For as long as the official process of scientific discovery has been in existence there has been friction between what is discovered by it, the discoverers, and those who have faith in the spiritual world and its traditions. The conflict hasn’t remedied itself, either. In fact, the schism and resentment seems to have grown and continues to grow exponentially. Some have even stated that the attempt to unify the two perspectives of understanding regarding the natural and spiritual worlds is, at this point, futile.
Other observers of the adversarial relationship between science and faith believe that things are not beyond repair. These individuals believe that science is being viewed erroneously as a competitor or replacement to human religion when, in fact, it is far from it. Science is a tool. It is a standardized and universal process of thought and discovery that serves to facilitate the achievement of human enlightenment on issues concerning the natural world.
For the scientifically oriented, religion (especially Christianity) is the root of all of humankind’s atrocities to itself and the earth. To the spiritually inclined people, science has been the tool and exponential facilitator of man’s evil doings to other men and the earth. The truth, however, is most likely in the middle. One must always remember that there is his side, her side, and reality regarding perspectives and situational/conditional accuracy. How can both be in a duality dance of good and bad?
The answer to such a question lies in the common denominator for the two fields of belief and enlightenment. Both science and religion are tools and mechanisms used by man to achieve a complete understanding of his origins, present, future, and purpose. Religion, science, and philosophy have been and continue to be the mechanisms by which these four ponderances are addressed. So, where is the problem?
Humanity is what is really at fault for the bad and to credit for the good. Humans, all of us, do not like to admit wrong doing or take personal responsibility for the consequences of wrong doing. We certainly would not need attorneys if the case was otherwise for us. When people win a race, achieve a great academic goal, bring peace to a region of the world, or invent some medical marvel that lengthens the human lifespan they are quick to take credit for it and to even jealously guard that credit. But, when people kill, persecute, harass, ostracize, discriminate, withhold charity, or wage brutal war they are quick to justify their actions and lay blame on others. The bottom line is that we do not like to take responsibility for our ill doings and will go to great lengths to avoid responsibility.
What do we hear from our brothers and sisters when there is good done? We hear that, “I won the race,” “I achieved this goal,” and “I brought peace.” What do we never hear them say? We never hear them say, “Thank God for giving me the strength to when this race,” “Thanks to my scientific knowledge of human anatomy and biochemistry, I have won this race,” “Thank you, Lord, for bringing this success to me,” “I am thankful for the scientific method that allowed me to make this discovery.” We never give credit to God or science when things are good for us and we have done well. We always take full credit for it while casting both science and religion aside.
What is heard when one kills another, steals from another, wages war and murder against others, or withholds much needed charity from others? “I killed him because he offended Islam!” “We waged war to free the Holy City from the Muslim Infidels!” “I took their things because they are an inferior race and science supports this.” “We took their land and trinkets because they were ignorant and weak in trusting us and we wanted their things.” “We waged war against the Jews because they are liars and snakes and offend God.” “Scientific data proves that Iraq is producing and hording weapons of mass destruction.” Can you see how both science and religion are being used to justify the evil side of humanity?
What does all of this mean? What conclusions should be drawn from these observations - these realizations regarding human nature and character and the universe it lives in? The examples listed here are not alone, either. There are not thousands but millions of examples throughout the history of mankind where atrocities and ill doings have been done under the false justification of religion, science, or both. Science and religion do not kill people; people kill people.
Like a coin, humans have two sides. We are designed with a duality of good and evil. Not one of us is spared this duality though one has been born absent of evil (Jesus Christ) and others have been able to meditate away their darker side (The Buddhist and Hindus). We are proud of the lighter side and ashamed of the darker side. Thus, we all seek to be praised for being good and receive gratification through doing good while we seek to shed responsibility for our evil side and feel ashamed for our darker deeds. In order to evade personal responsibility for our sinful, unethical, and immoral ways we use religion and science to rationalize and justify them.
