Monday, 5 February 2007
The Worldwide Church of God finally has its first woman elder.
Debby [Bailey] was commissioned in 2002 as part of the pastoral team in the Pikeville congregation. She is active in the community, serving on the National Day of Prayer Committee in Pike County since 1997, where she has served as chairman for the last five years. She also has been involved in a jail ministry to female inmates for almost three years. Debby has been elected as the 2007 vice president of the Pike County/Pikeville Area Ministerial Association, in which she has been active for a number of years. She is also chairman of the July Jam committee, which is an outreach to the youth in the community through Christian rock music. Debby and her husband, Eddie, married since 1979, have an 11-year-old son, Max.
(From Joe's Weekly Update for Jan. 31)
While it certainly won't be a panacea for WCG's woes, it's probably a good move (all the better because Debby wasn't one of the names tossed around by the more cynical among us as the most likely to be ordained first.) Of course it will upset the more patriarchal in our midst, but what else is new. Fulmination alert! Batten down the hatches and secure the teapot, tempest ahead!
Congratulations Debby. Let's hope your groundbreaking ordination will lead to some cracking in the hierarchical mindset.
Labels: GCI, Women's Issues
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Pastor Debby's ordination was just for show in a tiny Kentucky congregation.
So when is Tammy Tkach getting ordained, and what about leading her Armani-clad wing of southern California feminist lesbians?
To 1st comment anonymous,
Shouldn't you have signed that
Red Neck Anonymous ?
>> A journalist had done a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War, and she noted then that women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands.
She returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked several yards behind their wives.
She approached one of the women for an explanation.
'This is marvelous,' said the journalist. '
What enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?
The Kuwaiti women replied,
It takes a brave woman to march ahead of the men in the church.
March on 'Pastor' Debby, you may make 'General' someday.
What WCG does now is about as relevant as what any protestant organization does.
Those folks left the Church (if they were every really in it to start with), so they can ordain chimps if they want. It makes no difference.
Who knows maybe they will repudiate God as creator. That would put them on the way to ordaining chimps.
Wouldn't you really rather have been entertained by an ordained chimp in lieu of listening to a sermon by Gerald Waterhouse, Rod Meredith, or Herman Hoeh?
Maybe not a brave woman, but a foolish woman would want to remain involved with perpetuating the WCG whorehouse.
I do not know "Pastor" Debby. I do know of many women in ministries of various denominations.
If Debby is one who is serving God, not man, then she does need to be brave to walk ahead of the men in a church that is full of the "land mines" of deceit and lies that seem to blow up with regularity since WCG began as the RCG.
( Radio Church of God )
You say you want a woman to be to be Pastor General of the shrinking WCG sect someday, noting household name Protestant denominations are doing this. Having a woman as pastor general of the WCG is not necessarily going to stop the ongoing deceit in today's WCG. Women are equally capable of manipulating, lying and deceiving just as well as any WCG pastor general or COG evangelist.
I personally know Debby from attending some of the youth retreats their congregation has sponsored over the years and she is an amazing, Godly woman. She immediately came to mind when I learned that the WCG would begin ordaining women as elders.
Take a chill pill. It is obvious you are wounded and I am sorry for that but it is also obvious that you know very little of the current WCG.
This recently discovered old Ambassador video should serve as proper training for women in our Churches today!
We must strive to "Recapture True Values!"
lussenheide... (click on link below and allow a minute or two to load)
You are misunderstanding my statements.
I shall try to clarify this one time.
First of all, in my estimation the Tkach men have been nefarious CEO’s.
I doubt any corporation could have survived under them.
Second I do not condemn any member of any affiliation who is sincerely trying to do what is right in serving God.
That is between them and God.
Third any woman who is given the responsibility to lead in what was once considered a mans profession has to be brave. It doesn’t matter if it is a religious position or a secular position.
I may not know this Kentucky pastor personally; so what!
But I do know what is going on in the WCG. It isn't really a new and improved version. Tkach is still in complete charge and control of everything as cultfounder HWA, including the doctrines ordaining women.
Nothing that you wrote refuted what I said in my earlier comments.
