Younger widows

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Kendall K. Down

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Nov 3, 2021, 5:20:07 PM11/3/21
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There was discussion recently in another thread on St Paul's advice to
remain unmarried, the better to serve God. It is interesting that in his
advice to Timothy, Paul seems to regard this service as age-dependent.
Old widows will give themselves to prayer, but young ones will get into
mischief unless they have something to occupy their time.

"So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their
homes." (1 Timothy 5:14)

Although Paul doesn't say so, I see no reason to think that widows are
any different from widowers.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down


Jason

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Nov 4, 2021, 4:12:18 PM11/4/21
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I would agree in general that much Biblical advice aimed at males would
be equally valid for females and vice-versa. However, perhaps especially
in Paul's letters, there are many examples where this is not the case and
men and women are, for one reason or another, treated differently and
given different exhortations.

But either way, I don't think this in any way negates Paul's 'ideal' for
serving God. In a similar vein, I suggest that "it's better to marry
than to burn with lust" isn't a ringing endorsement of marriage either,
and certainly it has nothing to add to the debate as to the ideal for
someone wanting to dedicate themselves to the service of God.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 4, 2021, 4:50:10 PM11/4/21
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On 04/11/2021 17:18, Jason wrote:
would agree in general that much Biblical advice aimed at males would
> be equally valid for females and vice-versa. However, perhaps especially
> in Paul's letters, there are many examples where this is not the case and
> men and women are, for one reason or another, treated differently and
> given different exhortations.

Certainly, but as I hope I made clear, that was because of the culture
of the time.

> But either way, I don't think this in any way negates Paul's 'ideal' for
> serving God. In a similar vein, I suggest that "it's better to marry
> than to burn with lust" isn't a ringing endorsement of marriage either,
> and certainly it has nothing to add to the debate as to the ideal for
> someone wanting to dedicate themselves to the service of God.

I'll leave it up to how each individual feels God has called them. Some
may be called to celibacy; most, I think, are not.

Madhu

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Nov 6, 2021, 11:50:07 AM11/6/21
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* "Kendall K. Down" <sm1gtp$1g5$4...@dont-email.me> :
Wrote on Thu, 4 Nov 2021 20:47:53 +0000:
> On 04/11/2021 17:18, Jason wrote:
> would agree in general that much Biblical advice aimed at males would
>> be equally valid for females and vice-versa. However, perhaps especially
>> in Paul's letters, there are many examples where this is not the case and
>> men and women are, for one reason or another, treated differently and
>> given different exhortations.
>
> Certainly, but as I hope I made clear, that was because of the culture
> of the time.

There are sections where that the cultural dependence is clear, but as
I've argued two-three times, marriage is not one of those, and the
issues that Paul deal with there apply for all times for all believers.


Jason

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Nov 7, 2021, 3:08:13 AM11/7/21
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On Thu, 04 Nov 2021 20:47:53 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 04/11/2021 17:18, Jason wrote:
> would agree in general that much Biblical advice aimed at males would
>> be equally valid for females and vice-versa. However, perhaps
>> especially in Paul's letters, there are many examples where this is not
>> the case and men and women are, for one reason or another, treated
>> differently and given different exhortations.
>
> Certainly, but as I hope I made clear, that was because of the culture
> of the time.

I would have thought that many references in the Bible where the
situation involves differences between men and women stem from the
Creation as 'complementary'. I.e. if different roles are envisaged from
creation, that is surely nothing to do with culture.

For example, if God was primarily concerned with the educational
standards for church leadership roles, why didn't he say so? Why instead
did he generalise and single out women and let folk in future infer what
the reasoning behind it might be?

>> But either way, I don't think this in any way negates Paul's 'ideal'
>> for serving God. In a similar vein, I suggest that "it's better to
>> marry than to burn with lust" isn't a ringing endorsement of marriage
>> either, and certainly it has nothing to add to the debate as to the
>> ideal for someone wanting to dedicate themselves to the service of God.
>
> I'll leave it up to how each individual feels God has called them. Some
> may be called to celibacy; most, I think, are not.

Regardless, this is a different issue. Most are not called to be
prophets. Most are not called to be teachers. Most are not called to be
evangelists. That's all irrelevant.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 7, 2021, 4:00:08 AM11/7/21
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On 06/11/2021 15:42, Madhu wrote:

> There are sections where that the cultural dependence is clear, but as
> I've argued two-three times, marriage is not one of those, and the
> issues that Paul deal with there apply for all times for all believers.

The discussion has been about women in the ministry, not about women in
marriage. Have I misunderstood something?

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 7, 2021, 4:00:08 AM11/7/21
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On 06/11/2021 12:30, Jason wrote:

> I would have thought that many references in the Bible where the
> situation involves differences between men and women stem from the
> Creation as 'complementary'. I.e. if different roles are envisaged from
> creation, that is surely nothing to do with culture.

I completely agree with the "different roles" idea. I would also agree
that, in my opinion, the majority of women are not suited to the role of
preacher and pastor. (Mind you, the same could be said about the
majority of men!)

However, where there is an individual woman who appears to be called of
God to that role and equipped by Him with the necessary gifts and
abilities, we must allow God to be the arbiter, not gender.

In addition, in smaller churches we may be faced with having to appoint
less-than-ideal men to a leadership role; equally in such churches there
may be no men and even a less-than-ideal woman is preferable to seeing
the church close.

> For example, if God was primarily concerned with the educational
> standards for church leadership roles, why didn't he say so? Why instead
> did he generalise and single out women and let folk in future infer what
> the reasoning behind it might be?

