Fathers would make the best ‘Fathers’
Would as many religious leaders "go soft" on child sex seduction by their underlings, if each person recruited as a minister had to be a monogamous father, that is, a one-woman man with well-conducted children of his own? (The Anglican Church is in global communion with the Church of England and the Episcopal Church.)Read the 4 pages at: http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/fathers.htm
"The overseer therefore must be blameless, a husband of one wife, moderate in habits, sound in mind, orderly, hospitable, qualified to teach, not given to wine, not a smiter, but reasonable, not belligerent, not a lover of money, a man presiding over his own household in a fine manner, having his children in subjection with all seriousness. (For, if a man does not know how to preside over his own household, how can he take care of God's community?)… (Bible, 1 Timothy 3:2-7)
The word given as "overseer" above is formed from επισκοπος = episkopos in the Greek, formerly translated "bishop", but meaning overseer or superintendent, i.e., a congregation leader. Similar rules are in verses 8 and 12-13 (including "husband of one wife") for the office of ministerial servants or (διακονος = diakonos) deacons. Verse 11 is not clear as to whether the "women" in it are the wives of the deacons.
Similar advice was set down also in Titus 1:5-9, with the addition that the selection in city after city was to be of older men (in the Greek πρεσβυτερος = presbuteros) as overseers. The defiance of this advice has led to teenage children, studying in pre-seminary schools, being sexually corrupted by men who were supposed to be leading them to a holier life! (see Polish newsitem "Catholic archbishop quits over sex abuse claims" at http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/sneaking.htm of March 30, 2002, and the Austrian seminary scandal of around 2009.)
For everyone, clergy or layperson, the general advice was: "… to avoid fornication every man ought to have his own wife and every woman her own husband." (1 Corinthians 7:2)
Contrast these early Christian rules with the following:
CALLS FOR INQUIRY, REMOVAL OF VICEROY
In Australia during February and March 2002 there was a lot of news coverage of allegations about Dr Hollingworth, but then publicity widened as newsitems from around the country and the world revealed yet again that the systematic hiding and transferring of deviant clergymen seems to be the custom of religions including non-Christian ones.
The news media reported the possibility, since downplayed, of the Federal Government holding a Royal Commission into child abuse and the Churches, and there were calls for the removal of the then pseudo Head of State, Dr Hollingworth. It had been reported that a person in the Federal Cabinet, Senator Bill Heffernan, was hunting out the evidence about allegations covering the time that Dr Hollingworth was Archbishop of Brisbane. But Senator Heffernan crippled his campaign in March 2002 with his misguided attack on Mr Justice Kirby under Parliamentary privilege, using evidence some of which turned out to be a forgery.
About 4 March 2002 Dr Hollingworth, through one newspaper, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), apologised to the Australian nation! Apologies won't heal the harm that has occurred in this nor in all the other systematic abuse. In addition, Dr Hollingworth had, on television, upheld the "secrecy of the confessional" (even though confessionals were downgraded and/or abolished by the Reformed Churches) and the "right of the Church to investigate." Even a claim that he himself was a sex-abuser did not seem to make him budge, but his own letter on vice-regal notepaper helped to seal his doom, the Senate passed a resolution opposing his continuance, and he finally resigned on May 25, 2003.
NORMAL: Yes, it's quite the usual thing for religions and others to "hide their dirty washing". (However, the Churches or Church schools that actually do remove an errant servant sometimes have the full glare of the humbug media turned upon them, and in countries like Australia are sometimes overruled by industrial or other courts.)
How could this be? How could Christianity, that had such high ethical standards at the beginning, sink so low around the world?
Apologists for the Roman Catholic man-made celibacy rule quote the following statement in Matthew's gospel: [Jesus said:] "There are eunuchs born so from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs made so by human agency and there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can." (Matthew 19:12)
A eunuch is a castrated male person (C.O.D., 1969, page 416). Do you know of any Roman Catholic bishops, fathers, deacons, or brothers who have had that surgical operation?
Christians generally, please do not put undue weight on these comforting complacency-building scriptures "I am with you all days until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20) and "the congregation of the living God, which is the pillar and support of the truth." (1 Timothy 3:15). For Roman Catholics, don't be blinded by the above texts, nor by "You are Peter … on this rock I will build my Church" (Matt 16:18).
And: "The inspired spirit says definitely that in later appointed times some will fall away from the faith, leaning toward errant spirits and teachings of demons, in hypocrisy of liars, marked with a hot iron in their conscience; forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from foods …" (1 Tim 4:1-3)
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own desires shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim 4:3-4)
STRICTER JUDGEMENT FOR LEADING PEOPLE TO FABLES: Most Church people have been led by teachers away from Christ's ways. Don't you wish such Church leaders would heed the following text? "Only a few of you, my brothers, should be teachers, bearing in mind that we shall receive a stricter judgement. For we all trip up in many ways." (James 3:1-2, NJB, 1990). Reversals of teachings after the apostolic age are unlikely to be authentic Christ-following.