Since you are a Tkach apologist, just what is it you know about the current WCG you think I don't?
"...and she is an amazing, Godly woman. "
if that were true she would have never accepted the ordination.
she is simply in the same state of confusion the leadership/membership of WCG is in
I had some comments about the ordination in my blog but I ended with that I sympathize for her because that she (Mrs.Bailey) is STILL in an organization of sharks.
Are you misunderstanding my statements? Thank you for your clarification.
The first point you make is that Tkach is nefarious or surrounded by evil and bad men. My sense is that organizational evil has little to do with the survival of organizations, corporations or churches, and that bad ones can survive for a very long time. I will grant you Tkach has been in a difficult survival position, but still holds on to all of his power and money.
I don’t condemn anyone who is who is sincere in their religious beliefs. On the other hand, that doesn't mean we shouldn't retain our critical thinking skills. Sawing heads off the shoulders of "infidels" is not the way to evangelize the world. We needn’t give them a pass because they are truly sincere in their religious beliefs while so doing.
Third, I can’t fathom why you paint all women who decide to enter into a man’s profession as so brave and worthy of societal admiration. Does it really take that much extra courage nowadays, say for a female to become a heart surgeon? Civil engineer? Fighter pilot? There can be many strong personal motivations for entering publicly ordained ministry. Bravery doesn't necessarily have to be one. The ministry's actions are no longer a private matter between themselves and God; the church enters the picture. Do you consider Dr. Joyce Meyer brave? Hillary brave? Or brazen? Meyer and Hillary are in traditional men's professions - that of televangelist and politician. Do you consider HWA personally brave? HWA didn’t appear to be brave, hiding away in Tuscon from answering any questions about his WCG. Tkach doesn’t appear to be answering many real concerns or questions, either.
It isn't clear what the fuss is all about.
Years back, the WCG services were conducted by a woman at the Women's Club in Spokane.
Objectively, it does appear that the WCG is completely corrupt. The only reason it exists and could have existed is because of Herbert Armstrong, the person resoundingly rejected in every aspect. It is illogical to assume that the WCG has any real viability given its history. In other words, it is as relevant as a ham at Bar Mitzvah -- a simile which seems oddly appropriate.
Felix Taylor had this comment about the old WCG:
"the female sex, especially when the female sex becomes an adult---she is evil, the beauty of her body is especially wicked"
It would seem appropriate to equate the religion of Herbert Armstrong to Islam in this regard. It may an extreme view of Armstrongism, since there were Deaconesses after all, but then on the other hand, one wonders what, if any, basis there is in Scripture to ordain a woman as an elder -- outside of the Old Testament and the example of Deborah and other women, that is -- ignoring the example of Jezabel, Atholia and Saphira.
There were many passages in the Bible which simply reflected the social practices of the era in which they were written. If such passages were found in any other book which had been written centuries ago, a reader would have no problem identifying them, and realizing the context in which they should be taken. But, since they appear in a book which has become known as our "Holy Bible", they are taken literally.
The same is true of allegories. If the creation narrative, as an example, were found in any other book, it would immediately be recognized as an allegory. Yet, literalists or inerrantists (often the same people) interpret this as being a highly accurate historical record as to how mankind came into existence.
Prior to Moses, and the birth of monotheism, women were regarded quite differently by the polytheistic cultures. In many ways, they enjoyed equality until the advent of Mosaic law, after which they became chattel.
Isn't it strange, when one thinks about it, that we would assign such importance and relevance to a Bronze Age book, much of which had its very roots in oral tradition for centuries prior to being recorded in written form?
I read all of the comments on this one, and I can't believe how we all sound like a bunch of bickering foster children, but I do agree with anonymous who said that if Debby was truly an "amazing, Godly woman" she would not have accepted the "ordination" in the first place. After all, "ordination", "ministers","deacons", "elders", are all false concepts that HWA deceived us with...totally unBiblical.
(After all, "ordination", "ministers","deacons", "elders", are all false concepts that HWA deceived us with...totally unBiblical.)
What? Your thoughts here are not scriptural whatsoever.
Brethren and Cistern:
I have just emerged from perhaps the most IMPORTANTmeeting of our time!