He did give female role models and, of course, He gave the first gospel
proclamation to women - it was the men who were unbelieving!

Jason

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Nov 8, 2021, 3:32:30 PM11/8/21
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On Sun, 07 Nov 2021 08:52:54 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 06/11/2021 12:30, Jason wrote:
>
>> I would have thought that many references in the Bible where the
>> situation involves differences between men and women stem from the
>> Creation as 'complementary'. I.e. if different roles are envisaged
>> from creation, that is surely nothing to do with culture.
>
> I completely agree with the "different roles" idea. I would also agree
> that, in my opinion, the majority of women are not suited to the role of
> preacher and pastor. (Mind you, the same could be said about the
> majority of men!)

I agree with you in so far as saying that most men and women would not
make ideal preachers and pastors: we are all given different gifts and it
would be odd if we all were gifted and called to preach. I disagree that
women are inherently less suited than men.

> However, where there is an individual woman who appears to be called of
> God to that role and equipped by Him with the necessary gifts and
> abilities, we must allow God to be the arbiter, not gender.

I agree, I myself don't believe for one minute that gender should be the
deciding factor.

> In addition, in smaller churches we may be faced with having to appoint
> less-than-ideal men to a leadership role; equally in such churches there
> may be no men and even a less-than-ideal woman is preferable to seeing
> the church close.

... though as I've said in an earlier reply, I'm not sure of the wisdom
of throwing away theological ideals for pragmatic ones.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 8, 2021, 4:00:08 PM11/8/21
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On 08/11/2021 17:57, Jason wrote:

> I agree with you in so far as saying that most men and women would not
> make ideal preachers and pastors: we are all given different gifts and it
> would be odd if we all were gifted and called to preach. I disagree that
> women are inherently less suited than men.

A man with a good voice can sound impressive when speaking loudly. A
woman either squeaks or, if she trains hard, can sound like Maggie in
her heyday. I'm not sure which is the least attractive!

Of course, that is no reason for forbidding a woman to enter the ministry.

> ... though as I've said in an earlier reply, I'm not sure of the wisdom
> of throwing away theological ideals for pragmatic ones.

Better to let the congregation slip out of existence?

Jason

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Nov 13, 2021, 3:22:09 PM11/13/21
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On Mon, 08 Nov 2021 20:50:49 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 08/11/2021 17:57, Jason wrote:
>
>> I agree with you in so far as saying that most men and women would not
>> make ideal preachers and pastors: we are all given different gifts and
>> it would be odd if we all were gifted and called to preach. I disagree
>> that women are inherently less suited than men.
>
> A man with a good voice can sound impressive when speaking loudly. A
> woman either squeaks or, if she trains hard, can sound like Maggie in
> her heyday. I'm not sure which is the least attractive!

Seriously: that's your argument? Men have loud booming authoratative
voices while women squeak and screech?

> Of course, that is no reason for forbidding a woman to enter the
> ministry.

Indeed.

>
>> ... though as I've said in an earlier reply, I'm not sure of the wisdom
>> of throwing away theological ideals for pragmatic ones.
>
> Better to let the congregation slip out of existence?

You answered that yourself when I commented about homosexual clergy.



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 13, 2021, 3:50:06 PM11/13/21
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On 13/11/2021 18:16, Jason wrote:

> Seriously: that's your argument? Men have loud booming authoratative
> voices while women squeak and screech?

It is certainly not my argument - I have already said that I support
women being allowed to be ministers if they have been called by God -
but it is my - what shall I call it? Gut feeling? Prejudice? Preference?

>> Better to let the congregation slip out of existence?

> You answered that yourself when I commented about homosexual clergy.

Indeed. I said that as homosexual clergy would cost the church God's
favour and blessing, it would be better to change the theology and allow
women ministers.

Jason

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Nov 14, 2021, 2:52:20 PM11/14/21
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On Sat, 13 Nov 2021 20:45:09 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 13/11/2021 18:16, Jason wrote:
>
>> Seriously: that's your argument? Men have loud booming authoratative
>> voices while women squeak and screech?
>
> It is certainly not my argument - I have already said that I support
> women being allowed to be ministers if they have been called by God -
> but it is my - what shall I call it? Gut feeling? Prejudice? Preference?

Fair enough!

>>> Better to let the congregation slip out of existence?
>
>> You answered that yourself when I commented about homosexual clergy.
>
> Indeed. I said that as homosexual clergy would cost the church God's
> favour and blessing, it would be better to change the theology and allow
> women ministers.

This I think is the problem. For those people who have a theological
issue with the ordination of women, changing their theology to allow it
simply to "make up the clergy numbers" would be no different from
changing their theology to permit homosexual minister. If you are
already happy with women's orders (like yourself, and indeed myself),
then of course you have no problem ordaining them.

Incidentally, I don't think homosexual clergy would cost the church God's
blessing. As an example in the Anglican church, one of the 39 Articles
points out that the 'unworthiness' of the minister does not diminish
either the ministering of the Word or the Sacraments. [Though it does go
on to say that an 'evil minister' (interpret that how you will) should,
after due process, be removed]



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 14, 2021, 3:20:06 PM11/14/21
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On 14/11/2021 15:55, Jason wrote:

> Incidentally, I don't think homosexual clergy would cost the church God's
> blessing. As an example in the Anglican church, one of the 39 Articles
> points out that the 'unworthiness' of the minister does not diminish
> either the ministering of the Word or the Sacraments. [Though it does go
> on to say that an 'evil minister' (interpret that how you will) should,
> after due process, be removed]

I think the difference is between someone who has gone to the bad
without the church being aware of it (in which case the Article applies)
and a church deliberately and knowingly appointing someone who is living
in contravention of God's commands.