Therefore, it is humanity that is responsible for humanity’s suffering and not its religion or methodology for discovering the laws of nature. It is his greed, covetousness, lust, desire for power, political ambitions, and intolerance that has led to the atrocities recorded throughout history. Science and religion have been nothing more than tools for the justification of these immoral and wicked doings. The cause, all along, has been human beings and their uncontrolled darker side combined with their rejection of personal responsibility for wrongful ways. Our constructs and conceptualizations are not responsible - we are.
To the faithful in Christ I send greetings and well wishes. I pray that, for each of you, the Lord, our God, has blessed you with great happiness, health, wealth, and success as you endeavor to follow the narrow path, which leads all the way to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. And, I hope that today is one of those really good days where everything goes right for you. Those are rare, aren’t they? But, they do happen and I pray that today is one of those days for you.
I’ve had an opportunity to read a book, written by the well known scientist, Steven Hawking, entitled, “The Grand Design.” He speaks in terms of quantum physics about the universe and its origin. Although Mr. Hawking appears, from a layman’s perspective, to be quite accurate in describing the minute mechanics of things in the universe, I find his dismissal of the divine to be quite alarming.
As I read through his book I find that quantum physics deals with minute matter that cannot be seen and that there are more theories than concrete scientific laws on the subject. Mr. Hawking and his associates dismiss the existence of another, co-existing universe that can be labeled “heaven” or one that could possibly be the realm of hell. But, then he goes on to explain that in any given space and time there may be an infinite number of co-existing universes. Dimensions as they are commonly referred. It all sounds a bit contradictory to me.
He is saying that there are no planes of existence to serve as heaven or hell but that there are infinite numbers of planes in any given space and time position. He cannot, nor can anyone else, say what these infinite universes consist of, though. Thus, he knows as much about the unseen co-existing realms of reality, that we often refer to as the Kingdom of Heaven and the realm of hell, as the rest of us, which isn’t much. Both he and we, the faithful, must have faith in our beliefs regarding these multiple universes as there is insufficient tangible evidence of their existence. We know they are there in our hearts even though we cannot see them or measure them.
Mr. Hawking says that there are no miracles, only mathematical conclusions. But, he bases this statement not on mathematical certainties but on statistical probabilities. There is a great difference between a certainty and a mere probability, too. He says that the earth and solar system are “statistical anomalies” while emphatically denying the existence of miracles. He states that there are no exceptions to the laws of physics.
Nothing escapes the laws of physics? What laws? Mere theories are what comprise the majority of the field of physics. This is especially so for quantum physics. A great deal of these theories requires people to “believe” that they are the reality and to have “faith” in them. Most of it is theoretical, though. These theories may add-up in computation after computation but do the mathematical conclusions accurately depict or predict the conditions of the observable universe or are we being asked to “take it on faith?” This, by the way, is exactly what priests and ministers in Christianity, and indeed many other religions, ask us to do, too.
Mr. Hawking’s theories are interesting and do certainly explain a lot of sub-atomic, micro, and macro physical behaviors. I have no doubt that many are dead on. But, we must all take a moment to understand and acknowledge that much of quantum physics is dependent upon statistical probabilities and tremendous uncertainties. In many cases, we must have faith in the existence of these properties and particles as we observe certain atomic and sub-atomic behaviors and interactions. The one thing that all of these theories fail to do is explain whether or not there is a divine being and whether or not there is intelligent effort and design in what exists today.
If there was nothing before the “Big Bang” then where has all of this matter come from? Something had to make it and something had to put it here. Something or someone had to want to make the Big Bang happen. That something had to have existed before the birth of the known universe. Science can only say that matter is there and that it behaves in certain ways under certain conditions to build bigger things and complex living organisms. Scientists can identify and describe quarks, atoms, molecules, and compounds. They can describe cells, tissues, organs, and organisms, too. They can even compute the statistical likelihood of the development and sustainment of simple and complex life in the universe.
The existence of life, especially sentient life, is extremely rare. It is so rare, in fact, that it is more likely not to happen than to happen. It is, as Mr. Hawking says, “an anomaly.” What is an anomaly, you ask? An anomaly is something that occurs outside of the statistical norm. For instance, if it is the general rule that the innards of an orange are colored orange and it is calculated to be a one in one hundred quadrillion chance that an orange will turn out to have red innards then it is safe to say that getting a red gutted orange is nearly impossible and if and when it happens it is well outside the norm. In fact, it is so nearly impossible that it would require intelligent intervention or manipulation to make happen.
