Benedict XVI, woman officers, and the Creation Order...

(Tim, w/thanks to Kevin) Roman Catholic leader, Benedict XVI, recently responded to those critical of Roman Catholics for not having woman officers. He makes several simple statements you'd wait years to hear on the floor of most Reformed denominational meetings. When it comes to the foundational issue, though, he misses the ball.

The church doesn't have women officers, not because our Lord chose men as His Apostles, but because...

God created Adam first, then Eve. That is the archetype. It's called Order of Creation and it's the fountainhead from which everything else flows.

Our Lord chose men for His Apostles because His Father placed fatherhood in the male of the species, naming the species, both him and her, "adam" or "man." He made Adam first, then Eve, commanding that for this reason woman is not to teach or exercise authority over man.

In other words, when He chose men as His Apostles, Jesus submitted to His Father's will already made clear in the Garden prior to the Fall. God's Order of Creation is the cornerstone on which the language of Scripture, the order of marriage, the structure of society, and the officers of the church are built.

We may defy God's Creation Order by the incremental normalization of sodomy we see today in the battle to repeal President Clinton's don't ask, don't tell policy. We may defy God's Creation Order by the incremental normalization of feminism we see today in the battle led by Tim Keller to place woman officers on our boards of deacons.

But God will not be mocked. We will reap what we've sown to our sinful natures.


I have always been irritated and frustrated with the Romans on this point. The way Benedict (and JPII before him, and orthodox Roman theologs generally) handle this shows that Romans do ~not~ believe Scripture and Tradition are parallel seats of religious authority. On the contrary, this apologia by Benedict and other ordinary Roman spokesmen shows where they believe the true seat of religious authority is located: in the magisterium of the Church rather than in Holy Writ.

Holy Writ, of course, is clear on the point, as Pr. Tim summarizes in the blog above. What God did, how He did it, and what He has said about it in His own Word are straightforwardly understood by anyone who wants to pick up the Bible and read it.

So, what an irony that the Romans end up -- contra broadly evangelical American Protestants (the BEAPers) -- defending sexual orthodoxy by appealing to the teaching and practice of the Church, while the BEAPers - who wouldn't give two frittered figs for the teaching and practice of the Church -- defend sexual heresy by twisting the Scriptures into saying what they do not say.

Someone somewhere said "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

I appreciate Bill's frustration with Catholic theology and its, um, "nuances," but agree wholeheartedly that inasmuch as they say "we don't have the authority to change this," they are saying something we ought to say in Protestant circles more often.

The article says the Pope's argument is: "Christ gave the form of the priesthood when he chose his male Apostles, he said in the book-interview, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. "The church has 'no authority' to ordain women. The point is not that we are saying we don't want to, but that we can't," he said."

That's a cop-out argument in the standard evangelical style used for many issues. Restated, the argument is "The Bible says to do X in verse Y, so we Christians have to do it, even tho we agree it's probably wrong and we wouldn't think of trying to defend X on grounds that anyone outside of our club would find convincing. But we've got to be obedient to God, even when He's wrong, because we're Christians. You're not a Christian, so don't worry; just let us hold our peculiar opinions."

It actually looks as if the Pope is *not* relying on tradition in this case, except perhaps for the traditional interpretation of the 12 Apostles' all being men.

We should keep in mind, tho, that news reporters commonly misreport logical arguments, in law, economics, and theology, so maybe this isn't as bad as it looks.

Wise, Eric. Strengthens me. Love,

But let us be careful because God's command is quite sufficient and does not require dressing up. The difference is that when we disagree with God's command we must recognize the flaw is in us, not the command.

Hijack Warning!

Today is December 15 and our dear brother and faithful pastor and blogger, Tim, is 57. Weak in, weak out many of us benefit from the fruit of this man's labors without cost to us, but great cost to him. Scripture commands:

I Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

I propose that all of us who have benefited so much and have been blessed again and again, now send a blessing in the form of a donation to ClearNote Fellowship at the tab on the left or this link:

$57 would be a great amount or whatever you decide.

Don't just say happy birthday, give a gift in return for the gift of this man's love and friendship and faithful ministry in the Body of Christ.

Now, forgive me for this hijack and please go back to commenting on the post above.

Wondered if you had read Ron Sider at First Things on civil unions:


In my understanding of it, the RC references to the dominical practice are merely part of the argument. The first step, as it were. I rather like the simplicity of it - we simply do not have the authority to change our Lord's practice. The fuller argument, as I have seen it, starts from the dominical practice, continues on through the Apostles and Fathers, etc.

Since Catholic Christendom accepted the authority of nobles (both men and women) over commoners for so many centuries, it's a lot to expect the pope now to say that, from creation, in the "structure of society," "woman is not to... exercise authority over man."

It isn't as if the Reformation immediately dissociated itself from either monarchy or aristocracy. And say what you will for Christian monarchies, either Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant, none of them were prepared to permit sodomite marriage.

Happy Birthday, Tim! We love and miss you -

The Nugents

(And for the occasion of your birthday, I specifically remembered to leave only ONE space after the end of my sentences. So, Merry Christmas:)

It's quite true that the Roman Catholic church has in the past been a strong supporter of class distinctions and distinctly hostile to democracy, as incompatible with Christianity. But we shouldn't use her being wrong on that to be wrong on the role of women, any more than a repentant prostitute should be required to be silent on chastity.

Note, too, that the RC's have quietly abandoned their past hostility to democracy and "Americanism" (the actual name they gave to a criticized idea). That hostility was based on tradition and logic (mistaken logic), not on Scripture. We should be encouraging them to repudiate past errors like that--- though it's useful to point out how the Papacy's teaching is so malleable.

Happy Birthday, dear brother! (late, sorry)

Well "democracy" will now be force feeding acceptance of sexual perversion to the armed forces.

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