In such a case, a stranger walking into the service would indeed receive
the blessing from the word and the sacraments, but the church which had
done the appointing would not.

Jason

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Nov 15, 2021, 2:42:18 PM11/15/21
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I think that the church, as the body of Christ rather than as an
'institution', would all receive the same blessing, stranger or not: the
efficacy of the Sacraments would not be affected however sinful or
otherwise the minister may be.

I'm not sure how this statement would apply however in a denomination
where a priest is required to transforms the bread and wine into the
actual body and blood. Is this thought to be independent of the
'worthiness' of the priest?



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 15, 2021, 3:10:05 PM11/15/21
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On 15/11/2021 11:27, Jason wrote:

> I think that the church, as the body of Christ rather than as an
> 'institution', would all receive the same blessing, stranger or not: the
> efficacy of the Sacraments would not be affected however sinful or
> otherwise the minister may be.

I disagree. If you knowingly and deliberately appoint someone who is
openly and knowingly living in sin, you cannot expect God to bless such
an appointment. The Old Testament contains some fairly blood-curdling
rebukes along the lines of "ye are cursed with a curse" for people who
live in sin but yet think they are serving God.

> I'm not sure how this statement would apply however in a denomination
> where a priest is required to transforms the bread and wine into the
> actual body and blood. Is this thought to be independent of the
> 'worthiness' of the priest?

The Catholic Church is the originator of the idea. The Donatists
insisted that an unworthy priest could not minister worthy sacraments
(they particularly had in mind priests who had apostatised during
persecution) whereas the Catholic Church insisted that they could.
Whether that was from deep theology, or from bishops supporting their
mates (a bit like Boris supporting that MP who has now resigned), or
from practical considerations that there wouldn't be sufficient clergy
if the unworthy had to step down, I am not sure.

Mike Davis

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Nov 15, 2021, 5:30:06 PM11/15/21
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On 15/11/2021 11:27, Jason wrote:
The teaching of the RCC is that as long as the priest:-
a) Is Authorised
b) Intends to do what the Church instructs
c) Carries out the rubrics 'correctly'

.. then the sacrament is valid (ie. God meets His people) - even if the
priest himself doesn't believe - as he's doing it under the authority of
the Church (as instructed by Jesus).

[Read Graham Greene's 'Catholic books':- The Power and the Glory, The
Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair, which if I recall
correctly touch on these issues.]

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 15, 2021, 9:30:09 PM11/15/21
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On 15/11/2021 22:21, Mike Davis wrote:

> The teaching of the RCC is that as long as the priest:-
> a) Is Authorised
> b) Intends to do what the Church instructs
> c) Carries out the rubrics 'correctly'

The question is, authorised by whom?

We might think of some of the Jewish high priests, who were deposed or
appointed more or less on a whim by the Roman authorities. Were they
legitimate high priests? Or, to descend to the ridiculous, what about
the case of the pope who was keen to get Edward III on-side and declared
that he would have consecrated an ass if Edward had asked him to.
Fortunately Edwards hadn't asked for any members of the equus family to
be consecrated but he had proposed someone whose religious
qualifications were dubious at best, hence the pope's defence of his action.

The second point I concede.

The third point reduces the sacraments to nothing more than
incantations. If the celebrant has the correct intentions, it doesn't
matter a dime whether he sticks to the correct words or not. Obviously I
am not talking about a priest at the altar reciting "abracadabra" but
if, for some reason, a priest were to say "Jesus said that this was His
body"[1] instead of "This is My body" do you really think that God on
His throne is going to shake his head and say "No, no. This time the
magic is not going to work and I don't care how many church members
remain unblessed."

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

Note 1: May seem far-fetched, but I can imagine some missionary trying
to celebrate in a language not his own and only imperfectly learned,
coming out with something similarly mangled. Of course, that could be
avoided by insisting on all masses being said in Latin ...


Mike Davis

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Nov 16, 2021, 7:20:06 AM11/16/21
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On 16/11/2021 02:29, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 15/11/2021 22:21, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>> The teaching of the RCC is that as long as the priest:-
>> a) Is Authorised
>> b) Intends to do what the Church instructs
>> c) Carries out the rubrics 'correctly'
>
> The question is, authorised by whom?
>
> We might think of some of the Jewish high priests, who were deposed or
> appointed more or less on a whim by the Roman authorities. Were they
> legitimate high priests? Or, to descend to the ridiculous, what about
> the case of the pope who was keen to get Edward III on-side and declared
> that he would have consecrated an ass if Edward had asked him to.
> Fortunately Edwards hadn't asked for any members of the equus family to
> be consecrated but he had proposed someone whose religious
> qualifications were dubious at best, hence the pope's defence of his
> action.

That, I think, is a silly response! You many not approve, but the RC
priesthood has 'always' taken care to ensure that only Bishops (whose
line of succession is equally preserved) can validly ordain priests.

> The second point I concede.
>
> The third point reduces the sacraments to nothing more than
> incantations. If the celebrant has the correct intentions, it doesn't
> matter a dime whether he sticks to the correct words or not. Obviously I
> am not talking about a priest at the altar reciting "abracadabra" but
> if, for some reason, a priest were to say "Jesus said that this was His
> body"[1] instead of "This is My body" do you really think that God on
> His throne is going to shake his head and say "No, no. This time the
> magic is not going to work and I don't care how many church members
> remain unblessed."

