Liturgical Man, Liturgical Woman


Some excerpts from James Jordan’s thought-provoking 2 part article:

“The ordination of women to the Christian ministry, specifically the pastoral office of overseeing worship and performing preaching and the Lord’s Supper, is a recent development in Church history. From the early church until the late 20th century, women were never ordained as ministers, not in any branch of the Church, East or West, Protestant or Catholic. Only in a few sects, almost always anti-theological and/or ‘pentecostal,’ were women ‘ordained.’

It is today often assumed that the Church has been wrong about this, universally and consistently, for nearly 2000 years. This assumption holds that the Holy Spirit has either misguided the Church on this matter, or that the Spirit has allowed the Church to remain in error, for His own good reasons, and is only now correcting that error; it is assumed that only now has the Church grown and developed to the point where she is able to recognize this error.”

“My thesis is that the differences between men and women are, by creation design, fundamentally liturgical and only secondarily biological and psychological. To put it another way, my thesis is that the physical and psychological differences between men and women are grounded in their differing liturgical roles.”

“Adam was created not homo sapiens but homo adorans, worshiping man. His first and most important purpose was to worship the Father, as the Son and Spirit worship the Father. And as the Father is worshiped by two, not by one, in the Godhead, so in the creation there is a need for two worshipers, not merely one. John 4:23 says that the Father seeks worshipers, who worship in truth (like the Son) and spirit (like the Spirit). Worship happens when ‘two or three’ are gathered. A ‘testimony of two witnesses’ is needed for this kind of worship. To be sure, we can worship privately and individually, but that is not the best and highest form of worship. For the worship in the Garden to be true and complete, Adam needs a liturgical helper.

The fact that she is intended as a liturgical helper already indicates that Adam is the leader in worship. But there is more in the passage that is important to consider. Before Eve was formed from Adam, God had already pointed out the two sacramental trees to Adam and forbidden him to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. After Eve was made, God told both of them that every fruit-bearing tree would be for them to eat (Gen. 1:29). Hence, what Eve heard God say implied permission to eat of every tree in the Garden.

How, then, did Eve learn that the Tree of Knowledge was (temporarily) forbidden? The answer is that Adam told her. Adam was her teacher in liturgical matters. This does not mean that Adam was to be her teacher in all matters, nor does it mean that he would never be instructed by her. What it does mean is that God set up the world in the beginning so that in matters of worship the woman is taught by the man.”

“It is argued by some that Paul did not tackle the matter of women as ordained ‘priests’ in the Church because of cultural reasons. The time was not right, it is said. To which we must reply that this is nonsense. Paul is not in the least hesitant to attack sabbaths, circumcision, food laws, calendar issues, and other matters of intense cultural and traditional relevance. He does not hesitate to offend Jew and Gentile alike. Had women’s ordination been part of the Divine agenda for the New Covenant, it would have been part of that list of extremely controversial issues.”

Liturgical Man, Liturgical Women — Part 1
Liturgical Man, Liturgical Women — Part 2

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