Al Mohler says the apostle Peter was wrong and that’s why evangelicals should ‘focus on homosexuality’

According to the New Testament book of Acts, the apostle Peter was given a vision from God. The 10th chapter of Acts describes that vision. And in that chapter and the next, Peter himself explains what that vision meant.

Southern Baptist enforcer R. Albert Mohler Jr. says that Peter was wrong. The vision from God, Mohler says, meant something else.

The Bible condemns a lot, but here’s why we focus on homosexuality,” Mohler writes today for CNN’s Belief Blog. Here’s Mohler:

“Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

On its face, it’s a fair question. But it can be posed in two very different ways.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

Fair point, but after dismissing those who ask the question dismissively, Mohler offers his response to those who ask it from “a genuine attempt to understand.”

It is here that Mohler tells us that the apostle Peter was wrong — that Peter misunderstood his vision from God in the Book of Acts and that, even worse, Peter spread this misunderstanding as a false prophet in the early Christian community.

Most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

I should note here that Mohler’s interpretation of Peter’s vision is widely held and quite popular among American Christians. (I wrote about this earlier in “The Abominable Shellfish: Why some Christians hate gays but love bacon.”)

But while popular, this view utterly contradicts Peter’s own interpretation of his vision. If Mohler is right, then Peter was wrong. If Peter was right, then Mohler is wrong.

For Peter, his rooftop vision wasn’t about kosher dietary laws — it was about people. He says this explicitly: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

That’s a very different conclusion from the one Mohler draws. Mohler says this story — this scripture — is about purity laws. Peter says this story is about God’s commandment that no people should be excluded as impure.

I’m going to have to side with Peter on this one. Peter was right. Mohler is wrong.

Mohler’s case for his interpretation of Peter’s vision only looks plausible if you extract a tiny portion of the story from the rest of the chapter, but if you read all of Acts 10, you’ll see that the story doesn’t allow that.

Consider, for example, the purpose of Peter’s vision. It wasn’t sent because Red Lobster was about to bring back “endless shrimp,” but because of the people who were about to knock on Peter’s door. The author of Acts makes sure we don’t miss that point, writing: “While Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly the [impure, uncircumcised, bacon-loving Gentile] men sent by Cornelius appeared. They were asking for Simon’s house and were standing by the gate.”

And just in case you somehow miss that point, as Mohler does, the author of the book of Acts gets pretty anvilicious by repeating the whole thing in even more explicit terms in the very next chapter: “Peter began to explain it to them, step by step …”

And those chapters, again, must be read in the context of the entire book of Acts, which begins with Pentecost — bringing together people “from every nation under heaven … Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to the Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” — and continues inexorably outward to include and embrace European tradeswomen and African eunuchs and anyone else the author can imagine the reader otherwise being tempted to exclude or reject. The book reads like an after-school special on celebrating diversity.

People — all kinds of people. No one is excluded. Not purity laws but people. That a major theme throughout the entire book. And not just that book, either.

“God is showing us that we should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

  • Lunch Meat

    Since you apparently can’t read, I’ll say it again, and I will not argue with you further until you give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve answered enough. Matthew 23:9:

    And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.

    And Hebrews 10:

    Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. [...] And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

    And 1 Peter 2:9:

    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

    We have one father and one high priest. No one of us is more worthy of drawing near to God than any other, so if we have a priesthood, its a priesthood of all believers. We have one intercessor, we do not need any human to intercede for us. It is God who sanctifies the Eucharist, not the person serving it. So the person serving is no more special or more holy than you; they are just serving it.
    Your defense of the priesthood is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

  • Lunch Meat

    The abuse argument doesn’t hold water? So your only reason for not committing pedophilia and murder is because God told you not to? In that case, I’m glad you have your rule book to cling to, because your ethical reasoning is clearly not very developed.

    Also…”Love one another.” Need I really say more?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Now if Leviticus 18:22 has no more force on us, I’m not so sure it
    is, doesn’t that also mean that  Leviticus 18:1-21 and 23 have also been
    declared null and void?

