Contextual busking

As I was walking to the church a few days ago, I heard from some distance the unmistakeable strains of ‘Hava Negila’ being played on brass instruments. As I came round the corner by the Saeima, the Parliament building, there they were – the buskers, playing to an audience chatting amongst themselves and listening to a guide telling them about Rīga’s landmark Three Brothers in Hebrew.


This has become part of the routine; there they always are, with their slightly battered euphonium and tuba, busking on the tourist trail; and the great thing about it is that they always pick up on languages spoken, and play the appropriate tune (God Save The Queen, The Marseillaise, Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit and so on). So from a couple of hundred yards away, I know who to expect on my way.


So this is contextual busking – music-making that connects with the audience, rather than just playing the same few pieces over and over. It certainly brings a smile to the tourists’ faces, as the strains of some familiar tune unexpectedly reach them.


Of course we contextualise all the time. We use language that is appropriate to the company we are with; we dress appropriately to the events or places we are going to; we put our thoughts and ideas in formats that are appropriate and understandable for the people we are talking to. So teachers explaining maths to a class of 7 year olds couch all they say in very different terms to a university lecturer, even if the basic truth of mathematical concepts does not change.

This has been rolling round in my mind for months now, since one of the regular spats I get into on social media with one of my more conservative (OK, more fundamentalist) brethren, who was insisting, as is often the case, that the Bible is different, and that it has a pure message independent of and uninterpreted by our contexts. This doesn’t work for me, nor for most people who read the Scriptures. For me, it is so blindingly obvious that we read the Bible as whole people, with our minds and perceptions formed by our lives and experiences, that I find it difficult to argue with those who believe that there is an entity that can be isolated and defined, the pure Biblical text, unalloyed, uninterpreted and unifocal. That does not mean that I don’t believe the Bible is true; quite the opposite. Indeed the truth of the Word of God is broader, wider and truer than we can possibly imagine, and each new generation that reads it, each new Christian who grows to love the Bible and really engages with it, adds a new layer of possibilities without ever exhausting the essential truth and grace and eternal, loving beauty that is the fundamental nature of God.

But the need to take context seriously was brought back to mind by an event last month, and a reading today.

July is the month when cemeteries all over Latvia hold ‘festivals’ (Kapu svētki); there’s a long and complex story behind this tradition, but in essence folk come together in their family homes and villages, tidy up and beautify their ancestors graves, and then attend a service at the cemetery (and in some places have something of a party graveside).


We went to our local festival, where the pastor led a service that was 1 hour and 15 minutes long; he quoted from the Enchiridion, a 16th century Pastor’s Handbook; and in essence, repeated over and over again that everyone who dies when not a faithful Christian goes to hell. Now this lengthy sermon was preached in a setting (context) where the vast majority of those lying at rest in the cemetery lived and died during Soviet times, and never heard the Gospel preached, never stood a chance of living a Christian life. Just imagine how you would feel if you were told over again that your much-loved mother, grandfather or brother is now suffering the torments of hell. No nuances, no hope, no kindness. This was an example of completely uncontextualized preaching, an interpretation of the Bible which left no space for grace or for God’s immeasurable love and power to act. Luckily, very few of the people in the cemetery stopped to listen to this tirade.

And today we remembered St Aidan, the Apostle to the Nortumbrians at our Evening Prayer at St Saviour’s.


We read from the Venerable Bede’s biographical sketch of this ancient, gentle bishop.

“It is said, that when King Oswald had asked a bishop of the Scots to administer the Word of faith to him and his nation, there was first sent to him another man of more harsh disposition, who, after preaching for some time to the English and meeting with no success, not being gladly heard by the people, returned home, and in an assembly of the elders reported, that he had not been able to do any good by his teaching to the nation to whom he had been sent, because they were intractable men, and of a stubborn and barbarous disposition.

