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onsdag, augusti 06, 2008
God's genderlessness vs Christ's maleness...?
Got a few thoughts.... Sorry if they aren't well expressed - wanted to scratch them down before I forgot.


If God is genderless (neither male or female) - which most theologians seem to agree about these days - how come Christ's maleness has become so important in our times (regarding the question of women ordinations for example)?

If a specific gender isn't needed for the salvation of all mankind - female and male - why is it suddenly extremely needed in order to say a few prayers over bread and wine or to handle the other sacraments. Doesn't the holy Spirit listen to womens' prayers? Since when?

If gender would be important for salvation - only men can be saved since Christ was a male. Or Christ would have needed to be incarnated twice - once as a man and once as a woman. But God became human - and that was fully enough.

And God created men and women alike and equal to reflect something of God together. Not only men or women. But together.

And God didn't give men and women different cultural or religious tasks depending on their gender. (They got only partly different biological functions.)

Men (mainly males!) constructed society with its roles - different in different cultures. There are also matriarchates... And what men decided about can be changed (contrary to what God created as biological functions which work automatically unless something is wrong).

If both women and men together mirror God in the way they're created - how come only men can mirror God fully and exclusively in the Church? That's the conclusion one has to draw when looking at today's rules. Men can do everything in the Church - while women can't. So what went wrong in the construction of woman? Is it a fatal error by God during the creation of human beings that made the Church officials of today think they have no power to ordain women? Because the copy of the God-part mistakenly got so incomplete in the woman, unlike in the man....?

And why even speak about being called to different Church tasks because of biology? I though Church life was still ruled by theology... Like in those days when women were in fact ordained.... In spite of a surrounding misogynist society (much worse than today). The Church was on the forefront here at that time.... Gave the world an example to follow. But instead finally capitulated - to get worldly advantages by mixing in better?

And if this was true - that biology is what matters most in ministry - it would have been said very clearly by Jesus - in words. He would have repeated them over and over again, as he usually did with important stuff. He would most probably also have given women special Church roles that have no equivalents among men. But there are no such different roles (no, making coffee or cleaning toilets doesn't count...), just a present lack of roles for woman ministry - contrary to male ministry.

It should rather be called human ministry.... Since things were meant to proceed as in the beginning....

A call is given personally to an individual, woman or man - not impersonally to men who eventually don't feel like getting married and are looking for some kind of career to get a better status than by just remaining bachelors. Church careers aren't the worst on the market. In spite of everything that has been revealed lately about what really happened under the perfect surface.

No matter how much one looks at this question from all possible angles - it always boils down to an essence of the necessity of a total equality in God - equality in Christ - not separation because of gender - but unity because of being human beings....

If God is genderless - isn't Christ humanness what matters most?

For salvation as well as for ministry.

Any comments...?

Etiketter: , , , , , , ,

postat av Charlotte Therese Björnström @ 13:04  
10 Kommentar/-er:
  • 06 augusti, 2008 17:02 sa Blogger Z

    Good point:
    "If a specific gender isn't needed for the salvation of all mankind - female and male - why is it suddenly extremely needed in order to say a few prayers over bread and wine or to handle the other sacraments.
    Doesn't the holy Spirit listen to womens' prayers? Since when?"

    But ...., i think God wants a candidate to go to seminar and learn hir theology and catholicism, + be ordained, before listening to his eucharistic prayers over the bread and wine.

    To be ready, so to speak.

    And why couldn't a woman be ready? If she's done all that she should to become a priest?

  • 06 augusti, 2008 17:09 sa Blogger Kraxpelax

    These are certainly good and indeed inevitable questions, and the official Church is consequently indeed obliged to render good answers to them, and I personally strongly believe this can be done in harmony with full teaching, so I see no need for doctrinal revision, rather the contrary; what is needed is an expansive, mighty far-reaching completion though. I am confident precisely this will come out in the end, though admittedly we're at present very far from it, but on the other hand, this is no project to be fulfilled in haste, contrarily great prudence should be applied. Church of the future must have a soundly reliable foundation of today.

    Anyhow male bias of uptodate Christian teaching is simply too evident to be denied or carelessly accounted for. I think it's the Truth - but only half of it, like male day, female night, different but of equal value. I believe Christianity will gain much from integrating external sources of Revelation, as for instance the powerful Chinese Yin/Yang philosophy. Accordingly, I see great prospect in some kind of a centred syncretism.

  • 06 augusti, 2008 17:34 sa Anonymous Anonym

    It seems to me that many of the rules that exclude women from full participation in the ministry were thought out and promulgated when women were considered to be property, essentially flawed as human beings, and not quite bright. One can follow the thread of misogeny through the writings of many of the early theologians - quite a few of whom were monastics who had had little/no contact with women other than their own mothers.

    I agree with "z" who suggests that it is important to have clergy who are educated...who know theology and the teachings of the church...regardless of gender.


