by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose, Toronto, Canada
Male chauvinism is the only reason for the disparity and inequality of women in our church. God created men and women in Adam. In Christ all are equal. There are some special roles for men and women to be played according their body built not according to their abilities and gifts. In bible we could see a number of prophetess and women evangelists.
In biblical times and later it was not safe for women to travel and do work out side. Now we are not living in that dark ages or a barbaric era. Women are in forefront of all areas of work and they are out witting gents in sincerity, hard work, honesty and all goodness of life. The best rulers are women. In temporal world, there is no bar for women to take any job and they get equal pay for it.
Each soul (Women and Men) has the same value in front of God. There is some biblical quoting bias to gents. That we should not be taken in to apply, blanket ban for women to do any role in the church. Once, one of the lady members of my church asked LL H.B. Mor Baselose Paulose II. “Why does a woman not allow to become a priest in our church?” H.B. replied, “Jesus didn’t select any woman as His apostles.” That is an open-ended reply, and we should ponder on it, just like our church is not entertaining any married priests to becoming bishops. I feel and believe our church would be better off if we answer affirmative for women roles and married bishops.
Majority of our gents and ladies still are not in favor of changing any of our old customs even if it is unbiblical, illogical and irrational. There is some fear of God's wrath, to talk and act for the truth. That is always in our blood. Secretly we say yes to it but publically nay. When I was the vicar of St. Thomas Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in Chennai, (1985-2009) our Church has given equality for all sex in all our church activities, managing committees and trustees in the charitable trust. So everything went well. I haven’t seen any wrong in taking a baby girl to Altar after baptism. Women are not an object; they are with spirit and soul, blood and flesh, heart and mind, emotions and feelings just like gents. In heaven we are all like angels. We are here, the division between women and gents, God intended for, partners of His creation and companion.
by Zach George Arapura
In my humble opinion women have been subjected to a subservient role in our church for far too long.
Some of the antiquated Biblical verses, for instance, 1 Corinthians 14:33-36, are commonly used to deny women full membership and right to priesthood. (I've read that there exists a Syrian Orthodox tradition of ordaining Deaconesses in Syria but this seems to be absent in Malankara.)
In what way are the women inferior to men-folk? On the contrary, the women today are at par or sometimes even ahead of men.
In declining women their full membership we are fostering the belief that our faith is very patriarchal and not adaptable to the changing times.
by P. Abraham Paul
The fact is that even in a Charitable society that the church has nothing to do with, none support the proposal to include women and youth of the church also as independent members of the Society though the bylaws stipulate that anyone attained 21 years age can be members.
It all makes me remember the comment of a prominent news paper reporter 30 years ago at the time of opening of a church. "It all looks beautiful outside but sadly too hollow inside, much like the minds of most inmates" a fact though painful, continues to haunt us.
by George John
There are a number of roles that women can play in church and which they commendably do and for which they are respected.
Though God created Man and Woman, the scriptures to my limited knowledge does not mention that they were created equal or identical. The Lord created the woman because he felt Adam was alone and needed something similar to Adam to help him in the garden of Eden. It may be noted that the scriptures say that God created the woman only after Adam had seen and named all the cattle, fowl and beasts of the earth and found none that was accepted by Adam as a help. God did not call for both Adam & Eve or Eve alone after the episode of eating from the Tree of Knowledge. He only called for Adam. God had appointed Adam as the caretaker of the garden and Eve as his helper, the chain of command and of responsibility was clearly defined. God called for Adam when they did not appear before Him for he was entrusted with the responsibility to see that the fruit from the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil was not eaten.
The Role of
Women in the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
by Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas
The Role of Women is a topic of importance today in our Syriac Orthodox Church which is a deeply rooted traditional apostolic church.” In our presentation, we shall depend upon the Holy Scripture and the tradition of the Church, namely the teachings of the Apostles which have not been recorded in the Scriptures.
Rights of Women in Jacobite Church
The uniqueness of our church (comparing to any other Apostolic or Protestant) churches is that, the church practices are based on Bible Laws, Traditions and Teaching of church fathers. If you look at the history, social laws were always derived from religion.
Woman’s Role in the Church Affairs
We have a double standard system within the church, within our parishes and communities and within our families. Jesus gave more importance to Martha, Maria, his mother and even appeared to Mary Magdalene even before appearing to any other disciples of His, there by giving importance to WOMEN, in my opinion.
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