They then, it is said, held a council and seriously debated what was to be done, being desirous that the nation should obtain the, salvation it demanded, but grieving that they had not received the preacher sent to them. Then said Aidan, who was also present in the council, to the priest in question, “Methinks, brother, that you were more severe to your unlearned hearers than you ought to have been, and did not at first, conformably to the Apostolic rule, give them the milk of more easy doctrine, till, being by degrees nourished with the Word of God, they should be capable of receiving that which is more perfect and of performing the higher precepts of God.”

Having heard these words, all present turned their attention to him and began diligently to weigh what he had said, and they decided that he was worthy to be made a bishop, and that he was the man who ought to be sent to instruct the unbelieving and unlearned; since he was found to be endued preeminently with the grace of discretion, which is the mother of the virtues. So they ordained him and sent him forth to preach; and, as time went on, his other virtues became apparent, as well as that temperate discretion which had marked him at first.”

This remarkable man, who died more than 1300 years ago, probably never used the word context. But he surely understood it.

Everlasting God,
You sent the gentle bishop Aidan to proclaim the gospel in [England];
Grant us to live as he taught
in simplicity, humility and love for the poor;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. AMEN. (Common Worship Collect for St Aidan)





Sunday 26 June 2016, referendum +3

This post is based on a sermon preached at St Saviour’s on Sunday 26 June.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

It has been quite a week. Personally, along with many millions of others, I was up until almost 5am on Friday, watching the unbelievable results roll in on the Brexit referendum; and up again just a couple of hours later to watch the first reactions, as well as PM David Cameron’s resignation live on TV. For many people, the result was devastating; a former colleague of mine, now living and working in Germany compared the feeling on Friday to the Berlin wall coming down in reverse – in other words, it seemed as though walls are being rebuilt, and the sadness is comparable to the joy we all felt back in November 1989, when the wall of death in Germany began to be broken down.

The main problem for many people has been the poor quality of the debate. The Leave Campaign have now admitted that their headline slogan was a lie, basically. They said that  about 350 million GBP are being taken by the EU from Britain each week, which could be spent on the National Health Service if Britain leaves; and the very next day after the referendum, one of the leading campaigners, Nigel Farage, said it had been a ‘mistake to promise that’.

IDS bus
Iain Duncan-Smith, another leading campaigner, has also reneged on the promise

There has also been scaremongering from Remain, with the Chancellor, of all people, saying that households in Britain will be worse off by 4300 GBP – around 5000 EUR – per year after Brexit, with no credible statistics to back up his claim. “The first casualty when war comes is truth” – said Hiram Johnson, a US Senator during WWI.  Truth has certainly been an early casualty in this campaign.

But very worrying, too, has been the inability to hear and accept what experts are saying; in fact a disdain for and dismissiveness of expertise and knowledge. “When the facts met the myths they were useless”, said Nicholas Barrett, a political journalist.  People preferred to listen to vague, high sounding promises and soundbites.

The Church Times, the Church of England’s newspaper, wrote this week:

“The referendum debate has been a divisive, brutal, dehumanising, victimising, bitter experience, and at times not even a debate; but now that the campaign is over, the UK must learn from its mistakes, and move towards reconciliation and healing within communities, church voices across the UK have said.

“Primates, bishops, archdeacons, chaplains, and academics made their views clear this week on how the country — its people and Government — had conducted themselves throughout the campaign, and on what the next step should be both for the Church and communities across the UK.

The referendum debate had “unleashed a kind of monster” of extremes, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan said. The public attitude, and language used, had been “venomous and offensive”, and risked spreading “from words to actions”, such as the recent rioting at the Euros [Euro 2016 Football Championships – Ed]

The risk was particularly high on immigration, Dr Morgan said in an interview with the Western Mail this week. “There’s been so much venom spoken about immigrants and immigration that people have come to believe almost anything. People have jumped in on the immigration issue, forgetting that whether we stay or whether we leave will make no difference to 50 per cent of the immigrants of this country. . .

