Thanks very much for the above meditation on preference, lifestyles, and ministry. How appropriate it is to even consider the interaction between Sts. Paul and Peter as you have. And, as you have written:
Quote:How often do we meet other Christians who seek from the faith validation for their own preferences and lifestyle, and who then respond with some hurt hostility when those from another tradition fail to do that?
I am reminded of the case of the immature man or woman who will never marry. There is a desire for the oneness and communion found in marriage, but due to a severe dysfunction in the life of this one, there will probably never be such a union. Often times in these situations, I have observed there is a continually calling for union in the life of the one who is handicapped in this way, but when a potential mate appears then there is a pushing away (especially when the would be spouse begins to get too close). There is a desire and a motioning to come close, but at the same time there is an aversion and a pushing away. And, while this does not speak fully to what you have described above, I think it does play a part at times. Especially, as you use the word "validation" above I think to a recent post of mine, where I wrote:
Quote:Or, for that matter, even though some do not like the word 'validity' used in this way, who determines the validity of any particular ministry?
Sometimes questions have no answers. But, I can't help but to think that as we might actually just even attempt to answer this question that there would be a good return on the investment. Who determines the validity of a particular ministry? Or, what determines the validity of a particular ministry? What criteria is used? Possibly, it would be helpful to consider who determined the validity of Christ's ministry or what determined this as we would look at some of the passages in the Scriptures, as the one shared by Kirk above. And, sure these questions can be answered with many catch phrases, I think. And, these same answers can be supported Ad nauseam via circular reasoning until the cows come home or the bed starts to spin . . . but what has really been said as we may say the validity of a particular ministry is determined by the one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church which has guarded the Treasury of the Apostolic Witness through the writings of the fathers and saints? Or, possibly better yet[!] . . . let's turn that around and ask what has been said if an answer is supplied whereby the one Church, and the mind of the Church is to be equated to the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit of God--then what have we said?? As another good doctor has written:
Quote:. . .In Being as Communion, in chap. 6 section V. The 'Validity' of the Ministry, John Zizioulas says:
"All that has been said so far leads to the question whether it is at all proper to speak of the 'validity' of a certain ministry. 'Validity' is basically a juridicial term, and it implies that the ministry can be isolated from the rest of ecclesiology and be judged in itself. This notion implies, furthermore, that there can be objective criteria, such as 'faith' or 'historical apostolic succession,' etc., that can form the norms for such a judgement. Such an approach would tend to undermine the fact that all these 'criteria' originally formed an integral and organic part of the concrete community, especially in its eucharistic form. Their meaning, therefore, depends constantly on their natural context, which is the community.
We have seen, for example, how this is the case with apostolic succession. The same must be remembered with regard to the 'faith': the 'symbols' or 'confessions' of faith were not in the early Church autonomous statements, as they are today in dogmatic manuals, but integral parts of the life and especially the worship of the community; they started as baptismal creeds and were adopted and used again as confessions for baptismal and eucharistic use. The great methodological error in the classical therories of 'validity' therefore is that they tend to go to the unity of the community via these criteria, as if the latter could be conceived before and regardless of the community itself.
If , as we have insisted in this paper, we do not isolate the ministry from the reality of the community created by the koinonia of the Holy Spirit, what 'validates' a certain ministry is to be found not in isolated and objectified 'norms' but in the community to which the ministry belongs."
Yes, the ultimate generous Orthodoxy . . . the koinonia of the Holy Spirit!
Yes, John, who can make that boast? Hmmm . . .