Read the 4 pages at: http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/fathers.htm
CORRUPTING CHILDREN RULE MASKED
Yes, from the latter half of the 20th century for several decades some major and some minor Churches gave official and unofficial backing for elements of the "anti-discrimination" campaign, which is having the effect, among other things, of giving legal support for unmarried couples as if they were married, with all the civil rights over children and property of a spouse, and denial of the rights of even Church schools to dismiss adulterers, fornicators, paramours, unmarried parents, practising homosexuals and active lesbians. Could the following translation failure of the Church of England have contributed?
SEVEN BLIND SPOTS: Dr Hollingworth had seven "blind spots" when the news media asked him in February 2002 why he did nothing about a male Church worker having sex with a 14-year-old student at an Anglican hostel:
1. He said it happened 40 years ago (who knows how many others he had besmirched!);
2. It was with a young woman. (Yes, 14 is young! At the start she was not a woman, but a schoolgirl);
3. It was not rape or anything like that (the Christian Greek Language Scriptures teach, and the Churches used to teach, that all sex outside marriage - not just rape - is against God's law).
The other blind spots are:
4. The New Testament forbids tripping up (scandalising) children (Matthew 18:6-10, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2);
5. The new commandment "to love your neighbour as yourself" (Matt 19:16-19, Mark 10:17-19, Luke 18:20);
6. Sex outside marriage would harm the solidarity of the believers, or, in theological terms, the Mystical Body of Christ, according to 1 Cor. 6:14-15; and
7. Both he and the person working in the student hostel had the responsibility of religious leaders for the moral progress of the communities they lead ("The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep. But the hireling … sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away - and the wolf snatches and scatters them" - John 10:11-12; also see The Acts 20:28-29). Church-employed child-molesters are guilty of treason.
These seven blind spots are similar to those of the leaders of the R.C. teaching brothers / priests, and the bishops, and the leaders of other religions.
HYPOCRISY FOR CENTURIES: It does seem that the leaders of some (but not all) religions have been hiding clerical offenders for centuries. They have been hypocritical, letting their own clergy off crimes, using freedom as a cloak for wickedness with such quotes as "forgiving seven times 70" (Matt 18:22), but in some places and at some times ruthlessly persecuting non-clergy for impossible offences, such as being empowered by the Devil or having sex with him. (Why impossible? Jesus is said to have overcome such evil forces.)
Read the 4 pages at: http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/fathers.htm
APOSTLES STARTED SEPARATING
CHRIST'S FORGIVENESS WAS SELECTIVE, and was not offered to entrenched hypocrites: Many people have fallen for the trap of honouring a Christ who is a blurred "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild." This is incorrect. Christ had a balanced character, not only teaching love and helping people, but he also had a firm side, shown for example by the strange incident of withering a fig tree (Bible, Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:13, and 20) and the parable of the talents and the cruel king (Luke 19:27).
He did not hide his robust dislike of supposedly "religious" people who used religion as a mask for their misdeeds, and he railed against religious observers of small external practices, who were really dyed-in-the-wool hypocritical evildoers (read his speech "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites" - Matt 23:13-35, Luke 11:39-52).
But note that, without being asked, he forgave ordinary people, the outcasts, and some of the bad people for sins of human weakness, telling them to sin no more (John 5:14).
No automaton, Jesus cried, felt love, and became angry at times. He used physical force to drive out the temple traders and moneychangers (Matt 21:12, Mark 11:15, Luke 19:45, John 2:15-16).
AVOID AND DISMISS SINNING MEMBERS: The New Testament suggests that several of the early Christian communities learnt very early, parallel with Jesus' occasional firmness and his command to "shake the dust from your feet," (Matt 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, 10:11; see The Acts of the Apostles 13:51), not to even say hello to, or eat a meal with, a so-called Christian not keeping the Way: "Quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a [sinner] …, not even eating with such a man." (1 Corinthians 5:11); "Keep away from people like that." (2 Timothy 3:5); "Reject a disputatious man after the first and second warning." (Titus 3:10).
PUNISHMENTS: St Paul had tried the repeated forgiveness method, but switched to "withdraw" and "not associate with" (2 Thessalonians 3: 6 and 14) and even to "I shall have no mercy" for disobedient sinners (2 Cor 13:2). Even more startlingly, he temporarily blinded an opponent of the faith (The Acts 13:6-11). St Peter had even announced that God would strike Ananias and Sapphira dead for telling a lie! (The Acts, 5:3-10).
KEEP UNBELIEVERS AT ARM'S LENGTH: Regarding the unbelievers all around, Paul wrote: "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what sharing do righteousness and lawlessness have? … light have with darkness? … Christ and Belial … faithful person with an unbeliever … temple … idols" (2 Cor 6: 14-16, and read on). Surely the bishops and other Church leaders could see that sex-abusing clergy are "unbelievers" whom they must not foster, and that by 1 Peter 2:13-14 and Romans 13:3-4 they had a warrant to turn them over to the civil authorities for trial.
