Sunday, February 15, 2009

Alice C. Linsley Writes With Clarity

  1. In his essay “Priestesses in the Church?”, C.S. Lewis wrote, “…I heard that the Church of England was being advised to declare women capable of Priests’ Order. I am, indeed, informed that such a proposal is very unlikely to be seriously considered by the authorities. To take such a revolutionary step at the present moment, to cut ourselves off from the Christian past and to widen the divisions between ourselves and other Churches by establishing an order of priestesses in our midst, would be an almost wanton degree of imprudence. And the Church of England herself would be torn in shreds…”

    Lewis was speaking personally, as obviously he was opposed to the innovation of women in the Order of Priest, but he was also speaking prophetically, as is now apparent. Women priests is an innovation which, like a wedge driven into dry wood, has split the Anglican Communion. As is often the case, one innovation leads to another. This innovation led to the ordination of non-celibate homosexual clergy and to the blessing of same-sex unions in the Anglican Church of Canada and in The Episcopal Church USA. The actions of these churches has led to a fracturing of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

    Jesus Christ is the fullness of all things in heaven and on earth, both invisible and visible. The Gnostics used “pleroma” to describe the metaphysical unity of all things, but Paul uses the term to speak about how all the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ in bodily form (Col. 2:9). This means that the Church can expect no change in Holy Tradition, only the consummation of all things when Christ returns.

    The Bible does not say that women can be priests, but the binary distinctions that frame the biblical view of Reality make “woman priest” an ontological impossibility. The Scriptures do not forbid women priests because the very idea of women sacrificing animals in the Temple was beyond imagination. In fact, it would have been regarded as a great affront to the Divine order wherein gender roles and the two bloods were distinguished as binary opposites. C.S. Lewis presents the grotesqueness of women priests in his depiction of the savage slaying of Aslan by the White Witch. If you wonder why the image is so troubling, consider that woman was made to bring forth life, not to take it.

    The egalitarianism that prompts clergy to keep talking about women priests is not part of the Biblical worldview. God’s order in creation is exactly that: order. It exists to orient humans to Reality, to keep us from becoming confused and lost. So God has given us the stars and the moon, the planets and the constellations to orient us. God has given us the sunrise in the East and the sun set in the West in orient us. He has given us the Three Witness of the water, the Blood, and the Spirit that we might know the Blessed Trinity.

    The Church is not a democracy. No councils, even ecumenical councils, can change God’s order in creation. This is God’s message to Job. Who do we think we are to question what God has established. Were we there when God created the world and all that is in it?

    This is but one of three essays on the subject.  To read all of this essay and the others, go here  

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