If you think in terms of 'magic' then what does that say about the
efficaciousness of prayer in your own services? OK, perhaps I shouldn't
have used the word 'correctly' - but you seem to be arguing for the sake
of disagreeing. YKWIM.*

>
> Note 1: May seem far-fetched, but I can imagine some missionary trying
> to celebrate in a language not his own and only imperfectly learned,
> coming out with something similarly mangled. Of course, that could be
> avoided by insisting on all masses being said in Latin ...

*OK - I take that point. All I can say it that is that I doubt if God is
as nit picky as you seem to think.

Blessings

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Adam Funk

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Nov 16, 2021, 7:40:07 AM11/16/21
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There's also the practical consideration that the people receiving
sacraments want to be confident that they are valid. You wouldn't want
to find out later that your marriage was void because the minister
performing the ceremony had been behaving unworthily but hadn't been
caught yet.


--
"Gonzo, is that the contract from the devil?"
"No, Kermit, it's worse than that. This is the bill from special
effects."


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 16, 2021, 3:30:08 PM11/16/21
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On 16/11/2021 12:21, Adam Funk wrote:

> There's also the practical consideration that the people receiving
> sacraments want to be confident that they are valid. You wouldn't want
> to find out later that your marriage was void because the minister
> performing the ceremony had been behaving unworthily but hadn't been
> caught yet.

Yes, and because the "effect" of the sacraments dependson God, not on
the human celebrant (and especially not on him knowing the right magic
incantation), I agree that generally speaking if you receive in faith,
you get the blessing no matter what the celebrant is like.

The major exception would be if you deliberately and knowingly sought a
celebrant who was living in sin.

I've just been reading 2 John, where the apostle urges us not to receive
people who teach false doctrine into our homes, far less support them by
offerings or salaries. If we go contrary to the divine advice, we can't
expect God to bless us.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 16, 2021, 3:40:07 PM11/16/21
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On 16/11/2021 12:16, Mike Davis wrote:

> That, I think, is a silly response! You many not approve, but the RC
> priesthood has 'always' taken care to ensure that only Bishops (whose
> line of succession is equally preserved) can validly ordain priests.

Come come, Mike. Is your knowledge of church history really so lacking?
Even popes have been appointed for invalid reasons such as external
political pressure, riots in the streets, simony. If valid bishops are
forced to ordain an unsuitable person because of fear of personal
violence, is that ordination valid?

> If you think in terms of 'magic' then what does that say about the
> efficaciousness of prayer in your own services? OK, perhaps I shouldn't
> have used the word 'correctly' - but you seem to be arguing for the sake
> of disagreeing. YKWIM.*

But that is precisely the point. I do *not* think in terms of magic and
therefore do not insist on any particular rubric. Personally I am
careful to baptise using the forumla in Matthew 28 and the celebrate
communion using the "rubric" given in 1 Corinthians 11, but I would not
regard as invalid someone who was baptised only in the name of Jesus,
nor if someone used different words for the communion.

Mike Davis

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Nov 17, 2021, 1:00:07 PM11/17/21
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On 16/11/2021 20:33, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 16/11/2021 12:16, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>> That, I think, is a silly response! You many not approve, but the RC
>> priesthood has 'always' taken care to ensure that only Bishops (whose
>> line of succession is equally preserved) can validly ordain priests.
>
> Come come, Mike. Is your knowledge of church history really so lacking?
> Even popes have been appointed for invalid reasons such as external
> political pressure, riots in the streets, simony. If valid bishops are
> forced to ordain an unsuitable person because of fear of personal
> violence, is that ordination valid?

I wouldn't generalise one way or the other! - And that's all I'm
arguing about - I think we are more agreed than it sounds!!
>
>> If you think in terms of 'magic' then what does that say about the
>> efficaciousness of prayer in your own services? OK, perhaps I
>> shouldn't have used the word 'correctly' - but you seem to be arguing
>> for the sake of disagreeing. YKWIM.*
>
> But that is precisely the point. I do *not* think in terms of magic and
> therefore do not insist on any particular rubric. Personally I am
> careful to baptise using the forumla in Matthew 28 and the celebrate
> communion using the "rubric" given in 1 Corinthians 11, but I would not
> regard as invalid someone who was baptised only in the name of Jesus,
> nor if someone used different words for the communion.

Again I don't think we really differ, it's not about 'spells' (or
spelling, perhaps)!! ;-)

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 17, 2021, 3:40:07 PM11/17/21
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On 17/11/2021 17:57, Mike Davis wrote:

> Again I don't think we really differ, it's not about 'spells' (or
> spelling, perhaps)!! ;-)

I'm sure that any sensible persons (among whom I certainly count you)
would agree that there is no specific language or form of words
essential to Christianity (which would, of course, put us both at odds
with the official Catholic teaching that you quoted a few posts upstream).

The closest one comes to that is three "words" - "I baptise you in the
name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost"; "This is My
body"; and "This is My blood". Yet even with them I would maintain that
so long as the meaning is maintained, the actual words are unimportant.[1]

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

Note 1: Given that all three are fairly concise, it is hard to see how
one could naturally express the meanings in different words, but I am
sure it could be done.


Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:31:27 PM11/22/21
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2021 22:21:48 +0000, Mike Davis wrote:

> The teaching of the RCC is that as long as the priest:-
> a) Is Authorised b) Intends to do what the Church instructs c) Carries
> out the rubrics 'correctly'
>
> .. then the sacrament is valid (ie. God meets His people) - even if the
> priest himself doesn't believe - as he's doing it under the authority of
> the Church (as instructed by Jesus).