“Quite reasonable, rational people get really hot under the collar about immigration, forgetting that our health service would collapse without it, and that many of the immigrants are in fact holding excellent jobs as doctors, consultants and academics.” ”


Let us look back at what St Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians. There is a clear warning there: “15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”

 But there is also a pointer to the way in which a debate might be conducted. Paul writes: “By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. […]. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.”

So, if as Christians we are filled with the Spirit, the fruit of that Spirit is love, and all those other lovely and love-filled characteristics follow. What Paul is not saying is that when we become Christians, we automatically become loving, patient, gentle and self-controlled, obviously and unfortunately. What Paul is saying is that as we live our Christian lives, the Spirit of Christ takes root in us, growing, flowering and eventually bringing fruit. As our psalm said today: “11 You show me the path of life.  In your presence there is fullness of joy;    in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.”

Against the rising tide of intolerance and hatred, racism, xenophobia, the polarisation between right and left which we are seeing, and not just in Europe, once again Christians are being called to be countercultural. The prophetic voice of the Church must be heard, speaking and living in a way that challenges ‘the monster of extremes’ that Archbishop Barry Morgan was speaking about. Or as St Paul said: enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions; such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Against this anger and intolerance, we speak and live in love, offering kindness and grace, being generous and gentle. That might sound weak, and a bit wishy-washy; but actually it isn’t. Walking against the flow is a struggle; living and speaking out against a growing culture of sheer nastiness is by no means easy.


What can we do? We are a small church here in Latvia, a small country; but maybe that’s what Elisha thought, when Elijah appeared out of the blue, and threw his mantle, his cape, over him.  What can God and his prophet possibly want with me, a ploughman? Why has Elijah appeared out of the blue, and called me to follow?

What can God possibly expect of St Saviour’s? We can’t save the world; we can’t save the European Union, obviously; but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t do anything. We can, each of us, set our faces to walk with Jesus, wherever that walk takes us; and we can pray for the Spirit to work within us more and more, bringing the fruits of love not only to ourselves, but to our families, our friends, our neighbourhood, our city, our land. And if we are called to speak and live prophetically, as Elisha was called, we must do that, too.



Psalm 16

1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.’

3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
in whom is all my delight.

4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
their drink-offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names upon my lips.

5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
I have a goodly heritage.

7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol,
or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11 You show me the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy;
in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.


1 Kings 19.15-16, 19-21

15Then the Lord said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16Also you shall anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah as prophet in your place.

19 So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was ploughing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. 20He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Go back again; for what have I done to you?’ 21He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.


Galatians 5.1, 13-25

51For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. 19Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.


Luke 9.51-end

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ 55But he turned and rebuked them. 56Then they went on to another village.

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 58And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 59To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ 60But Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ 61Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ 62Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’





Rulers come and go

This blog post was originally written for the ‘Reimagining Europe‘ project

Just days remain until the ‘Brexit’ referendum; on the whole, the view here from the Baltics is still one of bemusement. It seems perverse to most people here, in countries which have fought to achieve their right to belong to Europe, that anyone would deliberately choose to turn away from all that membership of the European Union brings in benefits – economic, political, cultural and philosophical.

Not long ago, my husband and I had the privilege of visiting Bulgaria. All countries in Europe have histories, many of them complex and painful; but Bulgaria’s legacy of history and culture is among the richest and most astonishing. In fact, at the very heart of Sofia lies ancient Serdica, which came close to being the capital of Constantine’s Roman Empire, instead of Byzantium.

The ruins of Roman Serdica


In modern Sofia, there are still clear traces of ancient Thrace, Rome, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, the Bulgarian national revival, the Soviet era – all brought together in the vibrant and self-confident city of today.

A ruined Communist-era monument

Looking at the clearly very mixed origins of passers-by in Sofia, it is obvious that there are many cultural strands that are woven together; but also that a distinct identity has been created from the weaving process. In our hotel, we found a magazine with a brief introduction to Bulgaria, which said something like this: Over the centuries invaders have come and gone. Rulers have come and gone; but the people remain.