Last nite, starting at sundown, a top secret, guarded private meeting of ALL the top COG leaders (ucg, lcg, icg, xcg, pcg, indys et al), met in a rented VFW Beerhall here in Southern California.
The purpose of this meeting , reminiscent of Acts 15 (or a major mafia meeting- your choice) , was to work out the rules and transition for having women be elders and preachers in COG services.
Much debate and wrangling occurred in this all night session. Cigar smoke permeated the room, and no less than two fist fights had to be restrained! Yet, in full consensus, the participants realized that having women speakers and leaders in the church is an inevitable cultural trend over the next 20 years. To be resolved, was how to make this transition as smooth as possible, and as little shocking as possible to the "Good Ole Boys" COG club.
In a 100% vote it was resolved that women can lecture and lead at church services if ALL of the following conditions are met over the next 20 years. After 20 years, women will then have full rights and privlidge for church leadership and speaking as any man:
1) Women preachers must be pleasing to the eyes.
2) They must have sexy or sultry voices. No shrill or whiney stuff.
3) They must have a "cute giggle".
4) They cannot read "recipes" from the pulpit
5) No complaints from the pulpit, by women preachers, that men leave their socks and underwear lying around, leave the toilet seat up, or "pee on the floor" .
Examples cited of "Non-Compliance" would be the likes of Joyce Meyer, Hillary Clinton and Dianne Feinstein.
It was further resolved, that yours truly, "The Lussenheide", would be the "liason" amongst the various churches to bring the results of this secret meeting to you all. It was thought that I was the appropriate messenger because I was equally hated by all.
Now , please do not get all over my case for this information. I merely act as a messenger, not originator.
Your vote of approval or disapproval to be voiced here on the forum.
Your Loyal Servant-
Gal 3:28 [Since] "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus," every child of God has the right to speak, as long as they speak the Father's words, just as Christ did.
When a child of God, whether male or female, speaks from a gender perspective, he or she no longer speaks the words of the Father.
Christ, through Paul, said that He would not allow a woman [the Church] to usurp authority over the [Man, Son of]; that she should learn in silence at home. Once she has learned, she is free to speak as is any man, as long as she speaks the Father’s words.
Any congregation who ordains a woman who has raised up the congregation, is allowed to have a woman for an elder, and should so ordain her. But she is to be silent, even though she is a son of God, if she doesn’t speak/continues not to speak only the Father’s words.
I recall at AC Big Sandy that some women faculty members protested to Ron Kelly that the "Faculty Locker Room" with its beer tap and fine appointments was really a Men's Faculty Locker Room.
There was an older, smaller, spartan locker room at Imperial and Kelly designated this as the "Women's Faculty Locker Room." One of the faculty women involved told me that Kelly found the whole thing quite droll.
I believe that women should be according every respect and many times they and their contributions have been held in contempt. But I am not sure that the Bible endorses women in spiritual leadership roles in organized worship. The Biblical view on women has been chalked up to cultural context. What happens to scripture if we use that same argument throughout?
"But I am not sure that the Bible endorses women in spiritual leadership roles in organized worship. The Biblical view on women has been chalked up to cultural context. What happens to scripture if we use that same argument throughout?"
It gets reduced to a puddle of mush, that's what happens.
But the question everyone should be asking themselves is not, "Does scripture say women can be ordained?" (i.e., "Can I come up with a way to interpret scripture to explain away all those texts that say women cannot have teaching authority in the church?" Duh, of course you can! Whether or not your interpretation is worth the price of the toilet paper you wrote it on, well, that's another question)
No, the question you should be asking is, "Why do I, a non-Catholic, even care about the meaning of a group of writings that the Catholic Church collected, edited, canonised, and declared to be divinely inspired and inerrant?" Before you get twisted into knots about whether or not women's ordination is biblical, you should criticallly examine your unspoken presupposition that it actually matters to non-Catholics what the Catholic Church's sacred writings mean.
"Saac's Son said..."
What a breath of fresh air Saac! Very nice summary of what is. Until any church that ordains a woman pastor, minister or priest can handle the word "priestess," they aren't ready for a woman..
