says that women MUST be submissive to men – this is a commandment to obey, two different things.

The question is – is Paul really referring to Genesis?

The traditional view is that Paul expanded what was said in Genesis, that he in fact gave it a different meaning than we would otherwise take from it.

But why would Paul appeal to the Law in this verse, when he says so many times we are no longer under the law?

LAW QUOTES

“Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” Galatians 3:13

“If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:18

This Law of sin and death that we are set free from goes back to Eden.  Paul is clearly referring to it and saying we are no longer under it – we still die, but if we are in Christ it doesn’t have a hold over us in a spiritual sense.

So what is this law that Paul is referring to?  It’s inconsistent to say we’re NOT under the law and then to enforce it in 1 Cor. 14. Could it just be the Roman Law?  Or could there be a fuller explanation?

When Jesus was tempted to take a passage of scripture at face value during his temptation in the wilderness, His response was to say “IT IS ALSO WRITTEN”. He considered the broader picture of what else the scriptures had to say.   So now I’d like to do the same.  Let’s think about the rest of the Bible and what it has to say about the silence of women.  Let’s start by looking at some women in the Old Testament.

The Bible provides examples of women who led, spoke out, and gave wise instruction to both men and women.

I’ve heard it said that men shouldn’t listen to women because Eve deceived Adam – more about that later- but we have  the  example of David hearkening to the voice Abigail and it was a good thing. She stopped him from sinning.   There’s the example of Deborah who judged and led Israel.

Esther who saved the nation by having the courage to speak out – A Jewish girl who married a foreign King at a time when other Jews were forcing men to divorce their foreign wives. (more about that in next post)

Huldah the prophetess  -The King and priests – the most important men in all the land – went to her to hear God’s word.

Miriam was chosen by God to lead Israel along with Moses and Aaron.

NO -There weren’t as many women as men in leadership roles but there’s enough to show they DID have God’s approval. I don’t believe it was God  who told women to be silent but the prophecy of male dominance taking effect.

RABBIS –Let’s  have a quick look at Jewish thinking by the time of Jesus and Paul.  As well as the Law of Moses they had all the interpretations of it by Rabbis known as the Mishnah and Talmud. These are some examples of what they said.

“Out of respect to the congregation, a woman should not herself read in the law.”

“It is a shame for a woman to let her voice be heard among men.”

“Even the sound of a woman’s voice is lustful.”

Josephus summed them up:

            “Thus says the scripture, a woman is inferior to her husband in all things.”

So clearly these Rabbis thought women were inferior to men and made statements to say that the scriptures backed them up.  There’s definitely no scripture which says that a woman is inferior to her husband in all things –it was a story going around because of how the Rabbis re-interpreted scripture.

Let’s compare these sayings with what Jesus said.

WHAT JESUS SAID

“For you have one Teacher, and you are all brethren (includes male and female).  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors (Rabbi, Master), for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”Matt. 23:9-11 NIV

So we are not to call anyone but Jesus our instructor or leader. It’s Jesus women turn to for ultimate guidance, not their husband, nor people who wrongly interpret scripture. Likewise it’s Jesus men should turn to, not their wives. Jesus is our leader.  How can women ask spiritual questions of their husbands at home if they don’t have a husband?

Let’s think about a woman with no husband. In John 4  Jesus broke the protocol of the day by talking to a woman alone. She had no husband to ask questions of.

The disciples left their nets to follow Jesus, but she left her water pot to go and preach.  She was the first person to be told by Jesus that He was the Messiah

She spoke to the people (including men), of the town and “many came to believe because of the words she spoke.

She was the FIRST to hear Jesus words and go out preaching the good news.

This was clearly an example of a woman preaching the good news of Jesus to men.  This woman grasped the message of Jesus and ran with it – she didn’t need a husband to know what the right thing to do was.

Jesus TRAVELLED WITH WOMEN we are told in Luke 8:2

He went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women.” Luke 8:2

After His resurrection He APPEARED FIRST TO A WOMAN & TOLD HER TO PROCLAIM HIS RESURRECTION – just as we should be doing now.