Oranges with red pulp are known as “Blood Oranges” and they do exist. You can buy them at the grocery store. They are not products of nature but rather of genetic manipulation by intelligent beings; intelligent beings known as Human Beings. This would not happen if left to nature alone but exists because man made them in accordance with the rules that govern matter. Even we humans use what we have learned about the universe to design things and manipulate nature to our liking. Certainly, there is something more - something beyond us that does the same thing but on a grander scale.
On a grander scale, we see this tiny little planet in the universe. It is unique and we call it earth. The entire planet has a special combination of chemicals, pressures, and life that exists nowhere else in the solar system and has thus far been observed nowhere else beyond that. The statistical likelihood that a planet capable of sustaining life would exist is of such a low probability that a statistician would deem it as “nearly impossible,” like the blood orange. When we take into consideration the diversity of life and the broad spectrum of life, ranging from simple to quite complex, the odds get even worse regarding its natural development. In other words, this planet and all that live on it should not, through natural development, exist. To exist, it requires intentional design and creation by a sentient being with the materials, knowledge, and means to do it. Like the blood orange, it does not exist naturally but as a result of intelligent design and effort.
Therefore, an anomaly is just another way of labeling a miracle. What is a miracle after all? It is something that happens or comes into existence in a manner or through a means that defies the norms of nature. An anomaly is what, now? Something that occurs or exists in defiance of the statistical norms or natural rules. Is there a difference? No, there isn’t. The earth and all of its abundant life is, therefore, a scientific anomaly, which makes it a theological miracle. Science and religion are not conflicting perspectives at all. In fact, they are quite unified.
So, science has, through its own research and discovery, confirmed not only the existence of a superior sentient being but the requirement for its existence in order for other things to exist, like us. There are things which exist through natural development and those things which exist from intelligent design and effort. There are even those things which developed naturally from what was created. It is not one or the other but all three at the same time.
For many centuries the religious and the scientific have been adversarial when in reality they are two halves of a more complete understanding of nature and the divine. There is no doubting that there is an order to nature as it has observable mechanisms by which it goes about existing. You cannot have both order and chaos nor can you have order within chaos. Something is random and chaotic, or ordered and structured but it can’t be both at the same time.
The simple truth about science and religion is that science explores and discovers what is created and exists while religion venerates and appreciates it, giving thanks to that which created it. God created the universe and all that is in it. He governs how they interact and behave under certain conditions. He brings order to the chaos. Scientists discover these rules to universal order and navigate them to manipulate the natural order of things. Science doesn’t invent the rules or the most basic blocks of matter it discovers them. Faith and belief are required elements for both religion and science.
Science, then, discovers what God already knows, created, and controls. It defines what exists and the rules by which it exists. It also shows how other things can be made, through intelligent design and manipulation. The more scientist discover the more we stand in amazement at the brilliance, majesty, and omnipotence of the over-all creator.
Religion professes this which has been discovered by the most brilliant minds of science. That is, that there is order to our universe and that this order cannot exist without something sentient creating and controlling it. The creator, God for many of us, has brought order to the universe through design and will. He created the basic elements of matter and energy and set them free to interact within the boundaries of His natural order. Occasionally, God intervened and created things, such as earth and life, in order to achieve His design and desires. Through both intervention and natural development He created things such as mankind. Thus, when priests say that God created man and scientists say men evolved from lesser beings they are actually speaking of the same thing. God creates and then lets what is created develop, or evolve, over time. Where is the disagreement, then?
After all, Adam and Eve were created by God in the Garden of Eden but then evolved by developing a sense of self awareness. This is described as having their eyes opened after eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowing what is Right and what is Wrong. They were, as all other animals were, running on instinct and were not self aware. A creature can be highly intelligent and instinctive just as it can be highly intelligent and self aware.