The problem is trying to adapt a female to a patriarchal system that began in the Garden of Eden with Eve (women) to blame for it all. From that mythology has flowed literal rules and roles for women by men that are silly at times, and fatal at others.. Ordaining a female into a male role in a patriarchial system is putting new wine into old windskins...boom!
She seems like a compassionate and caring woman in her community. I also feel that ordaining her first is becaue WCG knows it has to ordain an unknown first before the knowns are are brought on board. Finally they have probably figured out how not to do something badly. It's a first. Too bad she has been ordained into a dying church.
I pastored the three congregations around Debbies church and wonder how it is being accepted. That is one of the roughest areas in America for women to break out of the role expected by the men for them. Trust me. Actually, it is one of the roughtest areas in the country for just about everything. I had a deer rifle put to my head by a woman who was not pleased about papa counseling for baptism. She kept ramming my car to get me to move along..ha, argh. Those golden memories. Maybe Debbie will do just fine!
Nothing liberal about Eastern Kentucky. Wives might not like their men counseling with the Priestess however :)
Here we go, bashing Armani again.
My COG Pastor did that in the fall, after Nancy Pelosi became U.S. Speaker of the House Designate. He criticized her for wearing an Armani outfit in an interview, "like they do in Hollywood."
Is Kathy Ireland the acceptable fashion limit for conservatives today? Or what?
Your pastor - judging from various comments you've made over the years, Richard - has always struck me as a dipstick. An unreflective, knee-jerking, culturally compromised, self important, narrow, cardboard fascist caricature of Christian ministry.
And that's just listing the positive impressions! ;-)
I second what Dennis has to say about that part of the country. Years ago my dad had to make several trips to Pikeville for business, and he never felt quite safe there.
Darris McNeely used to also pastor that area around Pikeville, and I can remember him relating a story about how one of the young adults in his congregation (18 years old) worked for a civil engineering company on their surveying crew. This young man was out one day in the woods on assignment to survey some land -- when the landowner jumped out from behind a tree and shot him in the head for being on his land without permission, or so he claimed.
It's a beautiful place populated with some very messed up people.
Brethren and Cistern:
“ I have just emerged from perhaps the most IMPORTANT meeting of our time!
It was further resolved, that yours truly, "The Lussenheide", would be the " liason "
amongst the various churches to bring the results of this secret meeting to you all. It was
thought that I was the appropriate messenger because I was equally hated by all.
Now , please do not get all over my case for this information. “
Well Bill, the only case I’m getting onto you for is using the greeting to the Cistern
You do know that means a storage facility for retaining water, don’t you?
I’ll let it pass this time, as I feel a little bloated myself, today :)
Jesus Loved Mary Magdalene in a very special way, she was told things the other disciples did not know. Jesus gave Mary and Peter the commission to go to the gentiles. Jesus never gave this job to Paul.
From the Gospel of Mary...
1) But they were grieved. They wept greatly, saying, How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of the Son of Man? If they did not spare Him, how will they spare us?
2) Then Mary stood up, greeted them all, and said to her brethren, Do not weep and do not grieve nor be irresolute, for His grace will be entirely with you and will protect you.
3) But rather, let us praise His greatness, for He has prepared us and made us into Men.
4) When Mary said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.
5) Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.
6) Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them.
7) Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.
that sounds so bogus that it's not funny .
I guess that's why some are so keen to get it included in the list of "inspired scripture"
Why does is sound bogus?
Is just that you are not use to reading the words of this gospel?
What makes this less inspired then the book of Acts?
Acts is filled with stories of person who may never have existed, i.e. Paul.
The Gospel of Mary did not pass through the Orthodox censors and the all male priesthood at Nicea...
"Acts is filled with stories of person who may never have existed, i.e. Paul."
Paul may never have existed, eh? You realise, I hope, that by saying such things your credibility just sank to the level of your average Flat Earther.
"The Gospel of Mary did not pass through the Orthodox censors and the all male priesthood at Nicea..."
Big whoop, neither did any other Christian or pseudo-Christian scripture pass through any censors at Nicaea. If you knew anything about the history of Christianity, you'd know that the Council of Nicaea did not have anything to do with the canon of scripture, which in any event had pretty much reached a settled state well before Nicaea.