In John 20:17 Jesus said to Mary

“Go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

We are told in Luke 24:11 that “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.”

Mary became known as the “apostle to the apostles” because Jesus chose her to give the news of His resurrection to the other disciples.  We are told that the 11 men didn’t believe her.  We are also told that Jesus rebuked them sternly for this.

Mark 16:14  “Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven … he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen”.

Jesus wasn’t impressed when the men refused to believe these women who were proclaiming the resurrection, especially when they had been instructed by Jesus Himself to proclaim it.  This is a powerful point and warning to men who refuse to listen to women proclaim the gospel.

The  New Testament is full of examples of women preaching alongside  men.  Just a few examples here.

Acts 2 says ALL received the holy spirit, ALL spoke in tongues.”  This is what was spoken by Joel the prophet in chapter 2:

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,  your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”
It was an exciting time for the church – men and women were working together  to proclaim the gospel.                      

We are told that Phoebe (a woman) was a servant/deacon of the church in Cenchrea in Romans 16:1-2,  and that Priscilla and her husband Aquila were a preaching team “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Acts 18:26, 1 Cor. 16:9

Priscilla and Aquilla taught Apollos, they are mentioned together about 5 times and usually it’s Priscilla who is mentioned first.   So in the New Testament  we hear of  women speaking and preaching together with men.

But what of the two difficult verses by Paul which seem to say at face value that women are to be silent???

CONTEXT

–Before we look at the quote in 1 Cor. 14 Let’s think about the context within the rest of 1 Corinthians.  Paul doesn’t expect women to be silent because –

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.

1 Cor. 14:5 says “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.

1 Cor. 14:26 says “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”

1 Cor.14:39 says Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

In the IMMEDIATE CONTEXT  – Paul approved and encouraged both men and women speaking in the ecclesial meetings.

In the WIDER CONTEXT – Women spoke, judged, prophesied, led.

EXPLAINING 1 COR. 14:34-35

It seems to me that 1 Cor. 14:34-35 can’t be saying the opposite of what is established by the rest of the Bible.  Women did instruct and speak both in the Old Testament and New Testament WITH GOD’S APPROVAL.

The difficulty with 1 Cor. Is that Paul is answering a whole series of questions.  We have the answers but not the questions, nor the punctuation in the original Greek to make the questions stand out.  We know that all through 1 Cor. Paul is answering questions that have been written to him. 1 Cor. 7:1  makes this clear when Paul says Now for the matters you wrote about”.

I believe that the strongest explanation for this puzzling verse is that it’s actually Paul quoting one of these questions that he’s been asked .

1 Corinthians 14 is a QUOTATION of the matters they wrote about.

This is what it looks like if we put the words of Paul in italics

                                    QUOTATION  1 Cor. 14:34-35

Paul’s words Italics

And the spirits of  prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”

“As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for women to speak in  church”.(PART PAUL IS QUOTING THEY HAVE WRITTEN TO HIM ABOUT)

 What?

Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only ones it has reached?” (Paul dismisses the idea as nonsense)

I think this passage is the outcome of the Rabbis re-interpreting Genesis 3:16, something that was the thinking of the day, and is one of the “things you wrote about” which Paul refers to.

This theory makes sense of the strange exclamation of “What” at the start of verse 36 -It’s Paul’s dismissal of such an idea that women can’t speak. If we understand it like this, then Paul’s message takes on the opposite meaning to the traditional view. It’s dismissing the silly idea of women not being able to speak. Let’s look more closely at Paul’s dismissal of the idea.

If we understand that the passage is something quoted – then this response from Paul makes sense.  The problem verses would be a whole new teaching that contradicts Jesus.

Women to be silent and ask questions of their husbands? Paul challenges this new teaching with two questions.

  1. “Came the word out from you?”  – The word came out from Jesus not these men.
  2. “Came it unto you only?” “only” =  alone –  without a companion.  Were these men alone receiving a new teaching and not the women?

In Jesus women are “Sons of God”. Being male or female doesn’t matter, they are born of God’s will not men’s will, nor a husbands will.

