Everyone, I’m assuming, has seen this near miraculous image of a woman (could be a man, though, it’s kind of unclear) standing with arms raised, in a supposed priestly position (because no-one else ever raises their arms in other circumstances), and in clearly priestly garb (except it might not be).
It’s proof, they cry, proof, you hear me? Proof that women were ordained as priests in the early church!
My (not even getting close to being) humble response follows.
Humble Response Number One: It’s A Picture
A work of art.
I don’t really care how many artist’s representations of something you show me, it is still art. Not reality. Not proof of anything except the skill of the artist, and perhaps what he had on his mind at the moment.
No court in the world would ever consider a picture of something proof of reality.
(This same opinion applies to poems and songs, so don’t be too downhearted.)
Really. No matter how many pictures of dogs playing poker you show me, I will not believe that dogs have that ability. (At least not while humans are present.)
Humble Opinion Number Two: If Real, Where Are These Women Now?
You have women who have been granted the authority of the priesthood. Perhaps even the authority to be bishops. So, where are they today?
The assumption is that the Big Bad Church (hereinafter referred to as, BBC) comes along and says, Out! Out! We’ll have none of you!
(A recurring thought: if the church is so bad, why are so many women tearing off their clothes in a frenzied attempt to get into it to serve as priests? Kind of like a die-hard environmentalist desperately trying to work for British Petroleum, wouldn’t you say?)
So these men come along and sweep the women out.
(Everyone have hankies? Good.)
Ever met a woman? Ever met a woman who thinks she’s a priest? Not only is disrespect her crowning characteristic, it has to fight for supremacy with arrogance. Arrogance, as in, I Know I Am Right! (Sorry I didn’t put it in all caps, girls, as I know you would like it to be. But really, this is mostly a very low-key blog.)
I Know I Am Right! meets the BBC. And I am to imagine that these women all of a sudden become meek handmaidens, acquiesce, and go back to the corner of their hut and pick up the mending that they had abandoned.
(Tissues up, everyone!)
Why didn’t they just go and start their own church? Because they didn’t have the blessing of the BBC?
Jesus didn’t need the blessing of HIS church to go off in his own theological direction. Nope, just did it on his own. With a handful of followers. That grew. And grew. And grew.
(Just to keep you in the know, Jesus actually died because he stuck his finger up the noses of HIS BBC.)
So where were the followers of these women priests?
And where is the written substantiation of this? Destroyed by the BBC?
So the church can eradicate all written mentions of this phenomenon, but it can’t manage to get rid of a picture? In fact, isn’t there a mosaic of women behind the altar in a Roman Catholic monastery or church? (How conflicted on this issue is the BBC exactly?)
So why not a women’s church? There’s one today, it’s called The Episcopal Church. And look at the number of congregants. (Just the opposite of what Jesus’s church did, in fact.) The Head Woman says it’s The Holy Spirit “cleansing” the church and getting rid of all the “bad” congregants. (The exact opposite of what Jesus would say about his church and his congregants.)
Seriously. If this is an obvious example of what it is like to have a woman head up a church (and it kinda is), then perhaps we can better understand what happened oh, so many years ago.
Humble Opinion Number Three: Ah, Glorious Victimhood
What a wonderful ground on which to base a theological argument! So rich. So fertile.
We’re victims of the BBC, we tell you, VICTIMS! (All right, you can have one word in all caps.)
And so, because we are victims of the BBC, we want redress from the church. We want it to change to accommodate us and our desires.
Makes sense. You abused us for centuries, now hire us. Make us one of you. We just can’t live without you.
Stockholm syndrome, perhaps?
But here’s the deal: Jesus Was Not A Victim.
THEREFORE (all caps, mine), anyone proclaiming themselves to be Christian cannot turn the lack of their unfulfilled dreams back on the church and label it abuse.
My advice: rouse yourselves from your pampered, self-indulgent lives, put on some real work clothes, fly to Syria, and do what it takes to protect the Christians there.
Then come back and argue how important it is for YOU to be a priest in a church that does not recognize the ordination of women.
In other words, get real.
Fight a real fight.
Humble Opinion Number Four: Some Teachings Of Jesus
You remember Jesus, don’t you? Don’t you?
Yeah, that’s right, the guy you are supposedly following.
The man who said, “If you want to be my apostle, DENY YOURSELF (all caps, mine), pick up your cross, and follow me.”
Missed that one?
How about the idea that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first?
Not that one either?
So, just from these two quotes, you can see (you should be able to see) that self-indulgence and forcing your wants on others is not in keeping with Christianity.
Last. Put yourself last.
And, let’s face it, the only time Jesus served as a priest was at his final meal. So, using that as a template – and it is the only we have – not only is the Priest male, so are all the congregants. I don’t need a picture of this to understand the reality of it.
Women, in relationship to Jesus, sat at his feet, served him, rubbed him with oil, wept at his feet, and bound his dead body in cloths.
So why is it that whenever Jesus tells you that there is no such thing as the ordination of women, that he has not come to change the law but to fulfill it, it falls on such deaf ears?
I have, repeatedly even, heard your answer: Because I Know Better Than Jesus.
Just that statement alone, which I swear is real, (I’ve encountered it enough times), is reason enough to declare the Ordination of Women to be antithetical to the Christian Church.
Final Humble (if redundant) Opinion
It’s a picture.
Get over it.