The Instigator
Jillianl
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Guardian
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points

Women should be able to become ordained ministers/priests.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2011 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,356 times Debate No: 15105
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

Jillianl

Pro

The many reasons that churches use to withhold women from ordination or the priesthood are quite varied, but the reasons make little difference because it is still patent discrimination against approx. 50% of the population due to a deep and long-lasting prejudice.

Definitions:

Discrimination:
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination

(In this case, clearly a distinction against women.)

Prejudice:
1.
an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2.
any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
3.
unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group
Guardian

Con

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says, "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church."
"Discrimination:
treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination"

The belief that women are not supposed to be ministers or priests is not based on the fact that they are women, but on the fact that GOD, through the Bible, says that they are not to be ministers or priests. Throughout the Bible, GOD uses marriage as a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church.
Ephesians 5:22-25 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her."
Wives are to submit to their husbands just as the church submits to Christ. Again, this is not simply because they are women, but because it is a picture of Christ and the church. If anyone allows this to lead them to believe that somehow GOD does not value women as much as men then they should consider verse 25, "Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her." Jesus Christ left His thrown in Heaven, to come to earth, to die a horribly painful death for people who despised Him. He left a perfect place, to live in a world full of misery, pain, and sadness, in order to give His life for His church. And it is with that level of love and commitment, that husbands are to treasure their wives. It is clear by this exhortation to husbands just how much GOD cares for women.

Prejudice:
1.
an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
2.
any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.
3.
unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding a racial, religious, or national group

The belief that women should not be ministers or priests is not without knowledge, thought or reason, it is derived from a study of the scriptures. This belief is not preconceived, it is only after study of the Bible that it is accepted. This belief is not unreasonable, (it is based on the words of GOD, who made us) nor is it hostile ("Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.")

The belief that women should not be ministers or priests is not discrimination or prejudice, but based of the Bible.
Debate Round No. 1
Jillianl

Pro

"The belief that women should not be ministers or priests is not without knowledge, thought or reason, it is derived from a study of the scriptures. This belief is not preconceived, it is only after study of the Bible that it is accepted."

Of course, that is generally where such beliefs come from, the traditional interpretation of the Bible.

" This belief is not unreasonable, (it is based on the words of GOD, who made us) nor is it hostile ("Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.") The belief that women should not be ministers or priests is not discrimination or prejudice, but based of the Bible."

Wrong. The belief that women cannot do something because of specific interpretation of the Bible is unreasonable, because in no other realm of the US would anyone try and justify keeping a woman from doing something based on gender. It is hostile because it tells women that they cannot be leaders in the Christian church because they are women. Lastly, if your interpretation of the Bible keeps women from ordination, then your God is prejudiced along with you. A prejudiced God is not justification for prejudice.

Your assertion that it is not discrimination because it is based on the Bible only asserts that the Bible is prejudice as well, and perhaps even the God that you worship. According to the definitions of discrimination and prejudice, the Bible is just as guilty as you are. In short, your justification is flawed.

My second argument is that the Bible is actually not against women's ordination/priesthood. Gal 3:28. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." This is in direct conflict of the verses you supplied and I could equally claim it to be God's word. So what's the big deal, how is this any better? Because my interpretation of the Bible doesn't justify discrimination.

Let's take a look at the verses you supplied:
"1 Corinthians 14:34-35 says, "Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church."

Which parts of this text do you think modern churches follow and require of their women? Are women actually completely silent in church? Are they not allowed to ask questions unless they ask their own husbands? Are women actually SHAMED when they speak out? Most of Christianity would say no (I hope). Clearly, this was either a very specific time/place/situation that was being addressed, or it reflected the biases/prejudice of the writer, or very possibly both.

"Ephesians 5:22-25 says, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her."

There are two problems with this text. If taken as the literal word of God, then women who are not married should be permitted to be ordained/priests, because they do not have a husband who is the head. They are their own head and answer to no one. Second, the fact that men are admonished to love their wives does not negate the fact that women were considered property in Bible times. I can prove this with the 10th commandment:

'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

This is a list of things you are not to covet. You will notice that your neighbor's husband is not among the list? How come? Because women weren't considered to be able to be guilty of the sin of coveting. Why not? Women were property. Notice how the wife is listed SECOND among the other things owned by man. The house is most important, THEN the wife, then servant (males first, then females), then the ox (clearly more valuable than a donkey), then the donkey, and then anything else less valuable. How come I'm not surprised women are asked to be submissive to their husbands? Because the culture of the day required this of them because they were property, they were owned, and not even the most valuable item a man owned if a man owned a house. The Bible is steeped with Patriarchy, overtones of how women were somehow "less" in the image of God, how women were bartered for with Bride prices to the highest bidder, women who were raped and stolen by the Israelites as war winnings. Verses that require submission on the part of only one gender should be considered nothing less that the prejudice of patriarchal society.

It flies in the face of reason to tell women that they are SO cared about, but that they are still denied rights because of their gender.