When their eyes were opened were they suddenly naked or were they naked before? They were already naked but were unaware - oblivious to it. This is evidenced in God’s discussion with Adam. God asked Adam, “who told you that you were naked?” In other words, who opened your eyes to your own condition of existence? All of God’s creations on earth are naked, are they not? They don’t know they are and go on as if running on some string of computer programming. Man is different as he has developed beyond that.
You see? Science and religion are not independent opposites but elements to the greater truth of reality and the universe. A complete understanding of the universe humankind lives in requires the acceptance and acknowledgement of both the theological and scientific perspectives. Again, where is the conflict?
May the peace of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Prince of Heaven, whose body was broken and blood shed upon the cross for the atonement of our sins, be with you always.
Over the hundreds of years, a rather voluminous amount of misconception and misinformation regarding the College of Saints have developed among the various sects of Christendom. Some believe the College of Saints to be a blaspheme, labeling it as an adaptation of paganism by the early Roman Church, and still others see it as an over-veneration of humans who are unworthy. But, none of these ideas on the subject are accurate. In fact, I dare say that they are completely wrong about the College of Saints.
A “saint” is a person whose life was in such a level of veneration for and in such emulation of Jesus Christ that they become inspirational examples for the religious to use in strengthening themselves as they attempt to bear their own cross as Jesus instructed. These are people whose inner strength and faith in God was high enough to allow them to endure great pain and overcome tremendous challenges that the average person could not possibly do without the same level of faith and commune with the Holy Spirit.
Since the beginning, there have been excellent and holy examples among us. Their lives were committed to the deepest level to Jesus Christ and the Holy Father. This led to certain achievements or special examples that have served to enhance faith and encourage others in their faith. Some are martyrs, but not all of them. Others fed thousands of hungry people, clothed the naked, and housed the homeless. Some were gifted through their faith to be able to cure the sick and heal the injured. Still, more tackled issues of social justice and freedoms in worship and religious belief.
But, none of the saints are in place because they substitute some ancient Roman Pagan deity. This is misinformation spread in the early days of the protestant reformation. Though the Protestantium does make some very valid arguments and presents conditions that were, and remain in many cases, issues in need of reform within the Church of Rome, the elimination of the College of Saints certainly should not be one of them. Certainly, there are a few saints whose beatification should be reviewed along with the refinement of the process of beatification.
Many of you may be unaware of what the Protestantium document is. It is this document that gave Protestant Christianity its name. During the days of the Protestant Reformation, a document, written in Latin, was scripted and signed by leaders of European countries and among the leadership of the church that was in opposition to certain practices permitted by the Pope in Rome. It is sort of like the American Declaration of Independence in that it draws separation from the main authority on the grounds of unacceptable conditions and/or practices. The Protestantium signers, and those who followed them, became known as “Protestants.”
This is certainly a small tangent from the topic of today’s address. But, I feel that its necessary to clarify my reference to the Protestantium because there are so many of us in today’s world who are unaware of it and its impact on historical and contemporary Christian history and practice. Many times, when I reference this document, I get glazed blank looks and expressions of wonder and confusion.
Some of the Protestant churches rejected the College of Saints completely. Others only partially accepted it. Their reasons range from the bizarre to the quite reasonable. In many cases, the rejection of the Saints came from two things. First, there is a grotesque misunderstanding of the purpose and status of Saints and second, there is the assault of vicious rumors and misinformation, indeed malinformation if you will. In order to understand the College of Saints we must first address the myths surrounding the saints.
Myth 1: The Saints were created to replace Roman and Greek gods and goddesses.
-This is absolutely and completely wrong. Though the calendar events of the church were moved to cover pagan rites and events, the College of Saints was not adopted to replace pagan deities. In fact, if the early church leaders, who instituted the College of Saints, were available today they would be highly insulted at the implication. In fact, I am quite certain that they frown upon this assertion from heaven now.
The College of Saints came into being through the sacrifices and holy examples made by ordinary members of the religious. They were either divinely chosen to accomplish a great deed in support of Christ and His people or achieved great things through the power of individual faith and oneness with the Will of God. These are people who should be studied and looked up to as examples for the betterment of our own faith. It is insulting to the memory of these pious people to say that they were “adaptive spiritual fabrications.”