Resting in the shade of St George’s Basilica

In today’s complex political situation, overlaid with anxiety about national sovereignity and the impact of migration, European societies, and the United Kingdom among them, are increasingly voicing fears about a loss of identity. And yet it is not membership of the EU which threatens identity, any more than migration or the threat of climate change. The greatest threat comes from within ourselves, and from the possibility that our fears and insecurities will change our core values and make us increasingly wary of the stranger and the vulnerable, increasingly hostile and inhospitable.  Conversely, it is clear that the greatest challenges to our civilisation will be much better handled together, jointly and in co-operation with other countries and nations in our region.

Identity has always been a fluid entity; and in the end, rulers and political unions will continue to come and go, but people remain.

Monument to Sofia at the heart of the modern city

Hellfire preaching. Or not.

Almost two years ago now, shortly after we moved to Latvia, we made a trip back to the UK for the wedding of a much loved niece. It was a GREAT wedding, with a mixture mostly of Latvian and Scottish guests, which turned out to be a brilliant combination. Singing, dancing, games, food – all lubricated with a modicum of locally sourced refreshment.


However, as an antidote to all the fun and jollity on Saturday night, on the Sunday morning I took myself up rather a steep hill  to the local Church of Scotland church. The congregation was not huge, and not terribly welcoming; but we were treated to a real old fashioned, hellfire and damnation sermon. This is not something to be recommended each week, but on this occasion it almost felt nostalgic. There was a solidity and ‘straightness’ to the preaching; and, of course, one felt suitably chastised afterwards.

church scotland

I was reminded of this in the last few days, when a Facebook comment about Women’s Ordination led to something of a discussion with a young pastor, who, by the sound of it, makes hellfire sermons something of a speciality. One short quote:

‘There are those Christians who keep to God’s Word, and then there are those who imagine themselves to be Christian, but for whom the Bible is more like literature…..Those who do not support Women’s Ordination know well that this is not a question of clericalism, but the authority of the Bible. Whoever has eyes to see, let them see how the dragon sweeps stars from the heavens with its tail’ (an indirect quote from Revelation 12)

…and there was a lot more about the duty of a pastor to point out the sins of their congregation members. For me, there are several problems with this mindset.

Firstly, the sins that such clerics choose to point out: which usually turn out to be homosexuality (that was the implication of the point my correspondent was making). Setting aside completely the tangled arguments about whether committed, faithful relationships between people of the same sex are sinful (and assuming that promiscuous, manipulative relationships between people of whatever sex are not only sinful in the eyes of the church, but often also risky, damaging both psychologically and physically), let us also assume that it is the minister’s job to keep pointing out sin to members. So – that includes lying, stealing, covetousness, adultery, disrespect of parents, and  – above all – not acknowledging that God is Lord, and that we are to have no other gods before God. All of those would be breaking the 10 Commandments; and yet we know that people around us commit all these grave sins all the time. When did you last hear of a dishonest billionaire being banned from church? [And Rupert Murdoch, a man about whom many have raised doubts concerning his probity, has just had his fourth marriage blessed in church…. in each case, his previous wife was still alive when he married the next one].

Secondly, while of course it is essential that we recognize our failures, our wrongdoing and sometimes just our sheer pigheadedness (or, in Christian jargon, sin), for most of our congregations, coming from a secular environment that has no notion of ‘sinfulness’, this is meaningless. In a world where greed is good, where sexual experimentation is lauded, and where often really the only sin is ‘to be caught’, hellfire preaching is so remote from people’s lives that I don’t believe they are able to hear or understand it. For people to be able to turn back to God (to ‘repent’ in Christian jargon) we have first to see that we are facing away from God; and only then can we expect ourselves to look at our lives in the light of God, of Jesus, of the Gospel, and begin to recognize our wrongness and distance, not just from God, but also from our fellow human beings.

