Amidst stimulating discussions here about the ordination of women I find myself continuing to be surprised by comments made here or on other sites I am reading.
In broad terms when a man offers for ordination all is well. A simple act of seeking the ordering of church in service of Christ. But when a woman offers all is bad. Let me count the ways.
- it is an act of seeking power or of being valued through ordination
- it is demeaning to women who do not seek ordination and implies that the only valued ministry is ordained ministry
- it is an act of disobedience to God whose will is clear that men and women have different roles in life
- it is theologically and christologically unsound since it has been revealed that Christ's eternal functional subordination is a model for the functional subordination of women to men*
- while there is no intrinsic problem with women running anything which involves authority or teaching over men (schools, hospitals, governments, etc), there is an intrinsic problem with a woman - no matter whether of sounder mind, education, grasp of doctrine, leadership skills - taking a leader role over men in the church
- we probably shouldn't be ordaining anyone, now we think about it, because there is no such thing as 'priests' separate from the priesthood of all believers
I continue to remain a man of simple amazement that the ordination of women is such a hornet's nest of problems and difficulties. It would be good to have a simple and straightforward reason for not ordaining women.
If you are tempted to supply one, please do not waste my time by suggesting it has anything to do with power, ambition, being valued, diminution of other women in ministry, clarity of roles for men and women (there simply is no such clear teaching in Scripture), an analogy to Christ's functional subordination whether that is eternal or otherwise (where in Scripture is the analogy impressed upon us?), or to some intrinsic problem with women so that while capable of running a government they are incapable of running the church. And let's not waste time on the priest/priesthood of all believers: no Anglican church is currently considering abolishing priests. These things are smokescreens, not least because they are not applied to men.
What precisely is the reason for not ordaining women in a church which ordains men?
PS It seems that my question here amidst a largely "Protestant" discussion is well-mirrored in this article about a Catholic conversation
*Believe it or not, I have even read (thankfully not here), that women will continue to be functionally subordinate to men in heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!