    Thus… sex with one’s sister, mother, father, brother, in-law, step
    mother (1 Corinthians) and your neighbor is also allowable… Then of
    course there is the allowance of offering children for sacrifice to
    pagan Gods which takes place in v. 21

    Sex with one’s parent or child is wrong because by definition the parent-child relationship is one of unequals, and it’s damn hard to get a true consensual relationship out of a match of unequals. Also it fucks up the family dynamic. Same goes for sex with a sibling, in-law, or other near relation.  Offering children for sacrifice to anybody kills people and is wrong for that reason. Sex with someone whose genitals are the same shape as one’s own is wrong because…uh…um…I’ll come back in.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Same goes for sex with a sibling, in-law, or other near relation.

    Just to be clear: by “same goes,” here, do you mean that siblings are by definition too unequal to reliably get a true consensual relationship, or just that it would fuck up the family dynamic?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it’s that statistically it’s rather rare to find cases of sibling sexual relationships for which it can be reliably ascertained that both of them understood what was going on and were consenting to the relationship.

    So given that it’s safe to assume that sibling dynamics being as they are the vast majority of such incestuous relationships have an element of coercion to them and can’t be considered a good thing.
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     OK, thanks for clarifying.

  • Joe

    The Great Commission – Matthew 28

    “16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

     “So the person serving is no more special or more holy than you; they are just serving it.”

    Except you are missing one part. The person serving (in an Anglican Church) has been laid on of hands  and charged by a person in the apostolic succession. Thus, the person serving has a lineage all the way back to the apostles, whereas the common man does not.

    “It is God who sanctifies the Eucharist, not the person serving it.”

    Agreed 100 percent.

  • Lunch Meat

    a) The Great Commission is for everyone and it has nothing to do with priests. b) The apostles were apostles. They were not priests, and I think they would have been horrified if you described them as such. c) Where is your scriptural justification for the idea that the apostles had to create more apostles?

  • Joe

    a. I would disagree with you. I think the Great Commission makes us all priests.
    b. Acts 6:6
    c. acts 1:21

  • Lunch Meat

    a) If we’re all priests (which I’ve been saying since the beginning) then WOMEN ARE PRIESTS. If it’s only people who’ve “had their hands laid on them in the apostolic succession” then the Great Commission has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. You are contradicting yourself, AGAIN. b) That was about “deacons” or servants, people who supported the church with physical needs. Nothing about consecrated or holy duties. c) That was only to replace Judas because he betrayed Jesus and was no longer an apostle. Any other apostle, after he died, was still an apostle. In addition, there is no laying on of hands in that passage, and there is no reason to assume that this process would be used again for people who were new Christians (such as people 2000 years later). Peter even says that the qualification for an apostle is “one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us…one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” Does that, can that apply to anyone living today? Honestly, do you even read these verses before you post them?

    Let me make it more clear: priest, “hiereus” is from “hieros”, which means holy, sanctified, consecrated, set apart for the temple’s service, of transcendent purity. Who else in the NT church is called holy, set apart, sanctified? everyone! 1 Corinthians 1:2 “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” Ephesians 1:1 “to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” Romans 1:7 “to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints.” This word is “hagios”, but it means the same thing as “hieros”: holy, consecrated, dedicated to the service of God, pure, perfect. “hierateuma”, a derivative of “hiereus”, is used in 1 Peter 2:5, where it means priesthood and refers to the entire church.

    The apostles, by contrast, are not referred to as holy or consecrated or sanctified beyond that degree to which everyone in the church is holy, consecrated and sanctified. They were ordinary people with an extraordinary message. All apostles are is sent. Literally. “apostolos” means “a messenger who is sent”, from “apostello”, “to send out”. They were not sent for a cultic or sacred purpose, just to tell the message of good news. They were not priests, and did not call themselves priests, and did not want to be priests. (Paul, in Romans 15:16, mentions that he has “priestly duties” towards the gospel. Paul, incidentally, is never charged by someone in the apostolic succession by their laying on of hands. Thus, not an apostle by your standard.)

  • P J Evans

     Ah, religious incest. It’s really as bad an idea as having your brother be your lawyer or doctor. See, for a well-known example, Westboro Baptist.

