From my old blog . . . 03.15.06

Mac: I like my iBook greatly. Doesn't that sound weird? I used to say 'I love my iBook' but now I try not to say 'love' regarding 'things'. I love YHWH, Jesus, Mahina, Sumi, my parents, my pets (especially Maddie), nature, etc., but not things. However, when it comes to my Mac -- the hardware as well as the OS -- it's really, really hard not to say it. This is the best computer experience around. Period. If you don't have one . . . what are you waiting for!!! I'm sure I have told you about it already. You have gotta get one of these things, I'm telling ya. It will be the best computer experience you have ever had. But that's just me. Maybe you like getting spyware and viruses. Maybe you like having to always update those things (and if you aren't, you really should be). With the Mac, you don't have to worry about it.

Anyway . . .

Bible: I have been thinking a lot lately about the Bible and it's place within the church at large and within my life in particular. NT Wright (and if I haven't told you yet, get anything from this man and internalize it. It will change your life.) has a book called The Last Word. It's about biblical authority. Specifically, it asks the question: how can a story be authoritative? Not 'story' as in made up, but in the fact that most of the Bible is a narrative. It's the 'story' of the creator god interacting with people, specifically Israel. Anyway, I have been thinking about the 'three stool model' of the Episcopal church. They look to scripture, tradition (church history), and reason to guide them today. I was thinking about how few times the NT quoted passages from the OT. That is, today, you have to 'have a verse' for just about anything and everything you say, think or (god forbid) do. Not so much in the NT. If we read through the NT (and, I hope you have figured out that by 'NT' I am meaning New Testament) you will notice that the writers hardly quoted from the OT. Why is that? It's because they didn't have a 'bible' readily available. The 'text' was in scrolls kept in the Temple. Not too many people had access to them. Anyway, throughout the history of the church, the church hasn't tried to rebuild the past, but build upon it when faced with new challenges. The church in the 1400's doesn't say, 'Well, the church has always done things this way and therefore we should too. Beside, we can't find any record of them doing otherwise so it must not be biblical'. All the time not realizing that the issue had not come to the forefront before. No, we must understand that the church is facing new challenges everyday and see how they responded to challenges in the past so we can continue to have the same impact on our culture. This is where I would make a case about women bishops.

Look at the example of slavery. It was normative in biblical times. In fact, it even encourages it at some points. In the NT there is a whole letter about a slave and how the 'master' should treat him now that he has become a follower of Jesus (Philemon). St Paul doesn't tell Philemon to set him free directly. I mean, the slave ran away! During that time you didn't punish slaves for running away by setting them free! Anyway, the point is this. When the notion of not having slave appeared on the horizon, the church didn't have anything to stand on. The bible talks about owning slaves. Church history (up till then) talked about owning slaves. It was part of society. It was 'how the world worked'. So, for the church (like the rest of the world) to set people free from slavery was uncharted waters. It was outside two legs of the 'three-legged stool' model -- no Bible and no history. This is exactly the same position I think the church is in today regarding women bishops -- except I think there is biblical evidence and a little history.

Feminism has reached at pinnacle. It is not going anywhere. And it shouldn't. It is way past the time for women to be seen as equals -- in all things. In fact, I believe that this can be seen even in the gospels. At a time when women were seen as property, as 'chattel', Jesus had women disciples. That means they were learning to be rabbis along with their male contemporaries. They were also the first to witness the resurrection. In a culture where the testimony of women was not admissible in court, they were the ones to 'witness' to the men about the risen Jesus. We have an apostle (at least one) mentioned in the NT as well as deacons and other teachers. There are even a few women leaders within the history of the church. Now, granted, this wasn't normative. Women were still seen as 'lower class' people -- inferior to men. These women of position were few and far between.

And yet . . .

What if it wasn't their time? What if those women were just a glimpse of the unfolding plan of the creator? What if we are here for just a time as this?

I saw a PBS special about the 'second civil war'. And part of the program was about the freedom of slaves and their rights. In the mid to late 1800s, there were black congressmen and senators. They had offices throughout the city -- bankers, sheriffs, etc. But, the 'South' won this battle and they were reduced to 'slavery' once more. It wasn't until almost 100 years later that black Americans 'won' their freedom. What if women in church leadership is in this same view? What if, because of feminism, women are finally at the place within our culture to stand on the foundation laid by those few women in leadership in history? I think we are at that point -- or at least we will see it in our future.

May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.



Psalmist said…
Amen and amen!

Thanks for posting the link on The Scroll so I could find your EXCELLENT analysis, Odysseus! You've blessed me today.

Odysseus said…
Thank you Psalmist!

Peace be with you.*

[...] Glimpses into the life of Odysseus « From my old blog . . . 03.15.06 Day 2 [...]
[...] those of you who don’t recall, I have posted a couple of times on this issue, primarily this one. Basically, people should be chosen for the ‘offices’ of church leadership based on [...]

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