All of this is, in any case, in stark contrast with the wondrous story of the Prodigal Son which we read in church this morning. Forgiveness, love and reconciliation, and no hellfire in sight.  So, with some hesitation and extreme diffidence, I offer up a different view on sin and forgiveness.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a wonderful story this is! Over the centuries Christians and people of all kinds and all ages have resonated to, been moved by, have wept and laughed at this parable. Without any sort of deep analysis, the simple of picture of the wayward, lost son returning home to be embraced by his Father is touching. For any of us who have ever hurt someone by our actions, and been worried about whether our victim will forgive us, this parable rings very true.

At the same time, I’d guess that many of us have also ever fantasised about taking revenge on someone who has hurt us. There was an extraordinary story in the British press some years ago. A rich man, a banker, stockbroker or something along those lines, cheated on his wife with a younger model. Nothing extraordinary in that: it happens, sadly, every day. You only have to look at the pictures of Rupert Murdoch with Jerry Hall to see how attractive money and power are when combined. Anyway, in this particular case, the abandoned wife decided to take her revenge. Her husband, being a rich man, had a very well-stocked wine cellar, with expensive, rare, aged wine. The collection was worth many thousands of pounds. So the wife took all his bottles of wine, and went round the village, giving them all away to all their neighbours, telling them they were presents from the husband. And I admit to some admiration for her imagination and desire for revenge; because, of course, it’s very human, normal, to feel like that. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back.

But that is where we need to remember the words from 2 Corinthians that we heard earlier. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! [2 Corinthians 5] Actually, perhaps we also need to remember the verse from the psalm this morning about not being like horses or mules, without understanding…. [ Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,    whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,  else it will not stay near you – Psalm 32.9]

But the point is that Paul is calling us to a new way of doing relationships, of living together with our fellow human beings, based in Christ, inspired by Christ through the Holy Spirit. This new family of Christ is to learn from their Lord, to imitate him, and be ambassadors for Christ in the world with a message of reconciliation.

And this leads us back to the beauty of the Gospel. For this is a worked example, if you like, of living reconciliation. The father is generous beyond belief to his son. He hands him his half of the inheritance – how much would that hurt! Not the money, but your child saying they would rather have your money, turning his back on you and leaving. And yet, when the son returns, no word of anger; no word of reproach; no turning away in disgust – and certainly no revenge or punishment.

Even more than that; the father doesn’t wait for him to come; abandoning all thoughts of dignity or care, or social status, he runs towards him, embracing him

And then – the father orders a feast, singing and dancing, beautiful new clothes, new sandals – whatever the son might have been fearing or worrying about, he certainly wasn’t expecting a warm welcome, unconditional love and open arms.

The Return of the Prodigal Son – Rembrandt

The son had done his father great wrong; he had hurt his father badly. He had sinned against him. But the ever-loving father, who surely represents God in this story, is that; he is ever loving. He doesn’t wait for the son to come and confess; he doesn’t demand penance, or for the son to give back the money he took. He doesn’t bother to tell his son off, explaining to him exactly where he has sinned; none of that. The father is just glad that his child is back home, that he is safe, and that he can hold him in his embrace once again.

This is such a lesson for us all, but especially for churches and ministers. For people, Christians – yes, we have this model before us, this ideal of reconciliation and forgiveness which we must struggle to live out, with God’s help. But churches, pastors, priests, bishops – this must be our model, too. Forgiveness of sin does not depend on what we do, ever; it springs, pours, gushes abundantly from God’s mercy. If God is waiting, like the Father in the story, to embrace his wandering children, what on earth are we doing, if we put hurdles and barriers in the way? Yes, say priests and church leaders – God will forgive you, but only if you make more effort to be good, only if you obey church rules, only if you say 25 Hail Mary’s.

Is that what the Father says to his returning son – yes, come home, but first promise me you will be good, first go and wash your dirty feet before you put on the new sandals? No! It is enough that the young man’s heart has turned back to his Father. He just opens his arms, his heart, his house, and orders a feast. For us, too, it is enough that our hearts turn back to our Father; once we turn back and come home, once we are forgiven and embraced, of course, our lives begin anew. We don’t know what the prodigal, reckless, returning and repentant son did next; of course. Did he start over, and live a decent, loving life with his father and his family? Probably; it would take a very wicked person to break his father’s heart all over again. And that, too, is a lesson for us; once we turn back, knowing ourselves to have been in the wrong, knowing that God loves us and forgives us – to use Paul’s words in the letter to Corinthians – once we are reconciled to God, we start to become new. We become ambassadors, messengers ourselves of God’s reconciling love.