But then if you actually think an obvious Gnostic forgery like the Gospel of Mary is genuine, whereas St. Paul may never have existed, it's unsurprising that you'd know so little about the Council of Nicaea and the development of the Christian canon of scripture.
Since anonymous only quoted from the preface of the Gospel of Mary, I thought I'd share with everyone a few quotes from the rest of that document, so you can see what sort of things this document claims Jesus secretly told Mary Magdalene but did not tell any of the apostles:
"Again [the soul] came to the third Power, which is called Ignorance. It questioned the soul saying, 'Where are you going? In wickedness are you bound. But you are bound; do not judge!' And the soul said, 'Why do you judge me although I have not been judged? I was bound though I have not bound. I was not recognised. But I have recognised that the All is being dissolved, both the earthly things and the heavenly.' When the soul had overcome the third Power, it went upwards and saw the fourth Power, which took seven forms. The first form is Darkness, the second Desire, the third Ignorance, the fourth is the Excitement of Death, the fifth is the Kingdom of the Flesh, and sixth is the Foolish Wisdom of Flesh, the seventh is the Wrathful Wisdom. These are the seven Powers of Wrath. They ask the soul, 'Whence do you come, slayer of men, or where are you going, conqueror of space?' The soul answered and said, 'What binds me has been slain, and what surrounds me has been overcome, and my desire has been ended, and ignorance has died. In a world I was released from a world, and in a type from a heavenly type, and from the fetter of oblivion which is transient. From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the aeon, in silence.'"
As you can see, this is all fairly typical Gnostic doctrine, delineating the spiritual path by which the Gnostic soul supposedly escapes this filthy material universe, sheds the enslavement of the human body, and ascends past the Archons or Powers to return to the ineffable Father who did not create the universe. The Gospel of Mary is obviously a Gnostic work and has no historical value for reconstruction what Jesus really taught to His disciples.
After reading all I can about Gnosticism, I've had to drastically change my views.
Gnosticism has taken many turns just as have Christianity, Judaism and other -isms. Some true believers were thrown into the category of 'heretics' along with various non-orthodox believers with many being relegated as Gnostics. There is considerable clarification of this process in newer research showing that non-orthodox views (such as those held by, Arius, Marcion etc.) were clearly in the majority while orthodox teachings (such as the Trinity, Immortality of the Soul etc.) were definitely in the minority.
Follow these exciting battles and changes during early history in the book, "When Jesus Became God" by Richard E Rubenstein. There is also a wealth of information in many of the books listed on Gavin's Ambassador Watch Booklist like those by Bart Ehrman.
In addition to this amazing history, I am just now learning much more about the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene from new books, "Death of the Messiah" volumes 1 and 2 by Raymond E. Brown.
I think I am beginning to see why Mary Magdalene has been demonized so terribly - even equated with prostitution and demon possession. Then it is likely no small coincidence that horrible stories like those in books such as "The Da Vinci Code" have suddenly flourished and continue to malign her.
There is some interesting discussion regarding the concept that Mary Magdalene is actually the personage hidden in the phrase "The Disciple that Jesus Loved". It is in no way a romantic relationship, but certainly helps to explain how this phrase came to be used and how it obscures the fact that there really were no disciples present when Christ died. That clears up a huge question I have always had - Why didn't the disciples claim his body instead of it being Joseph of Arimathea and Niccodemus? I found beginning information on this topic at this website:
Just think, if Herbert Armstrong had never existed Debby would never have been ordained as a Pastor.
We owe a lot to Herbert and may his memory remain sacred for many years to come.He was an upright and religious man, concerned for the world in which he lived.
if HWA had never existed there wouldn't be an army dedicated to smearing him and his actions and, therefore, no one to ordain "Pastor Debby"
I am surprized to see that many people on this blogsite do not hold verry high opinions of Brother Herbert Armstrong, of late and beloved memory,and are dissrespecful towards him.
We will pray that the Lord will restore your attitudes to wholeness.Brother Herbert was a tower of strength to thousands of lost soles out thier in the world.
