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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Alice Linsley in Open Discussion of Priestly Orders



Biretta Tip to Al Kimel for posting the interview with Alice Linsley. I have been following her journey with great interest. Here is a portion of her latest interview from questions put to her by Wim Houtman. Here is a sample:

Question: You mention the importance of Tradition, but ultimately Tradition is rooted in Scripture, so how do you read Scripture on this matter?

Response: The 2 male priests who helped me discern my call to ordination in the mid-1980’s were both godly men and students of the Bible. They concluded that Paul’s instructions concerning women are prescriptive. In those days I agreed with this view that Paul restricted women’s leadership because he wanted order in the churches. Today, after 25 years of research on Genesis, I have come to a different conclusion. Paul’s thoughts on gender are formed by his biblical Tradition. He recognized that the Hebrew Scriptures teach a permanent binary distinction between men and women. This binary distinction is fixed by God as much as the distinctions of east and west, night and day, and hot and cold. When we ignore the binary distinctions established by the Creator for our benefit, there is disorder in our thoughts and actions, and humans become lost. This suggests strongly that Paul’s teaching on gender was not merely to address a social problem limited to that time and place. Paul wanted gender roles in the Church to reflect God’s order in creation as a way of honoring the Sovereign Creator. After all, does mankind have the power to change night to day, or east to west? Choosing to have sexual relations with a same sex partner is defiance of God’s sovereign order of creation. It is not a new thing. It is as old as the first rebellion.

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