“To all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12

Let’s move on the Paul’s other difficult quote in 1st Timothy

What was Paul’s Purpose of Writing to Timothy?

Paul tells Timothy to stay in Ephesus – so that he could command certain people not to teach false doctrine.  So our setting is Ephesus in the 1st Century and there is a problem with wrong doctrine. Lets’ try and go back in time to ancient Ephesus, and try to understand the wrong doctrines that were in circulation.

ANCIENT EPHESUS –   Was the home of the Temple of Artemis – one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.

Ephesus was the trade centre of the ancient world. It was a melting pot of myths.

Trying to understand these myths is useful when thinking about the problems that Paul is addressing in his letter to Timothy

Archeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe's 1992 visit

Archaeological site Ephesus at the time of Marcus Ampe’s 1992 visit

Besides the cult of Artemis, there is evidence of various mystery religions, the practice of magic (Acts 19:19), worship of Egyptian gods as well as a large number of other gods.Legend has it that the city of Ephesus was founded by the Amazon women who also built the first temple to Artemis.  Ancient Statues of the Amazon women still exist. Artemis, according to Greek mythology, is one of the virgin goddesses who remained independent and free of any man. She is the Goddess of pregnant women and childbirth, Goddess of all animals and Goddess of the hunt.

Let’s think about the Amazon women who supposedly founded Ephesus.

AMAZON WOMEN – According to Greek mythology the Amazons were a nation of all female warriors who originated from Northern Turkey. They were skilled warriors who rode horses, enslaved men and forced them to build the city of Ephesus. They also worshipped Artemis.  By the time of Paul Artemis had merged into Diana of the Ephesians.

DIANA of the Ephesians

We know from Acts 18 that Diana was worshipped all over the Roman Empire, and this is confirmed by ancient coins which even call her “Saviour”. From Acts 19:27 we have the quote

“The goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world.”

She had many titles, one of them was PROTECTOR OF WOMEN IN CHILDBIRTH

The Roman Diana had evolved from the Greek One.  The idea of powerful independent women was reinforced in the Artemis cult because unlike other Greek goddesses, Artemis had no need of a male partner. Images of the Amazon women also lined her temple in Ephesus.

Philosophers, Myths -As we’ve seen Ephesus was a breeding ground for myths and also attracted philosophers.  Paul said –

“Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified.” 1 Cor. 1:20-25

Ephesus, library of Celsus - Photo by Marcus Ampe

Ephesus, library of Celsus – Photo by Marcus Ampe

Here in Ephesus the thinkers of the age came together.   There was a statue in the library in AD 117 where wisdom or Sophia was personified as a woman.

At some stage there were the Gnostic stories going around.  It’s hard to date the origin of the Gnostic stories as they evolved over time, but it seems likely that the ideas that fed them would have been present in Ephesus at the time of Pauls writings. This is one of the Gnostic texts which mentions Eve as the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom) who wakes Adam from sleep.

Myth – Eve made first (difficult to date the origins of these myths)

Sophia sent Zoe, her daughter, who is called “Eve,” as an instructor in order that she might raise up Adam, in whom there is no spiritual soul so that those whom he could beget might also become vessels of light. When Eve saw her companion, who was so much like her, in his cast down condition she pitied him, and she exclaimed: “Adam, live! Rise up upon the earth!” Immediately her words produced a result for when Adam rose up, right away he opened his eyes. When he saw her, he said: “You will be called ‘mother of the living’, because you are the one who gave me life.“  from ‘On the Origin of the World’

We’ll keep these ideas in mind while we look at Paul’s other difficult passage.

Paul’s other difficult passage

SILENCING WOMEN ?  1 Tim 2:11-15

“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. And she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

At face value Paul appears to be silencing women because Adam was made first and wasn’t deceived like Eve was.  He appears to be giving Adam an elevated status and endorsing a MALE HIERARCHY.  Let’s see how these ideas compare to the teachings of Jesus.

                                                 Would Paul contradict Jesus?          What did Jesus say?

NO HIERARCHY

“Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.”