He gave them hope for the future.
He spoke about the Lord coming in the clouds of Heaven.Praise be his name.
God bless you all and restore you to wholeness.
Herbert Armstrong would not approve of Pastor Debby.
Did he not believe that women should not preach in church?
Herbert knew what was best.
They should give "Pastor Debby" a dog collar so she can chase her flock along.
Will she preach a touchy-feely message designed for lefties?
We will watch her progress with interest.
Jared Olar said...
"...so you can see what sort of things this document claims Jesus secretly told Mary Magdalene but did not tell any of the apostles..."
My good friend, there were no apostles. The office of apostle is a fabrication of; the writers of the synoptic gospels, the folks who wrote Paul's epistles, and the writers of the book of Acts.
The writer of the gospel of John never uses the word "apostle" nor will you find the word in the gospel of Thomas or the gospel of Mary. That is because Jesus had no apostles.
The office of "apostle" was created by the good orthodox church fathers to give themselves legitimacy and to control the flock. You see, they were in the line of "apostolic succession".
It was also largely done to keep woman in their proper place...
It is "Paul" who defines the role of Christian woman. No one else in the Bible does it in this way. No one. Jewish woman are viewed differently in the Jewish community. Christian women are kept under the thumbs (or foot) of their husbands.
There is none of "Paul's" teaching about woman in the Old Testament... no such teaching in the Tanakh.
It is only "Paul" who defines how Christian woman are to be treated. No one else does, and "Paul" probably never existed.
You call it social engineering...
"Jewish woman are viewed differently in the Jewish community."
Oh really? Would that be the same Jewish community that believed that a man who taught his daughter Torah had done something as wicked as teaching her to be a prostitute, and that taught men to give thanks to God that He had not made them women?
You seem to be enamored of Gnostic writings like the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary, but for some reason you think it is Christianity that espouses misogyny, even though the Gospel of Thomas insists that women can only be saved if they are spiritually transformed by Jesus into men.
Sorry, anonymous, but you're living in a fantasy world. I urge you to look at early Christian and Jewish history with open eyes, and give up your quasi-Gnostic fairy tales. I may shatter your faith to find out, but really, Dan Brown's book is a work of fiction, not fact.
More power to Debby! May God's grace shine upon her!
I am glad to see the Armstrongites in all the splinter cults upset! They deserve to be upset. I also take great delight in seeing those 'New Covenant' Christians who have taken their Armstrongite judgmental attitudes to the Lutherans Misery Synod, Presbyterian and Baptist churches where they are now flinging righteous indignation as they rip Debby apart.
Some may read your assessment of Herbert W. Armstrong and assume that you are just yanking chains.
However, based on your spelling proficiency, I believe your posts to be sincere.
Most scholars believe that Paul was not the author of either I Timothy or Ephesians.
And there is strong evidence that Paul never existed.
Both I Timothy and Ephesians are examples of social engineering by the early orthodox church fathers. It is "Paul" who places woman in a governmental hierarchy that is nonexistent in the Old Testament. There is no teaching like this in the Tanakh.
The Evangelicals force their women into a societal roll defined by a "Paul"; based on words in letters that "Paul" never wrote.
1 Tim 2:11-12 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Eph 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Although there are many women that know more then ministers out there in religion land, I thought in the end time there was supposed to be prophetess not priestess.
"Although there are many women that know more then ministers out there in religion land, I thought in the end time there was supposed to be prophetess not priestess."
You are correct... in recent years there has been a lot good research, thought, and writing on the "divine famine"... Both in Judaism and Christianity.
There is a distinct feminine presence in the Godly realm, and there are most certainly very high ranking divine feminine beings. The "Shekinah" in the OT is feminine. The Holy Spirit is probably feminine. And of course there is Mary Magdalene; who I believe was Jesus wife, and who I believe was asked to lead the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom the to gentiles.
At the end of the age many believe there will be a restoration of a proper balance between the feminine and masculine within the church.
Hope so :)
Please go to http://www.margaretstarbird.net/
"The Evangelicals force their women into a societal roll defined by a 'Paul'; based on words in letters that 'Paul' never wrote."