Thanks for that, so I guess this is similar to the Anglican position (as
I understand it). It seems right to me that 'intent' should be a key
thing here.



Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:31:41 PM11/22/21
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On Tue, 16 Nov 2021 12:21:04 +0000, Adam Funk wrote:

> There's also the practical consideration that the people receiving
> sacraments want to be confident that they are valid. You wouldn't want
> to find out later that your marriage was void because the minister
> performing the ceremony had been behaving unworthily but hadn't been
> caught yet.

A good and practical point! :-)


Jason

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:32:01 PM11/22/21
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2021 20:03:33 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 15/11/2021 11:27, Jason wrote:
>
>> I think that the church, as the body of Christ rather than as an
>> 'institution', would all receive the same blessing, stranger or not:
>> the efficacy of the Sacraments would not be affected however sinful or
>> otherwise the minister may be.
>
> I disagree. If you knowingly and deliberately appoint someone who is
> openly and knowingly living in sin, you cannot expect God to bless such
> an appointment. The Old Testament contains some fairly blood-curdling
> rebukes along the lines of "ye are cursed with a curse" for people who
> live in sin but yet think they are serving God.

I disagree. I would agree in so far that God might not be in favour of a
particular appointment for some reason, but I don't see why He would
'curse' any work that such a person may perform in God's name. Whoever
is not against us is for us.




Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:40:07 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 12:13, Jason wrote:

>> I disagree. If you knowingly and deliberately appoint someone who is
>> openly and knowingly living in sin, you cannot expect God to bless such
>> an appointment. The Old Testament contains some fairly blood-curdling
>> rebukes along the lines of "ye are cursed with a curse" for people who
>> live in sin but yet think they are serving God.

> I disagree. I would agree in so far that God might not be in favour of a
> particular appointment for some reason, but I don't see why He would
> 'curse' any work that such a person may perform in God's name. Whoever
> is not against us is for us.

Interestingly, that statement was made early in Jesus' ministry. By the
end, He was saying the exact opposite - "He that is not for us is
against us".

You may not "see why" God would do this or that, but His plain
statements are that He does. Try Malachi 1:9, 10; 2:2 and so on. "I will
curse your blessings" sounds like precisely what you claim that God
won't do.

Do you actually read your Bible? Or are you so busy constructing the
sort of God you want that you don't grasp what God is actually like? He
is not the great Lassaiz-faire Cheerbyable Brother in the sky; He has
standards and He doesn't look kindly on those who ignore them.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 22, 2021, 2:50:07 PM11/22/21
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On 22/11/2021 12:17, Jason wrote:

> Thanks for that, so I guess this is similar to the Anglican position (as
> I understand it). It seems right to me that 'intent' should be a key
> thing here.

Though I would say that it is the intent of the congregation and of
those who receive the sacraments which is the important thing, not the
intent of the celebrant.

Adam Funk

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Nov 23, 2021, 5:20:08 AM11/23/21
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How is item b possible "if the priest himself doesn't believe"?


I know we've discussed this before as far as urgent baptism by a
non-Christian is concerned (valid in western but not Orthodox
theology, IIRC) --- in that case it seems just plausible that a
non-believer could intend "to do what those Christians do here", but
it seems a bit further out there for sacraments like the Eucharist or
Confirmation.



> [Read Graham Greene's 'Catholic books':- The Power and the Glory, The
> Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair, which if I recall
> correctly touch on these issues.]
>
> Mike

--
When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him
whose? --- Don Marquis


Mike Davis

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Nov 23, 2021, 1:50:08 PM11/23/21
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Because he's still acting under the Authority of the Church, and it is
the Church that Jesus founded to continue His mission. The priest may
have an 'off day' (we all have doubts occasionally!) or may have given
up - but he's then doing it for the congregation - from which the faith
comes.

I have to say that there have been various times when I have been the
*only* member of the congregation, and I have consciously prayed "Lord
make up by my faith anything that is missing in the Priest's!" (A bit
presumptuous, perhaps, but it's the essence of our Christian faith!)

> I know we've discussed this before as far as urgent baptism by a
> non-Christian is concerned (valid in western but not Orthodox
> theology, IIRC) --- in that case it seems just plausible that a
> non-believer could intend "to do what those Christians do here", but
> it seems a bit further out there for sacraments like the Eucharist or
> Confirmation.

Understood. Clearly these are reasons why the Church restricts these
Sacraments, but I would still act (in extreme circumstances) if I deemed
it necessary and appropriate (after a brief prayer for guidance!).

>> [Read Graham Greene's 'Catholic books':- The Power and the Glory, The
>> Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair, which if I recall
>> correctly touch on these issues.]

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Jason

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Nov 23, 2021, 3:48:55 PM11/23/21
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On Mon, 22 Nov 2021 19:39:33 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 22/11/2021 12:13, Jason wrote:
>
>>> I disagree. If you knowingly and deliberately appoint someone who is
>>> openly and knowingly living in sin, you cannot expect God to bless
>>> such an appointment. The Old Testament contains some fairly
>>> blood-curdling rebukes along the lines of "ye are cursed with a curse"
>>> for people who live in sin but yet think they are serving God.
>
>> I disagree. I would agree in so far that God might not be in favour of
>> a particular appointment for some reason, but I don't see why He would
>> 'curse' any work that such a person may perform in God's name. Whoever
>> is not against us is for us.
>
> Interestingly, that statement was made early in Jesus' ministry. By the
> end, He was saying the exact opposite - "He that is not for us is
> against us".