Wonderful words; but challenging. But how different would the world look if we could only put them into practice in our daily lives, and in our relationships….”



Visi pieder, ieskaitot Tevi

Mateja evaņģēlijs 7.7-12

Lūdziet, un jums tiks dots, meklējiet, un jūs atradīsiet, klaudziniet, un jums atvērs. Ikviens, kas lūdz, saņem un, kas meklē, atrod, un tam, kas klaudzina, atvērs. Vai starp jums ir cilvēks, kas savam dēlam, ja tas lūgs maizi, dos akmeni? 1Vai, ja tas lūgs zivi, dos tam čūsku? Ja nu jūs, ļauni būdami, saviem bērniem dodat labas dāvanas, cik daudz vairāk laba jūsu debesu Tēvs dos tiem, kas viņu lūdz. Visu, ko jūs gribat, lai cilvēki jums dara, tāpat dariet arī jūs viņiem; jo tā ir bauslība un pravieši.

Toma lapiņa

Žēlastība jums un miers no Dieva mūsu Tēva un Kunga Jēzus Kristus.

Feisbuka reklāmā par šo Toma misi bija rakstīts:

“Toma mise ir dievkalpojums, kurā tradicionālais mijas ar inovatīvo. Parastā kārtība, kurā cilvēki kā pasīvi dievkalpojuma “apmeklētāji” sēž un no zināmas distances vēro mācītājus vai priesterus, tiek nojaukta. Katrs pats var izvēlēties, cik liela distance vai kopība nepieciešama. Tradicionālo ērģeļu vietā skan mūsdienīgi mūzikas instrumenti, uzruna nav gara. Dievkalpojumā paredzēti arī brīži klusumam vienatnē, tāpat ir iespējams personiski aprunāties ar mācītāju vai kopīgi aizlūgt, katrs dalībnieks var uzrakstīt savas lūgšanas, pateicības, jautājumus, “komplimentus Dievam” un aizdedzināt svecītes. Svētā Vakarēdiena saņemšana notiks nevis konkrētā vietā pie altāra, bet visā baznīcas telpā.

Dievkalpojuma nolūks ir radīt tādu garīgu telpu, kurā var ienākt un labi justies arī no baznīcas atsvešinājušies vai kritiski noskaņotie meklētāji un cilvēki, kam dažādu iemeslu dēļ tradicionālais dievkalpojums šķiet nesaprotams vai nepieejams. Gaidīti ir visi, kas ceļā – kā daudzi vai pat ikviens no mums.”

Pirmkārt – centīšos arī ņemt vērā norādījumu, ka ‘uzruna ir īsa’… Bet ja nopietni, svarīgākais par Toma misi, man šķiet, ir tas, ka zināmas lietas tiek nojauktas. Lietojot neierastu valodu dievkalpojuma kārtībā tiek nojaukti to cilvēku priekšstati par dievkalpojumu, kuri ik svētdienas nāk uz baznīcu. Lietojot šo neierasto, bet skaisto valodu, tiek arī, cerams, nojaukti šķēršļi tiem, kuriem baznīcas žargons ir svešs un pat nepieņemams. Tiek nojaukts attālums, vai barjeras, norobežojumi, starp garīdzniekiem un lajiem, dievkalpojuma apmeklētājiem. Tiek nojauktas telpiskās barjeras – baznīcas telpa kļūst fleksīblāka; mēs apdzīvojam, jeb mums ir iespēja apdzīvot, vairāk no baznīcas, nekā tikai sols, kurā sēžam, un šaurā taciņa līdz altāram.