You'd think that God Almighty, if giving mankind a book which is His absolute word, would make sure that at least it was an honest one.
Of course, peeps on the side of the camp that claim it to be without flaw, will explain away it's obvious flaws. It's their job.
"Most scholars believe that Paul was not the author of either I Timothy or Ephesians."
Wrong, "many" scholars believe that. "Most" of them do not. In any case, regardless of what your anonymous scholars may or may not think, there is no real evidence to support their hypothesis that some of St. Paul's letters are pseudepigraphs.
Oh, and while Wikipedia is a convenient source, it's not an authority on anything, since it is written by any schmuck with a computer keyboard and internet access.
"And there is strong evidence that Paul never existed."
Right. There's even stronger evidence that St. Paul did exist. "Most" scholars believe that he did, and I'm not aware of a single respectable scholar who doubts the existence of St. Paul. Apparently you're only interested in determining truth by a majority vote when the majority allegedly supports your own opinions.
"It is 'Paul' who places woman in a governmental hierarchy that is nonexistent in the Old Testament. There is no teaching like this in the Tanakh."
So what? There's also no teaching in the Old Testament that Jesus is the Messiah, making it irrelevant that, according to you, Mary Magdalene was his wife or mistress or concubine or whatever. Anyway, in the Old Testament we find the doctrine that wives are to be ruled over by their husbands, that Eve played a signal role in the original sin, that women's menstruation is ceremonially unclean, making it necessary for most adult women to be sequestered away from the community for a week or more every month, and that giving birth to a boy makes a mother unclean for 40 days while giving birth to a girl makes a mother unclean for 80 days. Oh, and did you know that in the Jewish Temple only men were allowed to be priests, and women could not go into the Temple courts as far as men could? You're living in a dream world if you think the Old Testament is easier on women than the New Testament.
But then your link to the New Age kook Starbird really says it all.
Saac's son says I am yankin' chains. I thinks we all does in our own sort of way.
I barely made it passed grade school, so my spellin' may not be the best.
"But then your link to the New Age kook Starbird really says it all."
Oooh... Hit a nerve didn't I?
Argued like a good Evangelical pastor. Well done... ;)
... oh yes
"original sin" is an orthodox Christian doctrine. It is not found in the Tanakh and certainly not believed by the Jewish community that owns the books of the OT.
Again you interpret the OT as a good Evangelcial would. You folks don't own the OT, those aren't your books. You have trouble enough trying to defend your NT doctrinal positions.
"In any case, regardless of what your anonymous scholars may or may not think, there is no real evidence to support their hypothesis that some of St. Paul's letters are pseudepigraphs"
Better said.."there is no real evidence to support their hypothesis....to me."
I had been a devout fundamentalist for decades. I had believed that almost every word of the NT was inspired. But then I began to really struggle with the issue of the Christian Passover, i.e. the Lord's Supper the Eucharist. Paul is the one who gives us the details on how to keep the Passover, Paul's writing supply even more detail on how to keep the Passover then the synoptic gospels.
We do read that Jesus observed the Passover in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But in the Gospel of John there is no Passover observance nor is there "the bread and wine". The Gospel of John contradicts the other three gospels. I came to the conclusion gospel of John does not augment the others, it stands alone. It is the authors version of what he or she saw. The other three gospels have a different and contradictory story.
Who is right... John or Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul?
Then you learn the many of the epistles attributed to Paul are not thought to be written by Paul. Wikipedia is just one source. There are many many sources that say the same thing. Paul did not write most of the books that are attributed to him. " ...there is little or no dispute about the authorship of Romans, First Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, First Thessalonians, and Philemon." But all the others were written by other folks.
Then you learn that there are virtually none of the NT books exist prior to 200 AD. There are just bits and peaces of books until after Nicea in 325 CE.
My conclusions are that the Church was taken over by Orthodoxy and Paul was the foil used to do that. The real Jesus would never have offered is flesh and blood to his disciples. That is so pagan and so anti-Jewish. It is right out of Mithraism.
Do a study on Mithraism... much of Orthodox Christianity is right out of second and third century Mithraism.