But, there are some glimmers of a new thought emerging in the Bible. There were women prophets even in the old testament, and there were women who were leaders in the early church, such as Junia, Aquila, Priscilla. If the patriarchal, prejudiced society that the Bible was written in was able to let even a select few women lead, then surely we can get past the prejudism today and give women their full rights as human beings and not deny them a leadership position based on gender?

I delved into the arguments within the Bible because, my opponent defended their opinion with the Bible. But, my main premise remains: declaring that it is not discrimination to refuse women ordination or the priesthood is in direct opposition to the very definition of discrimination/prejudice and no Bible text can change prejudice from being prejudice. It is what it is . . .
Guardian

Con

Guardian forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Jillianl

Pro

Guardian forfeited the round I presume by not being able to reply quickly enough.

I refer them to my previous post and will allow them to make their final comments.
Guardian

Con

First of all, I would like to apologize for missing my second argument, and thank my opponent for their graciousness.

Galatians 3:28- "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." This is not in direct conflict with the verses I supplied. The Bible is the Word of GOD, and as such, is infallible and unchanging, just as GOD is infallible and unchanging. Chapter three of Galatians is talking about those who believe in Christ and His death and resurrection, and are therefore saved from their sins. Verse 14 says, "That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might recieve the promise of the spirit through faith." What verse 28 is saying is that GOD does not save people based on who they are. GOD does not save only men, or only jews, or only masters, GOD saves all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. When GOD saves someone there is no consideration for who they are, only that they believe and repent. Therefore, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." If someone in the United States repents of their sins and turns to Jesus Christ, they do not stop being an American. When I became a Christian I did not stop being a male. The slaves who believed on Christ were not magically made free. If this verse meant, as my opponent says it does, that when someone becomes saved that they lose the earthly role that GOD created them for, then homosexuality would be perfectly fine according to the Bible. If in Christ males and females somehow cease being males and females, then the logical conclusion would be that homosexuality would be permitted. But the scriptures make it plain that this is not the case. I Corinthians 6:9 says, "Do you not know that the unrightious will not inherit the kingdom of GOD? Do not be decieved. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites."
Believing in Christ does not somehow change our physical makeup, nor does it change the unique responsibilities that we were created for. This brings me to my second point.
In the Genesis account of creation GOD creates Adam and then He creates Eve as a helper to Adam. (Genesis 2:18) Women are not permitted to be ministers/priests, not because they are women, but because they were not created for that purpose. GOD had a plan for the entire world-beginning to end- before he ever began creation. GOD did not create men and women, watch them for a time, and then decide the roles he would give them. GOD created men and women for unique purposes. I hate public speaking. Nothing scares me more. If I were the only man in a church, then it would be my responsibility to preach as dictated by I Corinthians 14:34-35. Please believe me when I say that I would be dreading this task. But I could not simply ignore or change the role GOD created me for. So when you ask "are women actually shamed when they speak out?" the answer is that women are not shamed specifically, the entire church is. The verse does not say "for women are shamed if they speak in church," it says "for it is shameful for women to speak in church." This means that it is equally shameful that the men of the church are not fulfilling their role as leaders that they were created for.
As to Junia, Aquila, and Priscilla. Aquila and Priscilla were husband and wife and were tent makers. While they obviously laboured for the spreading of the Gospel, this is in no way contradictory to I Corinthians 14:34-35. Junias is mentioned in Romans 16:7 "Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me." This too, does not in any way support the kind of role my opponent is advocating for women.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by GigaDrillBreak 4 years ago
GigaDrillBreak
Guardian simply parroted Bible quotes and considered his interpretation of said quotes to be undeniable truth. Many interpretations of the same text can be had and Guardian's is no less valid than Jillianl's. Also, Guardian's final comment reeks of prejudice. He claims that the whole of the Church is shamed when a woman speaks. This is utterly ridiculous and makes it hard for me to take him seriously.
Posted by Guardian 5 years ago
Guardian
Thank you Jillianl for the good debate.
Posted by Jillianl 5 years ago
Jillianl
It's about Christianity largely. I do not know enough about Eastern religions to be able to speak on those.

If I were to say "A woman CAN be ordained ministers/priests", then it would be equally unclear what my intent is. The argument against could simply be "sure a woman CAN be, but they aren't, I won". Or, "woman are capable of being ministers/priests, but that doesn't mean that they should be". Seriously, it seems no statement is clear enough . . .
Posted by Adamant1 5 years ago
Adamant1
The fact that the prompt is "should" makes it very hard to win this debate. Maybe they should be, they just can't.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
@Ann Yes I know that, but I was considering taking this debate. And so if it's not the line of logic I'm wanting to use wouldn't work.
Posted by annhasle 5 years ago
annhasle
The terms "Minister" and "Priest" are almost exclusive to Christianity/Catholicism.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Is this debate about Christianity; or is it an open debate on any religion?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 5 years ago
boredinclass
JillianlGuardianTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
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Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments went unanswered