  • P J Evans

     When a child is adopted, the state where the adoption is taking place issues a new birth certificate with the new parents’ names on it. Which you probably didn’t know, because adoption squicks you, too.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    a) If we’re all priests (which I’ve been saying since the beginning) then WOMEN ARE PRIESTS. 

    Well, only if women count as people. Three guesses where folks like Joe stand on that matter.

  • Joe

    We are all priests, but we are not all ORDAINED. I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.

  • Joe

     No I knew that. And actually it is NOT the state where the adoption takes place, it is the state of BIRTH. You jhave to file the adoption order in the state of birt, which will then issue a new birth certificate.

    Only the state that issued your birth certificate can modify it.

  • P J Evans

     Tough. You’re behind the times.

    There were female apostles and disciples, and apparently females running some of the ancient churches, so I think it’s a safe bet that Jesus and his disciples didn’t have any problem with women in roles that you consider ‘masculine’.

  • P J Evans

     Excuse me for knowing whereof I speak. Because you’re full of baloney.
    My brother adopted his wife’s child by her first husband, and did it in the state where they were living, not the one where the kid was born, AND THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS FROM THE STATE WHERE THE ADOPTION TOOK PLACE.

  • Joe

    “Let me make it more clear: priest, “hiereus” is from “hieros”, which
    means holy, sanctified, consecrated, set apart for the temple’s service,
    of transcendent purity.”

    Yes – but this refers to JEWISH or LEVITICAL priests.

    Let me refer you to Article XXIII:

    “XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.

    “It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of
    public preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation,
    before
    he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those
    we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called
    to this work by men who have public authority given unto them
    in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord’s
    vineyard.”

  • Lunch Meat

    Article XXIII is not in the Bible. And there are no priests in the New Testament other than Jewish and Levitical priests.

  • Lori

     

    We are all priests, but we are not all ORDAINED. I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.  

    “Ordination” is an extra-Bbilical concept. There are no “ordained” priests in the Bible. Levitical priests were priests by birth and there are no priests, except the priesthood of all believers, in the New Testament.

  • hapax

     

    I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.

    And I do not believe that you are still here on this thread, mouthing such blindingly, self-evidently, idiotic nonsense.

    Yet here we are. 

    QED, what either of us “believe” does not determine reality.

  • P J Evans

     Well, he didn’t believe me when I said that the state where an adoption takes place issues a new birth cert. Which I know-for-a-fact is true (the announcement my brother sent out had a photocopy of said birth cert on it).

  • malpollyon

    I’ve never understood why the trolls here are so dedicated to saying things that are so easily proven false, even about tangential matters. Whenever we get someone in here arguing for bigotry or libertarianism or whatever, they never seem to be able to resist proudly proclaiming absolute certainty about things even the most cursory application of Google would prove *just aren’t so*. 

  • malpollyon

    I’ve never understood why the trolls here are so dedicated to saying things that are so easily proven false, even about tangential matters. Whenever we get someone in here arguing for bigotry or libertarianism or whatever, they never seem to be able to resist proudly proclaiming absolute certainty about things even the most cursory application of Google would prove *just aren’t so*. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I believe YOU are BEING an ASSHAT, Joe.

  • Joe

    Acts 14

    19 Now there came
    thither certain Jews from Antioch, and Iconium: and persuading the
    multitude, and stoning Paul, drew him out of the city, thinking him to
    be dead.
    20 But as the
    disciples stood round about him, he rose up and entered into the city,
    and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
    21 And when they had
    preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned
    again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch:
    22 Confirming the
    souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith: and
    that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.
    23 And when they had
    ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting,
    they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed.

    So Paul and Barnabas ordained priests in the Christian church. Hmmm.

  • Joe

     No its not. Paul and Barnabas did it in Acts 14.

  • Joe

    Adar v. Smith (Fifth Circuit – 2011) -

    “Mickey Smith and Oren Adar, two unmarried individuals, legally adopted
    Louisiana-born Infant J in New York in 2006. They sought to have Infant J’s
    birth certificate reissued in Louisiana supplanting the names of his biological
    parents with their own.”