Myth 2: The saints are worshipped like Jesus.
-This is also incorrect. This form of assumption roots in two places - Ignorance and maliciousness. For the ignorant, there is reaction to the stories and erroneous acclamations of slanderers and under-qualified non-catholic ministers. Such people, from their infancy, have been taught to believe that the College of Saints was a pedestal of equality with Jesus and thus a great blaspheme. They place great trust in their ministers and the teachings they receive from them. Unfortunately, some ministers in history and indeed even today have violated that trust and poisoned minds unnecessarily.
The schism between the Protestant and Roman Churches was fierce with both sides, then and now, being guilty of saying and spreading maliciously intended statements about one another’s practices and beliefs. It was a nasty divorce with things said on both sides of the argument that were false and intended to cause harm. The entire affair has been a childish engagement to say the least.
The reality of the situation is that at no time in the history of Christendom has anyone worshipped a saint. Such never happened and is the product of pure fabrication. The saints weren’t, and to this day aren’t, seen as deities by any stretch of human imagination. They are not elevated to the same level as Christ and never were. The saints are mere objects for pious study and examples that serve to enhance and strengthen the faith of the religious. That is all that they are - people who did well in the Holy Spirit and who managed to achieve closeness to the will of God that we all strive for but all too often fail to achieve on our own.
Myth 3: We are all saints.
-Again, there is a misunderstanding of sainthood in this myth. Not every person is a saint. Only a very few achieve those levels of piousness and faithfulness in Jesus Christ that allow them to be elevated to being examples for the rest of us. We are all stars as if in the sky. But, even among the stars of the sky some stars shine brighter than others. It is the same for the religious. There are those who stand-out from the rest. No, not every person is a saint but every person has both the potential and opportunity to become a saint. It depends on our desire and determination to follow Jesus Christ, to pick up our cross and walk with Him, and to answer the will of God Almighty.
Myth 4: People pray to the saints instead of to God.
-This is yet another misconception regarding the College of Saints and the individual saints themselves. This erroneous understanding is another byproduct of the days of the Protestant reformation where malicious preaching, absent of anything holy, resulted in the general misunderstanding of the College of Saints.
When people, who invoke the saints, pray they are not praying to any saint but with that saint directly to God. They are asking God that he allow the saint to spiritually assist the praying individual or the individual for whom prayer is offered with whatever problem or crisis is being faced. The faithful ask the saint(s) to pray to God on their behalf, as they pray to God, for forgiveness, intercession, and/or relief from suffering.
1. The saints are people whose great piousness and outstanding deeds in the name of Jesus Christ and within the will of God Almighty serve as examples to all followers then and for generations beyond.
2. The College of Saints was not created to replace the deities of ancient Rome and/or Greece but instead for a listing of human examples worthy of pious study and emulation.
3. Saints are not, and have never been, worshipped by the Christian Faithful.
4. The saints are not, and have never been, placed on the same level as the Lord Jesus Christ. Such a doing is certainly blasphemous and not practiced or tolerated by Roman Christendom or by any other sect of Christianity.
5. When the faithful pray, they pray with the saints to God and not to the saints. In prayer, the spirits of the saints are called upon to pray with them and to act in accordance with the will of God to help them. It is no different than praying that a deceased loved one will act to help someone in crisis or need.
The story of Sodom and Gomorrah can be found in the Book of Genesis, Chapters eighteen and nineteen. In recent times, and indeed for at least the last couple of millennia, priests and scholars in both Judaism and Christianity have discussed this story as an example for three very important theological lessons. The first, and most common lesson that comes out of this story regards homosexuality and how offending the sin is to God. The second lesson deals with the severity of God’s wrath against a sinful people while the third lesson deals with the departure from sin.
It is the lesson regarding the departure from sinful ways that I address here. The other two topics will certainly be covered in other addresses. After having lived a life in all manner of sin it is indeed very difficult for a person to break away from it. Like alcohol or opium, sin is addictive and it takes strong will and determination to not only discontinue sinning but to resist the temptation to return to it. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a great example of where sin leads, the importance of leaving it, and the equally important element of never looking back or desiring it again.