Are you suggesting he changed his mind?

> You may not "see why" God would do this or that, but His plain
> statements are that He does. Try Malachi 1:9, 10; 2:2 and so on. "I will
> curse your blessings" sounds like precisely what you claim that God
> won't do.

That section of Malachi is specifically concerned with breaking the
Covenant of God with his people. They were deliberately trying to
deceive God and palm off inferior offerings to him, thereby breaking the
deal. And I don't know precisely which section you were thinking of, but
to me the sections you mention above refer to blessings to the
perpetrator being cursed, and not that anything that person may do for
others in the name of God be cursed.

Additionally of course, this is all in reference to the Old Covenant
which thankfully I as a Christian am not bound by in any case.

> Do you actually read your Bible? Or are you so busy constructing the
> sort of God you want that you don't grasp what God is actually like? He
> is not the great Lassaiz-faire Cheerbyable Brother in the sky; He has
> standards and He doesn't look kindly on those who ignore them.

I clearly bring different 'baggage' to reading the Bible than you do
yourself, as do we all. I agree with you that God doesn't look kindly on
those who 'ignores' his standards (though of course we all fall short),
but whereas I come from the angle "who is not against us is for us",
others seem to like to start from the opposite position.

And just for the record, I'm not about to go smiting any Amalekites
either.


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:00:07 PM11/23/21
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On 23/11/2021 12:37, Jason wrote:

>> Interestingly, that statement was made early in Jesus' ministry. By the
>> end, He was saying the exact opposite - "He that is not for us is
>> against us".

> Are you suggesting he changed his mind?

The two statements are there and they did contradict one another. I
believe that the reason for this is that they were made at different
times. In the early days of His ministry Jesus could truthfully say that
anyone not actually opposed to Him was, in some sense "for Him". However
towards the end of His ministry attitudes had polarised to such an
extent that unless someone was openly for Him, he was certain to be
against Him.

In other words, Jesus was not enunciating a universal principle on
either occasion, one which can be applied in each and every
circumstance. He was recognising different circumstances.

> That section of Malachi is specifically concerned with breaking the
> Covenant of God with his people. They were deliberately trying to
> deceive God and palm off inferior offerings to him, thereby breaking the
> deal. And I don't know precisely which section you were thinking of, but
> to me the sections you mention above refer to blessings to the
> perpetrator being cursed, and not that anything that person may do for
> others in the name of God be cursed.

God says that the priest's blessings (ie, pronounced either in private
or in public) will be converted by God into curses. I suggest that the
stricture applies to anyone who is deliberately flouting God's rules,
whether about sacrifices or about cross-dressing.

> Additionally of course, this is all in reference to the Old Covenant
> which thankfully I as a Christian am not bound by in any case.

Are you suggesting that God changed His mind?

> I clearly bring different 'baggage' to reading the Bible than you do
> yourself, as do we all. I agree with you that God doesn't look kindly on
> those who 'ignores' his standards (though of course we all fall short),
> but whereas I come from the angle "who is not against us is for us",
> others seem to like to start from the opposite position.

It all depends on the circumstances. If you read your Bible, you would
have come across the contradiction in Jesus' words long before I pointed
it out to you.

> And just for the record, I'm not about to go smiting any Amalekites
> either.

Oh I don't know. Amalekites should be smitten, frequently.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:10:07 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 10:10, Adam Funk wrote:

> I know we've discussed this before as far as urgent baptism by a
> non-Christian is concerned (valid in western but not Orthodox
> theology, IIRC) --- in that case it seems just plausible that a
> non-believer could intend "to do what those Christians do here", but
> it seems a bit further out there for sacraments like the Eucharist or
> Confirmation.

I can only see it working where the celebrant is indeed guilty of some
error which should disqualify him but is not aware of it or not aware of
its seriousness. Thus he can intend the right thing and so it is
accepted despite his lack of worthiness.

Personally I would put the emphasis on the faith of the congregation.
Imagine a blind man who strays into a comic performance by some guy who
is not a Christian, is dressed in a jester's cap, most certainly does
not intend anything more than a bit of a jape. The blind man, however,
thinks that it is a true service and goes forward in faith to receive
the bread and wine. I would say that for him, it was a valid communion
and that he did indeed meet God through the bread and wine.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:10:08 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 18:44, Mike Davis wrote:

> Because he's still acting under the Authority of the Church, and it is
> the Church that Jesus founded to continue His mission. The priest may
> have an 'off day' (we all have doubts occasionally!) or may have given
> up - but he's then doing it for the congregation - from which the faith
> comes.

It sounds as though you are agreeing with me. A valid sacrament comes
from the faith of the recipients, not from that of the celebrant.

> Understood. Clearly these are reasons why the Church restricts these
> Sacraments, but I would still act (in extreme circumstances) if I deemed
> it necessary and appropriate (after a brief prayer for guidance!).

Although I am authorised to celebrate the sacraments, if I were not and
if I found myself in some "desert island" situation, I would have no
hesitation in acting as celebrant.

Mike Davis

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:50:07 PM11/23/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:04, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 18:44, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>> Because he's still acting under the Authority of the Church, and it is
>> the Church that Jesus founded to continue His mission. The priest may
>> have an 'off day' (we all have doubts occasionally!) or may have given
>> up - but he's then doing it for the congregation - from which the
>> faith comes.
>
> It sounds as though you are agreeing with me. A valid sacrament comes
> from the faith of the recipients, not from that of the celebrant.

No - I'm saying that it's the Faith of the universal Church, not any
individuals.