ANTI-FAMILY EXTREMISTS WON IN LATER YEARS: In spite of the Scriptural counsel that everyone ought to be married (1 Corinthians 7:2), and warnings that people would arise "forbidding to marry," (1 Timothy 4:3),, and the decisions of Church Councils in A.D. 325 and 692, serious disobedience overcame the Latin Rite of the Church, culminating in the years 1079 and 1123, when Latin-Rite leaders, without the authority of a truly universal council comprising both Eastern and Western branches of the universal Church, gave in to the long attack by anti-family extremists in Christianity, and increased their bans on Latin-Rite priests having wives.
The illogicality is, however, that in Roman Catholic Oriental Rites, which by the luck of history have retained the traditional married clergy, the Popes have repeatedly said, in words at least, that they fully support their right to retain their traditions! And married Anglican male clergy who wish to join Rome are welcomed with their marriages intact!
With this background, and the large number of "sex priests" being unmasked in modern times, it is not surprising that many people both Catholic and otherwise will not willingly follow Papal teachings about sex, family planning, contraception, in-vitro fertilisation, stem cells, etc., and even abortion. In addition, keen students are cynical enough to say that a Church that confounds the masculine and feminine in the first book of the Bible can hardly be accepted as an expert in sexual matters! (See "Vulgate 'She' instead of 'He' …" of 22 April 2003, regarding Genesis 3:15.)
So, it seems rather pointless for the Popes of the 20th and 21st century to expect widespread support from other Christians in their opposition to the ordination of women (and even homosexuals) as ministers, seeing that the R.Cs. and other Churches for centuries have defied the example of Jesus and the other rules set out in early writings for selecting clergy!
Read the 4 pages at: http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/fathers.htm
NO CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: In spite of the fact that polls around February 2002 said that more than 50% of Australians had no confidence in having Dr Hollingworth continue as Governor-General, the claim in the news media that there was a Constitutional crisis was incorrect. The Queen was still "on the throne" during her visit to New Zealand and Australia, and the Governor-General, Governors, Parliaments and Local Councils were still operating. As the months passed the pressure on Dr Hollingworth increased, the public opposition to him rising to nearly 80%. After being investigated for an allegation of sex abuse, the Senate passing a motion asking him to resign, and the leaking of a letter in which he said that a teenage girl had started a relationship with a clergyman, the pressure to resign rose remarkably. He announced his resignation on May 25, 2003.
WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP ROLES CONTROVERSIAL: Baptists, Lutherans, other Protestants, Anglicans, Mormons, etc. employ the scriptural married clergy, but in recent decades some sects began ordaining women. This seems to oppose 1 Tim. 2:12, "I give no permission for a woman to teach or to have authority over a man."
This disputed scripture seems to be contradicting 1 Corinthians 11:5 where women can pray and speak, and Galatians 3:28 where the writer says there is neither Judaist nor Greek, "slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Priscilla (Romans 16:3, Acts 18:1-3 and 18:26, and 1 Corinthians 16:19) was associated with her husband Aquila in instructing. Deaconess Phoebe is mentioned in Romans 16:1.
GREEK WORDS: If your browser does not show the Greek letters in words quoted above, using Unicode coding, such as by showing a few question marks or squares, see if the words appear correctly below the latinised forms, using Symbol or Fences typeface:
episkopos, diakonos. presbuteros, skandalizo.
episkopoV, diakonoV, presbuteroV, skandalizw.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Books consulted included:
Cruden, Alexander (ed. by Irwin, C.H., and Adams, A.D., and Waters, S.A.), 1969 reprint (orig. 1737), Cruden's Complete Concordance to the Old & New Testaments, Lutterworth Press, London. Dewey 220.2.
Holy Bible, The, Authorised Version (AV), ? 1958, (originally 1611), British and Foreign Bible Society, London.
Holy Bible, The, Douay Version, 1956, (orig. N.T. 1582, O.T. 1609), Catholic Truth Society, London.
International Bible Society (Colorado Springs, USA), 1984, The New International Version (NIV), Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids (USA); Library of Congress Card 73-174297.
New Jerusalem Bible, The (NJB), notes © 1985 and 1990, Pocket Edition 1990, Darton Longman & Todd, London.
New World Bible Translation Committee, 1969, The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, New York.
Strong, James, The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, © 1969, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville (U.S.A.), ISBN 07852-5055-7, Dewey reference 220.2033.
Vine, W.E., Unger, Merrill F, and White, William, An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, ©1984, (OT orig. ? 1980, NT orig 1939), Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville / Camden / New York; ISBN 0-8407-5357-8; Dewey 220.440321.
Further Reading Doc. 239 http://www.johnm.multiline.com.au/ethics/fathers.htm Carnal Books