Matt.23:11“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”  Mark 10:43

“Whoever does the will of God is My brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:35

ORDER DOESN’T MATTER

“But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Matt. 19:30

Younger brothers chosen: Jacob not Esau, Isaac not Ishmael, Joseph ruler of older brothers, David the youngest son

WHAT PAUL APPEARS TO SAY

MALE HIERARCHY ?

  “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

  “They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.  If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” 1 Cor. 14:34-35

   “The head of the woman is man” 1 Cor. 11:3

DOES ORDER REALLY MATTER ?

     “She must be quiet.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” 1 Tim 2:13

Conclusion – At face value – the words of Jesus and the words of Paul don’t seem to agree.

Let’s compare Paul’s words in here to some of his other words.

Would Paul contradict himself?
The question is – Would Paul really command all women to be silent when
he has encouraged them to speak?

1 Cor. 11  discusses what men and WOMEN will wear when PRAYING AND PROPHESYING– both spoken activities.
1 Cor. 14:5 – “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy”.
1 Cor. 14:26 – “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation.”
1 Cor.14:39Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy” (NIV)

Would Paul say order matters in one place when he said it doesn’t in another?

1 Cor. 11:11-12 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. And everything comes from God.”

Compared to

‘Women are to be silent for man was formed first.’

So once again – at face value – Paul’s words are very puzzling. Let’s think about Timothy the young man Paul is writing to.

Timothy’s Background

Paul begins his letter by saying –

“To Timothy, my dear son…

I thank God, whom I serve… I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Tim 1

Let’s compare this to our difficult passage

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” 1 Tim. 2:12

Again the passages seem to clash.  Would Paul really silence Timothy’s mother and Grandmother? In 2 Timothy he commends them, he even seems to say that Timothy’s faith had been nurtured by his mother and grandmother. It would seem very much that they had in fact been teachers to Timothy

Let’s think about another part of the difficult Timothy Passage.

Verse 14

“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” 1 Tim 2:14

A misunderstanding of 1 Tim 2: 12  has caused  Eve to be blamed for the original sin which brought down mankind – yet Adam and Eve were together in the transgression.  Eve turned to Adam when she was deceived. Adam knowingly sinned.

It’s interesting that in Eden God had given the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge to Adam – before Eve was made.  It would seem that Eve was told about the command via Adam, and  what Eve told the serpent was not quite what God Told Adam.

After they ate the fruit it was Adam that God spoke to- the one given the original command from God.  Adam’s guilty verdict starts with “Because you listened to your wife,” which gives the impression that listening to his wife is his main misdoing;  this is NOT what it’s about at all.
The point of Adam listening to his wife was not about listening to a woman, and therefore all men should never listen to women- the point was  about  Adam messing up and disobeying the direct and  clear command from God.  Adam deliberately sinned by eating the fruit, he knew it was wrong and still did it anyway. Eve had been deceived by wrong doctrine, she wasn’t sure if it was wrong anymore.

Paul said repeatedly that is was ADAM who  brought sin into the world.

     IT IS ALSO WRITTEN

            “For as in Adam all die”1 Cor. 15:22

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” Rom. 5:12

It’s very likely that the church in Ephesus would have read Paul’s letters to the Romans and Corinthians Letters which stated that Sin came into the world by one man – Adam.  It’s very likely that the women were questioning whether Eve was part of the original sin of Adam.  In 1 Timothy Paul is emphasising that women were drawn into the transgression by being deceived, that is the point here – to correct wrong doctrine.  It seems likely that some women were saying that Eve was not part of Adam’s sin.

Different Greek words for silence

Next let’s compare our difficult verse in Cor. with our difficult verse in Timothy.

The translators have used the same English word “SILENCE” in these 2 passages.  But in Greek the  words are different with different meanings.  The word for silence in the Cor. passage means silence as we understand it – without sound.

But the word in the Timothy passage doesn’t necessarily mean to be without sound – It has more of a slant to meaning stillness, or behaving in a quiet way, or settling down.

COMPARE -So let’s compare our Timothy passage with another passage which uses the same word for silence – only this time the translators decided to call it quietness.

1 Timothy 2:11-15

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.”