    “Infant J was adopted in a court proceeding in New York state, as
    evidenced by a judicial decree. Appellees contend that Art. IV, § 1 and § 1738
    oblige the Registrar to “recognize” their adoption of Infant J by issuing a revised
    birth certificate. The Registrar declined, however, to enforce the New York
    decree by altering Infant J’s official birth records in a way that is inconsistent
    with Louisiana law governing reissuance.”

    “Louisiana can be described as the “sole mistress” of revised birth
    certificates that are part of its vital statistics records. Louisiana has every right
    to channel and direct the rights created by foreign judgments. See, e.g., Watkins
    v. Conway, 385 U.S. 188, 87 S. Ct. 357 (1966) (holding that Georgia’s five-year
    statute of limitations for suits on out-of-state judgments does not deny full faith
    and credit). Obtaining a birth certificate falls in the heartland of enforcement,
    and therefore outside the full faith and credit obligation of recognition.”

    In other words – Louisiana issued the birth certificate, and despite a New York adoption decree, only Louisiana can modify it, because Louisiana is the “sole mistress” over its birth records.

  • Lunch Meat

    Nope. Your translation is lying to you. The word there is “presbuterous”, which means “elder.” It also says “appointed or chose”, not ordained, and there’s no laying on of hands, and besides Paul and Barnabas aren’t in the “apostolic lineage” and you said only apostles could do that.

  • Lori

     

      No its not. Paul and Barnabas did it in Acts 14.  

    What Lunch Meat said. They appointed, they did not ordain. Those are not the same thing.  And the people who were appointed were elders, not priests. The function of elders is very clearly laid out and they are not priests.

  • Tonio

    I don’t see much point to that type of quibbling. It’s simply wrong for any organization to make gender a qualification for leadership roles. Even if we had proof that the Christian god existed and that the god imposed that qualification, it would still be wrong.

  • Joe

    “and besides Paul and Barnabas aren’t in the “apostolic lineage” and you said only apostles could do that.”

    Acts 14:14

    “14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd”

    Hmmm seems Paul and Barnabas are apostles after all.

    Acts 6:6

    “6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them”

    So they ordained those people by laying on of hands. The Greek term translated “appointed” is cheirotonço, which is a compound word taken from “hand” (cheir) and “to stretch” (teinô).

  • Joe

     Nevertheless, in Patristic Greek it again came to mean “ordain with the
    laying on of hands.” Because of this later usage, some interpreters read
    this meaning back into New Testament and maintain that Paul and
    Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their
    hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical
    power.

  • Lori

     

    I don’t see much point to that type of quibbling. 

    It’s not quibbling. Joe has organized his spiritual practice around a structure which is not mentioned at all in the Bible he claims to follow. A book which is notable for, among other things, predicting dire consequences to anyone who adds to its teachings. 

    At the same time he’s arguing that other people (women and QUILTBAG folks) must be held to the strictest possible interpretation of parts of that same Bible. Parts with vocabulary which is unclear and teachings that are inconsistent with other parts of the book.

    I don’t consider pointing out that his position boils down to “slack for me, but not for thee” to be a quibble.

     

    It’s simply wrong for
    any organization to make gender a qualification for leadership roles.
    Even if we had proof that the Christian god existed and that the god
    imposed that qualification, it would still be wrong.  

    This is your opinion. One I  share, but still. It is not the opinion of people who believe in (whatever version) of the Bible. Telling people that their beliefs are totally irrelevant is not likely to be a convincing argument, no matter how many times one repeats it. Convincing people that one set of their beliefs is wrong within the context of their larger beliefs can be effective. I think that generally it’s better to go with the small chance of success than a zero chance of success. You apparently feel differently about it, which is fine. However, you really don’t need to keep telling me that.

  • Tonio

     

    Convincing people that one set of their beliefs is wrong within the
    context of their larger beliefs can be effective. I think that generally
    it’s better to go with the small chance of success than a zero chance
    of success.