The story begins in GEN 18:20 when Abraham encounters two strangers that he recognizes as angels. They stay with him and rest. When they are leaving the Lord reveals to him, through the angels, that he is on the way to Sodom in order to see for himself what is going on there. The Lord God informed Abraham that he has received a great volume of outcries (praying for justice) against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah along with the people who live there. Abraham, of course, attempts to speak up for the innocent people of the city because Lot and his family reside in the city of Gomorrah and they are a God fearing and obedient people.
Now, when the angels arrived at Sodom they were greeted by Lot who urged them to stay with him overnight where they would be more comfortable and better protected. However, upon hearing that the two men were staying at Lot’s house they, the sodomites, all gathered outside of his home and made demands that Lot surrender the two men to them so that they may have unnatural sexual relations with them. But, he pleaded with them not to harm the men and went so far as to offer his two virgin daughters to them in exchange for the safety of his guests. The homosexuals insisted on having the two men and then attacked, threatening to rape Lot, when the angels pulled Lot inside and blinded the Sodomites with a bright light.
The next morning the angels lead Lot and his family out of the city and tell him to flee for his life and to not stop or look back. Lot takes his family to Zoar in order to find safety. Unfortunately, his wife looked back and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt. This is the shortest version of that story around, I think. But, it is insightful and tells us all a lot about leaving sin, living and walking the right path, and never yearning or looking back toward that way of life again.
The story illustrates for us four things which must take place in order to turn away from, separate from, and never return to sin. These four things are:
A. Recognize and reject sin and sinful ways.
B. Resolve never to do the sin(s) again and acquire strong determination to leave sin behind.
C. Leave the sin(s) and sinful ways.
D. Never look back or wonder of those ways again.
In the story, we see that the people of Sodom were practicing all sorts of grievous sins and displaying abominable behaviors. The angels see this and they, with Lot, recognize the sinfulness and blatant defiance and insult to God that the Sodomites have made of themselves. So it is now. All of us have done things that we know are sinful but go with it anyway. The feeling of guilt for the deed(s) is there but suppressed. That is recognition of sin. When you sit and wonder what a sin is you should think about the pit of your stomach or that little nagging sensation in the back of your head. When an idea is contemplated and the first thought that flashes through your head is, “This isn’t right” or “I shouldn’t be doing this.” Then you have recognized a sin. When your heart knows that an act, omission, inaction, or thought is sinful it will tell you.
It does that, doesn’t it? How many of you have thought about something or done something that immediately provoked feelings of guilt and remorse? You should all be raising your hands just like me because we have all done and experienced that. Do you know what that is? That is the SINOMETER.
Just like a speedometer or an odometer, the sinometer measures volume. The speedometer measures distance traveled in a given time, the odometer shows distance travelled, and the sinometer measures severety and intensity of sin in humankind. So, young people in the pews, when you think about rolling toilette paper all over old-man Jenkins’ yard because he told you to stay out of the peach orchards your sinometer ought to be peaking off of the scale - little red lights flashing and horns blaring. In the back of your head you should be hearing what? Yeah, there ya go! “I ought not to be do’n this. It isn’t right.” And, your stomachs should be doing what young Christians? Feeling sick a little, right.
Well, when that sinometer goes off we, as good people and Christians, often go on and do the sin anyway. The temptation is too strong or we are in a state of anger that impairs our judgment. “Forgive me, father, for I could not help myself.” Right? It happens.
Sometimes, sinfulness can bring things we like or do things for us that we value. We get accustomed to both the sin and its gratifications, don’t we? It gets hard to stop sinning and even harder to walk away from it and never do it again. But, this is what we must do in order to live an everlasting life in the Kingdom of Heaven. This is what God and Jesus Christ say we must do in order that we are worthy of the Kingdom. We must recognize the sin, reject sin, repent for our sins, and resolve never to do the sin again. WE CAN NOT TURN BACK TO SIN nor can we think back and wish to be there again. What happened when Lot’s wife looked back, missing those ways she left in Gomorrah? She was turned into a pillar of salt - an example that once one has turned away from sin he/she is doomed if they turn back to it - ever.