2 Thes. 3:11

“We hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread…14And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.”

So in this passage the same word takes on the meaning of quietness.  It’s the Greek word hesychia, it’s not the word sigan, “refrain from speaking”, used in 1 Corinthians 14  when speakers in tongues, prophets and the women are told to be silent. “Quiet” in verse 2 of the same chapter in Timothy means “free from disruption or persecution”, and it has been suggested that Paul meant the same in verse 11, i.e. that no attempt should be made to disrupt the process of a woman being taught.

Traditional Interpretation

Let’s compare the traditional interpretation with an alternative one

Traditional interpretation

Women are to be silent because Adam was made first. A universal rule from Paul to apply to all women for all time.

Alternative interpretation –

Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray. Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

1 Tim 1   What was PAULS PURPOSE OF WRITING TO TIMOTHY?

1 Tim 1:3  says

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

NOTICE:  Paul’s command was only for ‘certain people’ – the ones teaching wrong doctrine. 

FROM THE CONTEXT OF 1 TIM. 2 The Wrong Doctrines appear to be

– Doubts about Jesus being human

– Angry men

– Women overdressing

EVE MADE FIRST and not part of Adam’s transgression

– HAVING CHILDREN WAS BAD or women hoped Diana would saved them in childbirth

Paul’s comments – Wrong Doctrines

I want to try to explain this passage by comparing what Paul is saying, to what appears to be the wrong doctrines  he’s referring to.

Remember that in chapter one Paul told Timothy to stop some of the people from teaching – the people to stop teaching were the ones spreading wrong doctrine.

“Stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer  or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies.”

Then in chapter two he goes on the say who those certain people are he is not allowing to teach – it is directed at a woman or perhaps a group of women.

I don’t allow a woman (with wrong doctrine – who is still following the myths and genealogies) to teach nor to “usurp authority”  (act of herself – independently of the men) but to learn quietly.

For Adam WAS formed first.  Remember we know that there were ideas circulating in the Gnostic writings that Eve woke Adam.  It’s not unreasonable to suppose that those ideas were forming at the time of Paul’s writingsPaul is not saying

“Women must be silent because Adam was made first”

He’s saying that women with wrong doctrine must not teach and the fact is that Adam WAS made first, and that Eve WAS in the transgression.

Paul warned of those who claimed to have true knowledge but had a false knowledge (gnosis “Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge (gnosis)” 1Tim.6:20

WOMEN HAVING AUTHORITY

The Greek word for “AUTHORITY” that Paul uses in this verse is unique – it’s the only time it appears in the Bible.

1 Tim 2:12  “And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence (meaning quietness).”

Authority – authenteo –means “to act of oneself” a SELF WORKER

The  most common word used for authority in the New Testament is

– exousia– means power or authority – used 103 times

We know from the context of 1 Timothy that there were women in Ephesus who were trying to dominate but they were lead astray by wrong doctrine and still needed to learn. We know there was a culture in Ephesus of Diana worship  and of the worship of independent women who had once dominated men – according to myth.

 Paul is saying that women with wrong doctrine were not to be self workers, not to be independent of the men.

It should also be noted that Paul is not saying that men can have authority over women or be  self workers – MEN  can’t work independently  of women – JUST AS WOMEN CAN’T WORK INDEPENDENTLY OF MEN.

Saved through childbearing?

            What does Paul’s statement mean that women will be saved through childbearing?

            I don’t believe this verse is saying that women are saved by the birth of Jesus.

            It’s not saying “through the childbirth” there is no “the” in the Greek.  It is in the same sense of childbearing that he uses in chapter five.

1 Tim. 2:15  “And women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

1 Tim. 5:14  “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.”

Women are not saved by a different process  MEN AND WOMEN are saved by grace – by belief in God and Jesus.

            But idle widows at Ephesus were being deceived by wrong doctrine (turning after Satan). Perhaps they were following the wrong teaching of abstaining from marriage.  Perhaps Paul suggested that marrying, having children and keeping busy would save them from being led astray as Eve had been by wrong teaching.