    While I agree, that presumes that my goal is to convince people with a particular set of beliefs. No, I’m trying to articulate a sect-neutral concept of morality, meaning that it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) depend on any particular sect’s beliefs being true. Maybe I’m not all that interested in converting people who believe in things like male headship, because my first temptation would be to yell at them, “What is wrong with you?!”

    I find it sad that people like Joe don’t seem to experience moral revulsion at the thought of limiting ordination to men. Or at least, that they don’t find themselves in a Huck Finn dilemma, where they know deep down that the teaching is morally wrong but they’re afraid to risk questioning it.

  • Tonio

     

    I don’t consider pointing out that his position boils down to “slack for me, but not for thee” to be a quibble.

    I agree. I was talking about the question of what constitutes ordination.

  • Lori

     

    While I agree, that presumes that my goal is to convince people with a
    particular set of beliefs. No, I’m trying to articulate a sect-neutral
    concept of morality, meaning that it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) depend on
    any particular sect’s beliefs being true. Maybe I’m not all that
    interested in converting people who believe in things like male
    headship, because my first temptation would be to yell at them, “What is
    wrong with you?!”  

    I wasn’t talking about your goals. I was talking about mine and why you don’t need to keep making the same argument to me about my goals. Our goals in this case are different. Just let them be different.

  • Lori

     

    I was talking about the question of what constitutes ordination.  

    But the issue of what constitutes ordination is pretty much the key one in terms of a Biblical foundation for Catholicism. If ordination is not mentioned in the Bible then the entire Church hierarchy is extra-Biblical. Which was my entire point about Joe thinking he can make up whatever he feels comfortable with but QUILTBAG folks and women who want to preach need to just suck it up.

  • Lori

     

    “6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them”   

    Again, elders. Who were not priests. Who did not function as priests. Whose duties were not the duties of priests.

  • Tonio

    Sorry, my arguments weren’t directed at you specifically. Or at Rachel Held Evans specifically. When confronted by someone like Joe who uses the Bible as an authority to defend a hateful and cruel position, I can appreciate the value of using that same authority to refute the position. I was just interpreting the latter as endorsing the former’s idea of morality being determined wholly or partly by authority, and I acknowledge that this interpretation may be wrong.

  • Lunch Meat

    You’re proving my point more than not. You want there to be a simple, clearly described pattern in the New Testament by which the apostles (who were actually priests) appointed elders (who were actually apostles and therefore actually priests) so that you can say this exact pattern has continued throughout the centuries and therefore you and your church can deny “authority and ecclesiastical power” to whoever you don’t think is worthy.

    But that pattern does not exist. You’re right that Paul and Barnabas are called apostles; I was looking at Paul’s first presentation to the apostles in Acts 9, where they do not lay their hands on him, but in fact they do in Acts 13, when he is sent out on his journey. I forgot about that. But why is there no mention of “laying on of hands” in Acts 1, when Matthias is made an apostle? Why was Paul allowed to perform the work of an apostle–a traveling evangelist–before being officially appointed one? If your pattern only has a couple of examples and they are significantly different, you don’t really have a pattern.

    And if “laying on of hands” definitively means ordination, why is it used for other purposes throughout the NT, such as praying for sick people to be made well?

    But your pattern really falls apart when you look at the functions of apostles and elders and priests. Apostles traveled and evangelized. Elders stayed at the church where they were from. They were administrative leaders and they also helped with teaching. If they are the same thing, then why does Acts 15 refer to “apostles and elders” several times? In addition, the church chose its own elders as often as not, and the apostles’ “ordainment” was really a recognition of what was already there.

    That’s how leadership in the NT church nearly always worked, in fact. Paul was apostling before the apostles laid their hands on him and sent him out. Elders taught and led before being appointed by the traveling apostles. And other people taught and prayed and prophesied and led who were not appointed or chosen or anything. The “ordainment” was a recognition of a gift already given, just like Cornelius’ baptism; it did not confer any additional power or authority.

    Here’s the worst part for your case: for those duties that traditionally only priests are allowed to do, there is no scriptural evidence that a specially ordained office existed to perform those duties. None whatsoever. No one had to be ordained to serve the Eucharist, or baptize, or hear confessions. Everyone could do that. No one was needed as an intercessor or intermediary between God and people.