This is what the story of Lot’s wife teaches us about leaving sinfulness and never looking back.
May the love and peace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, whose body was broken and whose blood was shed for the atonement of our sins, be with you all.
The question of whether there should be women within the ranks of the priesthood has been a hot topic of debate since the days immediately following the ascension of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There have been efforts on one side to suppress women and to muck-up the reputation of key apostolic and discipleship players who were women. On the other side have been arguments based on many legitimate resources in the canonized bible and in texts that are un-included but are certainly as legitimate and contemporary.
There is, for instance, the Gospel According to Mary. This book indicates that Mary Magdalene was no harlot but a person of education, culture, astuteness, and wealth. There is no doubting that she played a crucial role in Jesus’ ministry and it wasn’t as a maid servant. She, and other women, followed Jesus as a disciple and there is evidence that she may have also preached the good news in His name.
In the Gospel According to Mary, the apostles, wondering what to do after the ascension of Christ, are down trodden until she gives them solace by reminding them of the blessings given them by Christ. She reminds them that though their mission is daunting to mere humans, as they were, they were accompanied by Christ and possess the Holy Spirit. She speaks to them as an equal, not a servant. She is someone that they gave audience to without question. There is no doubting that Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Christ, possibly even an apostle.
The many Bishops of the early church were successors to the apostles and one sect claimed to have been founded by one of the seventy disciples sent by Jesus to proclaim the good news and to exorcise demons. She is certainly a disciple and a possessor of the Holy Spirit in equality to the other male apostles present. She was certainly treated equally.
Aside from this is Mary the Mother of God. Was she not so pure that God chose her to be the mother of His son, Jesus Christ? If women are lesser beings in the human race then why has she been able to play such a very special role in the history of Jesus and His churches? The answer to this question is that gender is irrelevant to God. It is but an assignment to humans to meet the reproductive need of the flesh form.
Our spirits are absent of gender, too. In the spirit we are certainly equal as there is no race, gender, age, or other form upon which differentiation can be based. Thus, what is biologically male and female in form is, in spirit, identical. There is absolutely no difference between us in God’s eyes. There should be no assertions of gender superiority between us, either.
If women were of lesser worth than men then why did Jesus heal them as much as He did the men? Surely, He would have passed them by and gone on to take care of what was considered greatest in humanity. But, this He did not do. He did not do this because He knew what we need to open our eyes to. Gender is an earthly thing. Reproduction is an earthly thing. Sexual intercourse is an earthly thing. He taught and continues to call out to us that those things that are of the Spirit is what is important for the everlasting life and that those things which are of the flesh and are of the earthly realm are irrelevant.
So many of God’s children have eyes but do not see. They have ears but do not hear. Let us not spend another day wasting what the Lord has given us in debate over irrelevant gender and irrelevant things of the earthly realm but move forward in unity as God wills. Are we so arrogant as to think that God can not call to preach anyone He so desires? Whether those called are male or female is not for us to determine but rather is the prevue of our Lord and God, He who has created all that is, was, and will come to be.
Women are as capable and likely to be filled with the Holy Spirit as any man. Both women and men make-up two halves of the greater whole known as humanity. They were designed by the divine to be male and female and to perform certain biological roles but were never intended to be subordinate to the other.
In keeping with the divine design, the divine intent, it is necessary to recognize the qualification and capabilities of women to perform as ministers to the word of God. It is not abnormal for women to preach as it was quite common in the early years of the church. It was the misled and jealous members of the male community that sought the subjugation of women and persecuted any who were called by God to proclaim His holy word.Any woman, who lives a life in accordance with the will, teachings, commandments, and laws of God, and receives the call to minister through the Holy Spirit or through direct angelic proclamation should indeed answer that call and act in accordance with the call and the traditions of the church. There is no reason why women should be denied that which is rendered solely by God and lies beyond the authority of man.