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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

22- Equality In Sonship Allows For Authority And Variations In Roles

 

Response to the third objection

[1] Equality In Sonship Allows For Authority And Variations In Roles

We do not deny that all the faithful are equal being the sons of God, and that all are temples of the Holy Spirit. We also do not differentiate on basis of their ethnic background, colour, gender or their moral responsibility.

But all this does not negate that they could differ in roles, hence such argument does not support that all should be priests.

[2] In What Context Was (Galatians3:28) said?

This statement was aimed at our new life which adorns us in Christ Jesus and our new faith and baptism.

(Gal 3:26-28) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. {27} For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. {28} There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Hence there is no differentiation between the baptised faithful, as sons and daughters of God.

In such sonship, there are no Greek nor Jew, no free man nor slave. etc.

St-Takla.org Image: A Coptic Bishop (H. G. Bishop Benjamin of Menofia) baptizing an infant at St. Takla Himanot Church Baptistery, Alexandria, Egypt - Published with permission of the child's parents (Fady Ragy) - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, 2009 صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أسقف قبطي (نيافة الحبر الجليل الأنبا بنيامين أسقف المنوفية) يعمد طفل صغير في معمودية كنيسة أنبا تكلاهيمانوت القبطية الأرثوذكسية، الإسكندرية، مصر - منشورة بإذن أسرة الطفل (فادي راجي) صاحب الصورة - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت ، 2009

St-Takla.org Image: A Coptic Bishop (H. G. Bishop Benjamin of Menofia) baptizing an infant at St. Takla Himanot Church Baptistery, Alexandria, Egypt - Published with permission of the child's parents (Fady Ragy) - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for St-Takla.org, 2009

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: أسقف قبطي (نيافة الحبر الجليل الأنبا بنيامين أسقف المنوفية) يعمد طفل صغير في معمودية كنيسة أنبا تكلاهيمانوت القبطية الأرثوذكسية، الإسكندرية، مصر - منشورة بإذن أسرة الطفل (فادي راجي) صاحب الصورة - تصوير مايكل غالي لـ: موقع الأنبا تكلا هيمانوت ، 2009

[3] While Equality There Is In The Sonship, The Scriptures Declares Differences between the Roles of Men And Women

There is difference between a male nor female in Gods sonship and baptism, but this did not prevent the Scriptures from differentiating between them with respect to their role.

(1 Cor 11:3) But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

(Eph 5:22-23) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. {23} For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

(Col 3:18) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

(1 Pet 3:6) as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

[4] While There Is Equality In The Sonship, The Scriptures Did Not Negate The Differences In The free, and the bound.

While there are no slaves or master in Christ, but the Lord Jesus said:

(John 13:16) "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

And the apostle says:

(Eph 6:5-7) Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; {6} not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, {7} with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men,

(Col 3:22) Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.

There is no difference between Philemon and Onesimus with regards to baptism and faith, but Saint Paul found himself obliged to obtain Philemons permission before granting freedom to Onesimus:

(Phile 1:14) But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary.

[5] While There Is Equality In The Sonship, The Primacy Of The Jews was Preserved By The Scriptures

Saint Paul Said:

(Rom 9:4-5) who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; {5} of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.

And at the same time, he says about equality in the sonship of God:

(1 Cor 12:13) For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

[6] It Is Important To Read Any Verse In The Context It Was Written

So as we seen above, it is important to understand the context in which the words were used, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. As it is not correct to take (Galatians 3:28), and use it out of context.

[7] The Lords Call To Take the Last Place for ourselves.

Here we refer to (Matthew 20:25-28):

(Mat 20:25-28) But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. {26} "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. {27} "And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave; {28} "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

Here the Lord Jesus talked about the subject of humility, and not about priesthood. For He did not want His disciples to be haughty or proud.

[8] Christ In His Humility Never Loses His Primacy

Christ gives us Himself as an example of humility;

(John 13:13-14) "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. {14} "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

He also said that the Son of Man came to serve and not to be served.

Can any one challenge Christs supremacy and primacy over the Creation or His disciples because of His humility. He came to serve, but while He served He was still the Master.

[9] Christs Call For Humility Does Not Abolish Priesthood

Christ wants His priests to be humble. But there is no need to abolish the rank of priesthood to achieve this.

Humility is a prerequisite for priesthood. It is not permissible for a priest to be haughty and proud. The priest should be humble, and should not set himself above his flock. Gods gift of primacy should not be used as a license for pride and supremacy. A priest should deal with the flock as if he is the least among them and the servant of all.

[10] A Priest Should Remember the Advice given to King Rehoboam By The Wise men

(1 Ki 12:7) And they spoke to him, saying, "If you will be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever."

So if the king is called upon to be a servant to his flock, so should the priest.


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