             Paul silences Men

Paul didn’t only silence women, he also silenced men.  He silenced anyone with WRONG DOCTRINE !

That’s the real point here.  It’s not a matter of gender – it’s a matter of stopping those who teach wrongly whether they are male or female.

Titus 1:10-14

SINNING PEOPLE (men included) DECEIVING  OTHERS WITH JEWISH FABLES TO BE SILENCED

  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

            ANOTHER WOMAN WHO TAUGHT WRONG DOCTRINE

Rev 2:24 “Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols….. But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and who have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you no other burden.”

POINTS

There was no other burden put on the men & women of Thyatira The only one told to be silent is the one with wrong doctrine.

            Jezebel was not condemned for speaking – but for speaking wrongly, for turning after Satan.

Eve’s undoing was that she was deceived by wrong doctrine.  Adam’s undoing was his deliberate sin.

ADAM WAS GIVEN God’s word first – presumably Adam told it to Eve.  After the sin it was Adam who God confronted with the question Have you eaten from the tree that I COMMANDED YOU not to eat from?”Gen 3:11 God didn’t ask this question of Eve.

Adam sinned knowingly, he should have saved Eve when she was deceived.

JESUS -the second and greater Adam – didn’t give in to sin and died to save his bride. Being first didn’t make Adam better than Eve – he sinned.

           Jesus the 2nd Adam is greater that the 1st Adam.  The fact that Adam was formed before Eve doesn’t make him greater.  Paul was more likely correcting wrong doctrine when he made the point that Adam was made first. Probably some were saying that Eve was made first.

MEN are GIVEN the SAME WARNING

2 Cor. 11:3  to both MEN AND WOMEN

 “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray”

So Paul warns MEN as well not to be deceived and fall into sin like Eve.

The point of the passage in Timothy about deception is DON’T MAKE EVE’S MISTAKE – don’t be deceived – turn to God not people

 What about Paul’s advice to young widows? Is Paul’s giving  advice in a Local Context or making a rule for all women for all time?

1 Tim 5:14    “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, rule their households”

            Compare this to

1 Cor. 7:8  ”Now to the unmarried and the widows

I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.”

(Anna had been a young widow  – SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN. She spoke to “ALL (men and women) who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem”.)

Man as the Head –is  A symbol to show Christ’s relationship with the church… it’s a marriage symbol.  By not understanding this symbol some people have fallen into the “men domination women” relationship of Eden that Christ freed us from.  Man as the head is not about male domination but a relationship in marriage that echoes Jesus saving his bride.

MARRIAGE

THE WIFE- the church

She is presenting a picture of how believers submit to Christ.

THE HUSBAND -symbol of Christ. He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

Someone looking at a believing husband should be able to see a picture of how Christ loved the church.

JESUS & HIS BRIDE – He didn’t tell His bride to be silent – He told her to go into the whole world and preach the gospel

It is also written

We began by looking at 2 quotes that many people have taken at face value.

But Jesus didn’t just take verses at face value, He  also weighed up everything else that God had said.  So Jesus didn’t isolate verses  to mean something that was incompatible with the rest of scripture.

So when we see a verse that says “Women are to be silent for Adam was formed first”

We should also remember the verse that says that man also comes from woman and everything is from God, and the multitude of verses which encourage women to speak, pray, teach.

There is neither Jew nor Greek

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Gal . 3:28

PAUL’S FINAL COMMENT ABOUT TEACHING

 “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”        “reliable people” = men & women
2 Tim. 2:2 New NIV © 2010

SUMMARY
1 Cor. 14:34-35
Paul was quoting one of the matters that he had been asked about before dismissing it as nonsense.
1 Tim 2:11-15
Deceived women teaching wrong doctrines are to stop teaching and learn in quietness. Advice for a local situation to women who still needed to learn and were leading others astray .  Other women like Priscilla were ready to teach and  they did.

Robin Jones

PPT presentation at  oneinchrist.yolasite.com

+

Additional reading:

  1. Be still and listen
  2. Patria Potestas and Ancestor worship
  3. Patria Potestas and Pater familias

+++

2 Comments

Filed under History, Religious affairs