    Everyone could also lead with administration and teach, even if they were not “ordained” as elders. Everyone could also evangelize, even if they were not “ordained” as apostles. Leadership gifts were given to whoever the Holy Spirit wanted to give them to–including people that maybe wouldn’t seem “worthy.”

    The fact is that the word “priest” is not the problem (although it isn’t used in the Bible, and it can be misleading). The problem would be the same if you called them elders or apostles. The problem is that you want to restrict authority and power and certain functions in the church to certain specially ordained people, and you want to be able to say who gets ordained. That is scripturally insupportable.

  • Joe

    “The problem is that you want to restrict authority and power and certain
    functions in the church to certain specially ordained people, and you
    want to be able to say who gets ordained. That is scripturally
    insupportable.”

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.

    Ordination does not do anything to a person other than make that person a designated leader within the church. Just as Paul possessed the Holy Spirit within him when he was ordained, a priest or deacon in the Anglican church also is infused with the Spirit before he is ordained.

  • Joe

     And by the way testing is in fact scripturally supported:

    1 Tim 3

    “8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”

  • Lori

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the
    ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.  

    So does that mean that the Holy Spirit doesn’t consider pedophilia an impediment to the priesthood or that the church isn’t actually able to “recognize” the Spirit’s presence accurately?

    Ordination does not do anything to a person other than make that person a designated leader within the church.

    Which is actually quite a major thing. You don’t get to both say that ordination is the be all and end all for power within the church and then handwave like it’s no big deal.

    Your persistent attempts to have your cake and eat it too, even when it’s obvious that you’re not fooling anyone, are really something.

  • Lori

     

      And by the way testing is in fact scripturally supported:  

    And again, there is no indication that “testing” is being used in that verse in the way that you’re attempting to justify in modern times.

  • Lunch Meat

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the
    ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.

    Isn’t that exactly what I said? So are you conceding that ordination is an act of recognition and not a transfer of power? Are you conceding that sacred acts like baptism and serving the Eucharist can be done by anyone and are not restricted to the ordained? Are you conceding that the laity can perform all of the clergy’s tasks without being ordained or “authorized” by other clergy? Are you conceding that it is wrong for an ordained leader to lord it over the laity or act as if they are better/more holy than the laity? Are you conceding that the clergy can be wrong and that it’s the laity’s responsibility to call them out on it? Are you conceding that priests, apostles and elders are different things and that there is no requirement for a recognized leader to be in the “apostolic lineage”? Are you conceding that the Holy Spirit calls whom the Holy Spirit wills and that you do not get to disqualify whole categories of people just because you’re sexist? (Disqualifying 50% of the human race is not the same as “testing”) Are you conceding that you, not your priest, are responsible for your own spiritual growth? And do you concede that many of the practices and patterns in your oh-so-perfect-and-not-heretical church are in contradiction to the clear patterns of Scripture?

    I’m not quibbling about a minor detail. I’m not just trying to play “gotcha” to catch you out on an inconsistency (although you are being inconsistent), because this isn’t mixed fabrics or women praying with their heads uncovered. This is about how the church functions and grows and lives. The unscriptural divide between clergy and laity has arguably done more damage to the church–the laity have no sense of responsibility or ownership for either the service and ministry of the church or their own spiritual development, and the clergy are corrupted by power and perpetrate horrible abuses–than legalization or Christian recognition of same-sex marriages could ever do. Yet you’ve spent two weeks arguing here because it bothers you so much that some Christians somewhere might possibly be accepting of queer people, even though that doesn’t affect you, and it doesn’t seem to bother you at all that your church might be completely be wrong about the very principles its hierarchy and structure is based on.

    Possibly the reason it doesn’t bother you is because you’re too busy trying to argue to consider if it might be wrong. In that case, I encourage you to take some time out from this thread (it’s not going anywhere anyway) and try to read through the New Testament objectively, paying careful attention to how leaders are selected, what they do, what people who aren’t leaders with titles are expected to do, what happens during a worship meeting and who is involved in leadership. Then consider how much resemblance that bears to your own church and its worship services. I’m encouraging you to do this as a fellow Christian, and if you really are committed to doing exactly what the Bible requires, you’ll at least spend some time on it.