>> Understood. Clearly these are reasons why the Church restricts these
>> Sacraments, but I would still act (in extreme circumstances) if I
>> deemed it necessary and appropriate (after a brief prayer for guidance!).
>
> Although I am authorised to celebrate the sacraments, if I were not and
> if I found myself in some "desert island" situation, I would have no
> hesitation in acting as celebrant.

Me too! On the basis of what I stated above.

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Mike Davis

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Nov 23, 2021, 4:50:07 PM11/23/21
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No, he may well have met God through his faith, but it wouldn't be in
the form of Bread & Wine.

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Kendall K. Down

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Nov 24, 2021, 2:10:08 AM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:46, Mike Davis wrote:

> No - I'm saying that it's the Faith of the universal Church, not any
> individuals.

That doesn't make sense. You are implying that if an atheist and
non-believing priest administers the sacrament to an atheist and
non-believing recipient, the recipient will receive a spiritual benefit
because someone, somewhere else, believes?

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 24, 2021, 2:20:06 AM11/24/21
to
On 23/11/2021 21:49, Mike Davis wrote:

>> Personally I would put the emphasis on the faith of the congregation.
>> Imagine a blind man who strays into a comic performance by some guy
>> who is not a Christian, is dressed in a jester's cap, most certainly
>> does not intend anything more than a bit of a jape. The blind man,
>> however, thinks that it is a true service and goes forward in faith to
>> receive the bread and wine. I would say that for him, it was a valid
>> communion and that he did indeed meet God through the bread and wine.

> No, he may well have met God through his faith, but it wouldn't be in
> the form of Bread & Wine.

Which contradicts your earlier post in which you claimed that somehow
the "faith of the church" is what matters. Now it has to be a valid
priest - but what if the priest is unworthy and therefore not a valid
priest?

Mike Davis

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Nov 24, 2021, 8:50:07 AM11/24/21
to
On 24/11/2021 07:09, Kendall K. Down wrote:
> On 23/11/2021 21:46, Mike Davis wrote:
>
>> No - I'm saying that it's the Faith of the universal Church, not any
>> individuals.
>
> That doesn't make sense.
What doesn't make sense?

I said that the Church appoints people to do what what Jesus instructed,
authorises them in the power of the Holy Spirit, and, through that same
Faith, meets those who come forward to receive in faith. If the priest
does that obediently (regardless of his spiritual condition), God will
meet those who come forward in faith.

> You are implying that if an atheist and
> non-believing priest administers the sacrament to an atheist and
> non-believing recipient, the recipient will receive a spiritual benefit
> because someone, somewhere else, believes?

No, I'm not!

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Mike Davis

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Nov 24, 2021, 8:50:08 AM11/24/21
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See my previous post.

Mike
--
Mike Davis


Jason

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Nov 24, 2021, 3:39:07 PM11/24/21
to
On Tue, 23 Nov 2021 20:57:14 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 23/11/2021 12:37, Jason wrote:
>
>>> Interestingly, that statement was made early in Jesus' ministry. By
>>> the end, He was saying the exact opposite - "He that is not for us is
>>> against us".
>
>> Are you suggesting he changed his mind?
>
> The two statements are there and they did contradict one another. I
> believe that the reason for this is that they were made at different
> times. In the early days of His ministry Jesus could truthfully say that
> anyone not actually opposed to Him was, in some sense "for Him". However
> towards the end of His ministry attitudes had polarised to such an
> extent that unless someone was openly for Him, he was certain to be
> against Him.
>
> In other words, Jesus was not enunciating a universal principle on
> either occasion, one which can be applied in each and every
> circumstance. He was recognising different circumstances.

This seems more of a musing to "square the circle" rather than Biblical
exegesis. Perhaps Jesus simply changed his mind? :-)

>> That section of Malachi is specifically concerned with breaking the
>> Covenant of God with his people. They were deliberately trying to
>> deceive God and palm off inferior offerings to him, thereby breaking
>> the deal. And I don't know precisely which section you were thinking
>> of, but to me the sections you mention above refer to blessings to the
>> perpetrator being cursed, and not that anything that person may do for
>> others in the name of God be cursed.
>
> God says that the priest's blessings (ie, pronounced either in private
> or in public) will be converted by God into curses.

That's interesting, I guess it depends on how you read "your blessings".
I read it as "blessings you would have received" rather than "blessings
to others you have pronounced". Do you have a reason for preferring the
second reading?

>> Additionally of course, this is all in reference to the Old Covenant
>> which thankfully I as a Christian am not bound by in any case.
>
> Are you suggesting that God changed His mind?

Yes, of course, at least from a human perspective, though I think from
God's perspective he had the New Covenant in mind all along. If the Old
Covenant had been sufficient we wouldn't need the New.

>> I clearly bring different 'baggage' to reading the Bible than you do
>> yourself, as do we all. I agree with you that God doesn't look kindly
>> on those who 'ignores' his standards (though of course we all fall
>> short), but whereas I come from the angle "who is not against us is for
>> us", others seem to like to start from the opposite position.
>
> It all depends on the circumstances. If you read your Bible, you would
> have come across the contradiction in Jesus' words long before I pointed
> it out to you.

Yes, and I'm sure there are other similar examples. But I don't have a
problem with God changing his mind, and indeed such change is sometimes
Biblically explicit, e.g. in answer to prayer.

>> And just for the record, I'm not about to go smiting any Amalekites
>> either.
>
> Oh I don't know. Amalekites should be smitten, frequently.