"Oooh... Hit a nerve didn't I?"
No, not even close. You would be better off, however, if you hadn't switched your allegiance from one religious charlatan to other.
"Argued like a good Evangelical pastor."
"Better said..'there is no real evidence to support their hypothesis....to me.'"
Or anyone else. Externally the historical testimony is overwhelming that St. Paul wrote the letters that have his name on them. Internally there are no textual or factual or theological problems that would call into question the Pauline authorship of the pastoral epistles, and stylistic differences are easily accounted for by the fact that St. Paul used amanuenses and the fact the authors do not have just a single homogeneous style of writing. But such are the flimsy threads on which modern scholars rest the massive weight of their pseudepigraphal theories.
"I had been a devout fundamentalist for decades."
There's your problem.
"Paul is the one who gives us the details on how to keep the Passover"
No he doesn't. He presents details about the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. The Armstrongist idea (not exclusively Armstrongist, of course) that it was an annual paschal festival that he was describing has no basis in the biblical text or in early Christian documents.
"Paul did not write most of the books that are attributed to him."
Yes, many people are of that opinion, even though there are far from adequate reasons for it.
"Then you learn that there are virtually none of the NT books exist prior to 200 AD."
Then you had a teacher who should be sued for malpractice. If virtually none of the New Testament books existed prior to 200 A.D., how did the Fathers of the second century manage to quote and refer to so many of them? How could Marcion have bowdlerised and truncated the New Testament books circa 150 A.D. if most of them didn't exist?
"There are just bits and pieces of books until after Nicea in 325 AD."
Oh, are you referring to surviving manuscripts from prior to 324 A.D.? Well, it's hardly surprising that most of the papyrus manuscripts of ancient times have decayed to bits. That's just what papyrus does in most climates. Paper and vellum are much more durable, which is why we no longer write on papyrus. But if you are seriously arguing that the loss of ancient manuscripts prior to 325 A.D. is a good reason to postulate that the early Christian writings were falsified at or after Nicaea, then I would suggest you not offer such an argument to serious scholars of ancient texts unless you want to risk getting laughed out of the room.
"The real Jesus would never have offered is flesh and blood to his disciples."
Well, if St. Paul may never have existed, what reason do you have to believe there ever was a "real Jesus"? Anyone so cavalier about historical evidence as you are should have no trouble believing there never was such a person as Jesus of Nazareth.
Anyway, I'm massively unimpressed with your approach to ancient Christian historical writings. You find in them a doctrine that you personally just can't believe would have been taught by Jesus, so you opt for a humongous conspiracy theory to explain away the texts that refer to Jesus' teachings that you don't like.
"That is so pagan and so anti-Jewish."
Well, history is pretty clear that the Jewish teaching authority early on rejected Christian doctrine as false, so the fact that Christian doctrine is not the same as Jewish doctrine proves nothing about whether or not Jesus really said what His disciples said He said.
"It is right out of Mithraism."
Malarkey. People have been making far too much of the few and remote resemblances between Christian belief and Mithraic belief. Similarity does not prove a genetic origin, and there is absolutely no evidence that any Christian doctrine originated in or was borrowed from any pagan cult. You are welcome to present such evidence, if you have any, just as I welcomed Robert Thiel to present his proof that distinctively Armstrongist doctrines existed in the early centuries of Christianity. You won't be any more successful than Robert Thiel was, but you may try all the same.
Yes, I also believe there are a number of huge problems with the New Testament texts.
Besides the pagan notion of drinking the blood and eating the sacrifice, there is also a problem with the notion that God somehow, through the Holy Spirit, became the *natural* father of Christ.
This was the very sin which the fallen angels purportedly committed, bringing about the Nephthilim and resulting in the flood so as to cleanse all except Noah's family, who were the only clean (perfect) lineage.
The reality is that God could have generated Christ to have been born of Mary in a similar fashion to that which He used in creating Adam or Eve.
Then there is the equally horrific notion that God needed to be appeased with a blood sacrifice - that of His very son. Sacrificing their own children was one of the worst pagan sins. I have a problem believing that God would practice the very sins that He abhors.
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