Thursday, April 26, 2007

No. 98 . . . !

The Baptist church is full of strife right now, in large part because of what I think are dumb issues, like whether women can be ministers, whether Jesus is the focal point of all exegesis, and whether Disney should be boycotted. I'd post links, but I'm too lazy. Instead, I'll just point you to this post by an old professor of mine, one of the smartest people I've ever known. He's viewed as rather a heretic in many "traditional" and "conservative" circles, but I say open your mind. As Ravi Zacharias said, "The more I understand of what others have claimed and thought, the more beautiful Jesus Christ looks to me." So if nothing else, read this post to make your own religion more beautiful to you.

Mary Magdalene a Prostitute?


Livingsword said...

I would hardly rank Ravi as a "heritic". He is totally main line, I have read 5 of his books.

avacadojer said...

I wasn't trying to say that Ravi is a heretic. But I have heard people refer to my old professor as a heretic.

Anonymous said...

Mikearoni here,

I wish you would stop drawing me out when I need to be studying for LAPP. if this is just a lame attempt to get to 100, I am going to have take drastic measures. Regardless, I cannot resist.

Baptists have a lot more problems than whether or not women should be ministers. but I don't have time and your comment area doesn't have the space for that diatribe,

instead, in regards to a very obscure and minor point in the blog to which your lunk directed me. I have to take issue with the only factual assertion that I had the time to investigate. In regards to Phoebe of Cenchrea's being a "deacon" or "servant". the noun form of that word, which is transliterated basically as "deacon" occurs 29 times in 27 verses in the NT. The New American standard version translates it in 25 of those verses as "servant" or "minister", including the reference in Romans 16. Only in 1 Timothy 3, where it is thought to refer to the office of "deacon" in the church is it transliterated. The NEw REvised Standard Version translates it as "servant" or the like 24 times and as "deacon" in Rom. 16:1 as well as the 1 Timothy 3 references. I don't really know what all that means, but just thought it might be good to have all (or at least a very cursory summary) of the facts.

Livingsword said...

No problem I thought that this was perhaps guilt by association.

On the matter of female pastors the Scriptures are abundantly clear, elders (and pastors are defacto elders) must be male. I Timothy chapters 2 and Titus 1 speak to this issue. It is beyond culture. Women are not to be the prime preacher/teacher/speaker at open services.

It has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence etc, it only has to do with the will of God and submission to Him. It is no different than a man becoming a pastor when he is not called to do so.

Titus tells us that in certain situations young women should be assisted and that this should be done by older women should I then claim sexism, as a male? In Church governance we are to submit to our elders as long as they do not breach Scripture that includes decisions that I do not agree with such as building programs etc. We are to submit to our governments as long as they do not break Gods law. It is all about submission and Jesus modeled this by washing the feet of His followers, coming to the earth as a human, and dieing on the cross. To be placed in submission in the Christian world is the highest place. This is why we have such a problem with our pride, particularly here in the wealthy West.

What do you think of those thoughts?

Livingsword said...

The link about Mary Magdalene is accurate in that the Bible does not say she was a prostitute. It is an error that has been promulgated largely by Roman Catholicism.

ALV said...

(FYI, I was visitor 3001...)

Because I can't let even the smallest whiff of Catholic bashing pass me by, speaking very generally, Roman Catholics don't think that they promulgate errors - we believe in something called sacred tradition (where cultural things that have been passed down from the apostles are still true, regardless of their inclusion in sacred scripture).

Personally, I don't care whether Mary Magdalene was a prostitute or not, and I actually rather like the idea, because it helps me to have faith that Jesus can see past my sins and into my heart - striving to be obedient, but marred with my own shortcomings.

Anyway, I understand that not everyone agrees with the idea of sacred tradition, but it would be a smidge more respectful to refer to things you disagree with as a tradition of Catholicism rather than an error. In return, I'll refer to your sincerely held religious beliefs as the tenents of your faith, rather than things that Luther/Wesley/Whoever got wrong.

Livingsword said...

Hi alv nice to meet you. Please note that my premise was built singularly upon what the Bible says. Nowhere whatsoever does the Bible say that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute; I have no problem if she was, and just want to be clear that you can believe in whatever extra biblical evidence you like but we should both be clear that only the Bible is the Word of God. Also there is a large difference between Catholic and Roman Catholic.

My peace I leave you and my peace I give you.

ALV said...

Urm, addendum:
I realized that I'm not sure who livingsword is and whether they know me or not, so I want to mention that I mostly speak tongue-in-cheek and I honestly did not mean to come off as rude or aggressive... which is how I usually come off if people don't know that I constantly speak in hyperbole. So... my comment was meant to be read like I said it with a smirk and an eyebrow raise, so I'm sorry if it seemed like I was attacking.

ALV said...

(looks like we posted at the same time.)

A lot of the "extra stuff" is not optional - it's part of Catholic Dogma and it's just as much a facet of Catholicism as the Bible. "Word of God," no, but crucial - yes. That's why it's important to not dismiss it as extraneous junk. But I understand what you were saying - I just wanted to throw something out there because it's often misunderstood what Catholics believe and where it's coming from.

As a Roman Catholic, I've found it pretty well understood that whenever anyone says "Catholic," it's presumed they're refering to Roman Catholics. Any other designation is more rare and is then preceeded by some kind of regional label, like American Catholic.

Livingsword said...

Hi alv, I appreciate your comments, you are well spoken. This was my first time to this site and no I do not know you, but I am interested in learning more of your thoughts. I have only been blogging for a short time and thought this was an interesting “location”. Sometimes these kinds of modes of communication are not conducive to properly understanding one another. Often for brevity we sacrifice the actual care we mean to insinuate into our words. Ah… to be perfect would be nice. I note your sense of humour for future reference. Please be aware of my humour also or any improper expressions I may inadvertently use.

I was baptised Roman Catholic when I was a baby but did not know this till many years later after I became a follower of Jesus in my late twenties. Personally I do not consider that a true baptism.

I like to make the point about Catholic verses Roman Catholic because followers of Jesus are part of the Catholic Church in the sense that Catholic means universal; so all true believers are members of that universal or Catholic body. Roman Catholicism is a different system based out of Rome. (Simple version)

I understand what you mean by “extra stuff”, I prefer to “travel lightly”. The portions of Scripture you mentioned in an earlier post about the “traditions” (1 Corinthians 11:2 and/or 2 Thessalonians 2:15) are examples where Paul does use the word traditions but he is says they where taut by him.

Do you believe that after hundreds or thousands of years the Roman Catholic Church received something new according to Paul’s teachings (traditions) about Mary Magdalene being a prostitute, indulgences, Mary Queen of Heaven, salvation by grace infused with “good works”, etc? (Respectfully yours).

ALV said...

Hmm, I'm not sure I understand your question... it seems like a trick ;). No, I don't think that there was anything "new" received, I think that our sacred tradition came from early church fathers who were "all up in that," to put it colloquially.

I think that's the basis of a lot of differences in faith traditions - Catholics don't believe in new revelations. The Church is the body of Christ, and we don't think that Christ would let his body dissentigrate to the point where it's been horribly wrong for centuries and needs new scripture revealed, or new "takes" on what we've practiced for centuries to get to what the actual truth of our faith is.

Also, we typically use "catholic" (lower case c) to mean universal, but "Catholic" to refer to the Roman Catholic Church.