  • 06 augusti, 2008 21:37 sa Anonymous David

    Here's my short answer: Christ is beyond the beyond the beyond. The Christ has no gender and is not Jesus' last name. Like the Tao and Logos, the word Christ merely points to a sacred reality that revealed itself in the human substance of Jesus. No matter what the theological boy's club dreamed up as an excuse to keep women out, Christ is not limited to the plumbing-specific body of the historical Jesus. It is all of Life itself that is being "raised" into Christ and Love. Our distorted vision of things makes us manage it otherwise.


  • 06 augusti, 2008 22:31 sa Blogger Charlotte Therese


    Thanks for a first input...

    I'll keep pondering for sure....

    Feel free to share more thoughts about this here.

  • 06 augusti, 2008 23:11 sa Anonymous Anonym

    It´s not possible to "be human" in a general way. The only way to be human is to be a specific body within a specific culture with a specific gender, specific parents, a specific name etc. If we want to keep the conviction intact that Jesus was a real human being (avoiding docetism), I think we have to tell the story about him roughly the way it has been handed over to us through the church and the apostles. And Jesus was a man, a jew, his father´s name was Joseph etc.

    That being said, I think that this doesn´t necessarily have to support patriarchy. Jesus was the SERVANT king, the jewish Messiah (isn´t that what "Christ" means, David?) that ruled by pouring out his life for his enemies, becoming the least, the outcast, humanity´s slave. He didn´t rule by power and might like ordinary kings. All of this wouldn+t have been as powerful as it now is, if the Messiah had been a woman, who in most cultures are "naturally" a servant and the oppressed one. It wouldn´t have been a choice to walk this way, it would have been something forced upon the Messiah by nature of his gendered (compare Fil 2:5-11).

    And by the way, the story doesn´t end with the crucifixion. Jesus is resurrected with a renewed body, a body belonging to the renewed creation. And I actually think there are scriptural indications that this body is not gendered in the way of the present age, or maybe not at all. The Messiah´s body (1 Kor 12, Gal 3) for example includes both male and female (dare I say trans-sexual?).
    /Jonas LUndström

  • 07 augusti, 2008 10:35 sa Blogger Kraxpelax

    I believe the ideas of Jonas Lundström and David runs into the difficulty of undue generalization, thereby depriving specifically Christian Revelation of essential content. I believe we must inevitably go a step further, relativizing Chistian faith altogether: it's n-o-t Ultimate Truth, just a particulat emanation of it. (Gnostical thinking is revived here.)

    There's a name problem involved. The very names God, Christ, Father, Son, Holy Spirit etc brings limitation to that very Entity considered, generating a most uneasy feeling of irreality, like we were just pusrsuing a "religion amongst others", and the naïve contention "we are right and everyone else is wrong" semms simply untenable today.

    Former pope JPII keenly perceived this dilemma, greatly furthering more realistic gereral view, still without coming close to solving the very problem in itself.

    So, what's inescapably needed is the final bold step of complete "apophatic" reduction to Namelessness.

    Thus considered, we see in the great religions and spiritual traditions of the world different emanations of the very same Thing.

    The one religion solving this universality problem satisfactorily is Hinduism, thereby emerging as Supreme Truth in exactly this basic, narrowly defined aspect.

    Consequently, the different religions of the world is to be regarded "different paths towards the same goal". They do NOT in essence contradict each other. A general dialectical interplay is what it's all about.

    This is clearly the only tenable solution to the dilemma, and it w-i-l-l in the end prevail, since the only alternative will be sheer Atheism. IHonestly, I cannot understand what we're waiting for, lest we at all cost "pursue this religion", thereby reducing it all to a socio-psycho-anthropological phenomenon, which in the final analysis proves to have nothing to do with real Faith at all, thereby peforming conceptual suicide altogether. "Piety" presuming obvious self-deception is flatly and trivially pointless.

  • 07 augusti, 2008 10:59 sa Blogger Kraxpelax


  • 07 augusti, 2008 12:58 sa Blogger ulrich

    Fascinating commentaries; I'm in great hurry on my way out so are unable to respond in depth. I agree with Kraxpelax about the fact that things will eventually change, for example about female ordination. It is often stated by RC hierarchy that it is not a doctrine. I also agree with him that there are many paths, such as Vedanta, Buddhism, etc. I know people will respond to this saying that is mere universalism. It is not different beliefs/faiths that causes wars and violence, but when people think that their faith is the only true faith. I think one could be convinced of the fact that one's own faith is truthful, but still have respect for other people and their faiths. I do not think that women's ordination or the position against it, is an absolute truth, but a matter of socio-cultural attitudes, that will eventually and inevitably change, perhaps not in our life time? hermitmonk

  • 08 augusti, 2008 15:11 sa Blogger Charlotte Therese


    I think I should better have written:

    "God's genderlessness vs Jesus' maleness"

    Since that's what I meant.

    Although I don't know how to separate Jesus from Christ....

    I mean, it's the same person after all.

    Only this difference perhaps:

    Jesus was limited (or limited himself) to earthly conditions. (Not always though.)

    While Christ has no limits.

    Anyone who understands what I try to say?

    Feel free to develop what you wrote...

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