:-)



Kendall K. Down

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Nov 24, 2021, 4:20:06 PM11/24/21
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On 24/11/2021 16:15, Jason wrote:

> This seems more of a musing to "square the circle" rather than Biblical
> exegesis. Perhaps Jesus simply changed his mind? :-)

But the question is, Why did He change His mind? On a whim? Or was there
a good reason?

> That's interesting, I guess it depends on how you read "your blessings".
> I read it as "blessings you would have received" rather than "blessings
> to others you have pronounced". Do you have a reason for preferring the
> second reading?

Remember that the Bible did not originally have chapter divisions (or
verse divisions). The immediately preceeding passage has to do with the
priests' ministry - offering polluted bread, offering infirm animals,
refusing to do anything without payment, offering incense, and so on.
Despite the chapter division, there is no break in the thought; as well
as all these other parts of priestly ministry there is the priestly
blessing.

>> Are you suggesting that God changed His mind?

> Yes, of course, at least from a human perspective, though I think from
> God's perspective he had the New Covenant in mind all along. If the Old
> Covenant had been sufficient we wouldn't need the New.

Yet you seemed appalled when something I said suggested the same! :-)

> Yes, and I'm sure there are other similar examples. But I don't have a
> problem with God changing his mind, and indeed such change is sometimes
> Biblically explicit, e.g. in answer to prayer.

That's an interesting point.

Jason

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:35:24 PM11/25/21
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On Wed, 24 Nov 2021 21:14:50 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 24/11/2021 16:15, Jason wrote:
>
>> This seems more of a musing to "square the circle" rather than Biblical
>> exegesis. Perhaps Jesus simply changed his mind? :-)
>
> But the question is, Why did He change His mind? On a whim? Or was there
> a good reason?

And the answer is, we just don't know, because he doesn't tell us. It's
God's sovereign prerogative to do as he chooses and I don't suppose he
does have to explain things to us.

>> That's interesting, I guess it depends on how you read "your
>> blessings".
>> I read it as "blessings you would have received" rather than "blessings
>> to others you have pronounced". Do you have a reason for preferring
>> the second reading?
>
> Remember that the Bible did not originally have chapter divisions (or
> verse divisions). The immediately preceeding passage has to do with the
> priests' ministry - offering polluted bread, offering infirm animals,
> refusing to do anything without payment, offering incense, and so on.
> Despite the chapter division, there is no break in the thought; as well
> as all these other parts of priestly ministry there is the priestly
> blessing.

It's an interesting idea, but it seems in those earlier sections that it
is the priest personally that is being chastised. The section seems to
be summed up by "So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated
before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have
shown partiality in matters of the law". I.e. it is the priest who
suffers, it doesn't seem to say that those who the priest is ministering
to will get caught up in the crossfire.

>>> Are you suggesting that God changed His mind?
>
>> Yes, of course, at least from a human perspective, though I think from
>> God's perspective he had the New Covenant in mind all along. If the
>> Old Covenant had been sufficient we wouldn't need the New.
>
> Yet you seemed appalled when something I said suggested the same! :-)

I must have misunderstood, sorry, as I'm happy that God might change his
mind.

Kendall K. Down

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Nov 25, 2021, 3:40:05 PM11/25/21
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On 25/11/2021 16:10, Jason wrote:

> And the answer is, we just don't know, because he doesn't tell us. It's
> God's sovereign prerogative to do as he chooses and I don't suppose he
> does have to explain things to us.

Both your statements are correct, yet neither prevents us seeking to
understand God or proves my suggestion wrong.

> It's an interesting idea, but it seems in those earlier sections that it
> is the priest personally that is being chastised. The section seems to
> be summed up by "So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated
> before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have
> shown partiality in matters of the law". I.e. it is the priest who
> suffers, it doesn't seem to say that those who the priest is ministering
> to will get caught up in the crossfire.

Nevertheless, God did not say "The blessings you expect to receive will
turn into curses."

Jason

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Nov 26, 2021, 1:20:20 PM11/26/21
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On Thu, 25 Nov 2021 20:39:22 +0000, Kendall K. Down wrote:

> On 25/11/2021 16:10, Jason wrote:
>
>> And the answer is, we just don't know, because he doesn't tell us.
>> It's God's sovereign prerogative to do as he chooses and I don't
>> suppose he does have to explain things to us.
>
> Both your statements are correct, yet neither prevents us seeking to
> understand God or proves my suggestion wrong.

Indeed, and as long as we are aware that it's speculation rather than
Biblical exegesis that's fine.

>> It's an interesting idea, but it seems in those earlier sections that
>> it is the priest personally that is being chastised. The section seems
>> to be summed up by "So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated
>> before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have
>> shown partiality in matters of the law". I.e. it is the priest who
>> suffers, it doesn't seem to say that those who the priest is
>> ministering to will get caught up in the crossfire.
>
> Nevertheless, God did not say "The blessings you expect to receive will
> turn into curses."

Yes, exactly, the blessing that you [the Priest] expect to receive, not
the blessings that the Priest pronounces unto others.....





Kendall K. Down

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Nov 26, 2021, 1:50:04 PM11/26/21
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On 26/11/2021 11:27, Jason wrote:

>> Nevertheless, God did not say "The blessings you expect to receive will
>> turn into curses."

> Yes, exactly, the blessing that you [the Priest] expect to receive, not
> the blessings that the Priest pronounces unto others.....

I presume you failed to notice the "not" in my message.

Jason

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Nov 29, 2021, 3:27:18 PM11/29/21
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Yes, I agree with that.



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