  • Joe

     So are you conceding that ordination is an act of recognition and not a
    transfer of power?

    I never said that ordination was a transfer of power.

    Are you conceding that sacred acts like baptism and
    serving the Eucharist can be done by anyone and are not restricted to
    the ordained?

    Baptism can be done by anyone.

    Serving the Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops. (A deacon in the Anglican church cannot consecrate a Mass).

    Are you conceding that the laity can perform all of the
    clergy’s tasks without being ordained or “authorized” by other clergy?

    No.

    Are you conceding that it is wrong for an ordained leader to lord it
    over the laity or act as if they are better/more holy than the laity?

    No concession to be made. But Yes that is wrong.

    Are you conceding that the clergy can be wrong and that it’s the laity’s
    responsibility to call them out on it?

    No concession to be made. But Yes.

    Are you conceding that priests,
    apostles and elders are different things and that there is no
    requirement for a recognized leader to be in the “apostolic lineage”?

    No concession to be made. In the Anglican church, bishops are in the apostolic succession.

    Are you conceding that the Holy Spirit calls whom the Holy Spirit wills
    and that you do not get to disqualify whole categories of people just
    because you’re sexist?

    No concession to be made. While the Holy Spirit calls who he wills, women do not belong in the clergy of the church.

    (Disqualifying 50% of the human race is not the
    same as “testing”)

    Are you conceding that you, not your priest, are
    responsible for your own spiritual growth?

    Always have been.

    And do you concede that many
    of the practices and patterns in your oh-so-perfect-and-not-heretical
    church are in contradiction to the clear patterns of Scripture?

    No.

    I will note that since many of the “innovations” such as gay clergy, same sex marriage and womens ordination took place in the Episcopal Church (all of which are supposed to be scriptural), that church has been bleeding members at a significant rate, while ACNA churches, which do not wholly embrace such “innovations” (and align with my beliefs) are growing mightily.

    http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/documents/ASA_by_ProvinceDiocese2000-2010.pdf

  • Lunch Meat

    I never said that ordination was a transfer of power.

    I’ll just leave this here:

    Paul and Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical power.

    I can’t believe you can just blithely say things like “Serving the Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops” and “women do not belong in the clergy of the church” without offering a shred of scriptural justification for it, as if you didn’t even read anything anyone said refuting every point you made, as if you’d proven a single point, as if there wasn’t even an argument, as if you don’t even care enough to check and see whether your church’s most important practices are justified by the Bible. You have no credibility whatsoever to sit there and tell me that I’m not following the Bible enough. I’m done. I’ve wasted enough time here.

  • hapax

     

    I will note that since many of the “innovations” such as gay clergy,
    same sex marriage and womens ordination took place in the Episcopal
    Church (all of which are supposed to be scriptural), that church has
    been bleeding members at a significant rate

    Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
    Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in
    heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

    ‘But … woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

    Personally , I would be very very nervous if my denomination suddenly became enormously popular.  I’d rather stand with the One “despised and rejected by men.”

    *****

    Lunch Meat, I cannot begin to express my admiration for your patience, your erudition, and your grace.  I am so glad that you are fighting the good fight.

  • Joe

     Once again  – I never said that.

    When you take the entire passage:

    “Because of this later usage, some interpreters read
    this meaning back into New Testament and maintain that Paul and
    Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their
    hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical
    power.

    “I can’t believe you can just blithely say things like “Serving the
    Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops” and “women do not
    belong in the clergy of the church” without offering a shred of
    scriptural justification for it, as if you didn’t even read anything
    anyone said refuting every point you made, as if you’d proven a single
    point, as if there wasn’t even an argument, as if you don’t even care
    enough to check and see whether your church’s most important practices
    are justified by the Bible.”

    Well of course not. You are a revisionist, willing to change things based upon your own flawed human reasoning. You want to change the bible to fit your needs, instead of accepting the truths that are in it as timeless and what we should be following, which is commonly understood as “the faith once delivered to the saints”.

    Enough. Peace out.


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