Bet protams ir tā, ka tas netiek darīts tikai tāpēc, lai būtu inovācijas inovāciju dēļ. Doma ir tāda, ka pārmaiņas baznīcas izskatā, pārmaiņas mūsu šā vakara darbībā, atspoguļo zināmu patiesību, zināmu īstenību. Īsi sakot – to, ka cenšamies novākt kavēkļus mūsu ikviena meklējumiem, mūsu dzīves un ticības ceļam, kas šovakar vijas caur Lutera baznīcu.

Atgriežamies pie Bībeles vārdiem.

Lūdziet, un jums tiks dots, meklējiet, un jūs atradīsiet, klaudziniet, un jums atvērs. Ikviens, kas lūdz, saņem un, kas meklē, atrod, un tam, kas klaudzina, atvērs.

Te parādās kaut kas ļoti interesants. Lūdziet, un jums tiks dots; bet kas tiks dots? Te nav teikts, ka mums tiks dots tas, par kuru tieši lūdzamies. meklējiet, un jūs atradīsiet, bet ko mēs tieši atradīsim? klaudziniet, un jums atvērs; jā, bet ko mēs ieraudzīsim durvju otrajā pusē?

Būtībā šie vārdi mums nesola mūsu vajadzību apmierinājumu; nesola problēmu atrisinājumu, nesola arī ātru piekļuvi vietai, kuru meklējam – vienalga, vai tas ko meklējam ir laime, pārticība, drošība. Solījums ir tāds, ka mūsu lūgšanas kāds klausās, ka mūsu meklējumi nav veltīgi, un lai mēs ieraudzītu nākošo telpu, mums ir tikai jāpaceļ rokas un jāklauvē . Tātad mēs tiekam drošināti –  ir labi meklēt;  ir labi lūgt un klauvēt, lai mums atver. Svarīgais, tātad, ir tas, ka esam procesā, nevis tas, ka zinām savu gala mērķi. Ir svētīgi, svētīti tie cilvēki, kuri apzinās, ka viņiem nav visas atbildes, bet kuri turpina meklēt. Ir svētīgi tie cilvēki, kuri lūdzas, arī tumsā, bēdās, neticības brīžos; ir svētīti un laimīgi tie cilvēki, kuri turpina klauvēt, arī tad, kad liekas, ka nav neviena, kas nāks un durvis atvērs.

Un tā ir arī Toma mises dziļākā jēga, kuru cenšamies ar dievkalpojuma iekārtojumu veicināt. Nelikt šķēršļus, bet veicināt katra cilvēka lūgšanu, meklēšanu un klauvēšanu. Katra cilvēka. Te nav uzstādījuma par to, kas ir pareizais ceļš, kas ir pareiza lūgšana, kuŗš meklētājs pareizs, kurš pieņemts, kurš nepieņemts.

Un, kā Jēzus saka pēdējos šā vakara lasījuma vārdos – Visu,  ko jūs gribat, lai cilvēki jums dara, tāpat dariet arī jūs viņiem; jo tā ir bauslība un pravieši. Tā atļaujiet nobeigt ar Ričarda Rora viedajiem vārdiem.

“Ja uzmanīgi lasāt Evaņģēlija tekstus, pamanīsiet, ka vienīgie, kurus Jēzus šķietami izslēdz, ir tie, kuri paši izslēdz citus. Izslēgšanu varētu aprakstīt ka centrālo grēku. Nemetiet zemē laiku atstumjot, izslēdzot, atstādinot vai nosodot nevienu cilvēku vai arī ko citu. Visi pieder, ieskaitot tevi.”


Carols and mysogyny

A few days ago one of the news portals here in Latvia contacted me, and asked me to share some thoughts about a special song, book, object or poem that typified Christmas for me. Without even a minute’s thought, the wonderful Praetorius carol Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (Es skaistu rozīt’ zinu) sprang into my mind. On Christmas Eve, when we have for my entire life gathered around the Christmas tree, firstly with my parents and family when a child, later with our own children, and now with their partners, we have always done the traditional (or possibly old-fashioned) Latvian thing. We sing a carol, someone recites a poem, we sing again and so on. It is, without doubt, the loveliest moment of the year, with its layer upon layer of memory and relationship built in. It always feels as though the centuries roll together, and all our ancestors and unborn children join with us; and for a moment or two it seems possible that Archbishop Tutu’s words are brought to life among us, as Christ rests in our midst and sings with us.

Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through Him who loves us.

So I wrote a pretty anodyne piece for; and had a quick look today when a friend shared it on Facebook. It’s here if you want to have a look.

Astonishingly, there are 34 comments on there – 33 of which range from dismissive through poisonous to positively hateful. Why on earth would my soft focus view on a beautiful carol turf up such awful stuff? Among the comments are ones on my appearance (apparently I look genderless), about the inability of women to be leaders, about St Saviour’s as a nest of depravity because of our inclusive nature, and a call for paedophiles to be castrated (no, I don’t know either). This is, basically, mysogyny – a deeply held dislike or contempt for women, irrational and degrading to the hater.

I guess that none of the commentators will read this blog; but I would love to ask them what it was that induced them to pour out anonymous poison in response to a message that was, basically, sentimental and kind. It won’t affect any future singings of Es skaistu rozīt’ zinu with my family, or in church; but I am truly saddened by the mysogynistic nature of the comments, and so sorry for the people who felt called to respond to something beautiful with hate and nastiness. So to get over that – here’s a wonderful recording of the carol, (please do watch – it’s simply lovely!) just to remind us that Good is, indeed, stronger than Evil; and faith is greater than a few twisted individuals.


My name is Jana and I am an Archers Addict.

Those who know me well know not to call me or talk to me  from 7-7.15pm (whatever the GMT equivalent is, because – thanks to the internet, it’s possible to listen almost anywhere in the world), because it’s Archers time. An everyday story of country folk, as it used to be called: but now more of a soap opera based around a village called Ambridge in a fictional county in the heart of rural England. Sorry, but there we are: my name is Jāna, and I am an Archers addict. I even belong to a Facebook group called Ambridge Addicts – not so much therapy as feeding the addiction, sadly.

So far, so not very interesting and slightly humiliating. But the point of this blog is that over recent months the plot line in The Archers has included a developing drama around a clearly sociopathic/psychopathic/disordered personality character. Rob Titchener charmed a lonely, vulnerable single mother into marrying him, but at the same time he is extraordinarily manipulative, a chronic liar, occasionally verbally and physically violent and entirely unscrupulous in his dealings with others. And this has caused an explosion of reactions among listeners, and Facebook commenters.

Many of those reacting are simply bored by this long story line; but others have been distressed, and have suffered from a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction, because they – well, we  ourselves have suffered at the hands of our own sociopaths, and the trauma this leaves behind is often lifelong and extraordinarily damaging. I also find myself listening from behind a metaphorical sofa, as the all too recognisable phrases trip off Rob’s tongue. Whoever is in the writing team for this line has certainly researched personality disorders very thoroughly.

But it probably is valuable, if it helps even a handful of people to realise that they too may be being abused by a sociopath (I’m not proposing to explain the differences, such as they are, between psychopaths, sociopaths and those with personality disorders: one version can be found here) . As there may be as many as 10% of the population who are affected in this way, there are a large number out there, and all of us will come across someone like that sooner or later. Here are a few pointers which may tell you that you are in the presence of someone with a personality disorder.

  1. One day they are charming and attentive to you, making you feel that you really matter to them; and the next time you meet they ignore you completely.
  2. They tell you lies all the time – sometimes to save their own face, but sometimes senselessly
  3. Nothing is ever their fault. Someone else is to blame for all that goes wrong.
  4. You have a minor disagreement, and it blows out of all proportion. None of your usual strategies for resolving conflicts work.
  5. They ‘gaslight’ you:
    Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity. (from Wikipedia)
  6. Often they will pursue you for vengeance, especially if you manage to overcome them in a conflict. In some cases, this will stretch to stalking, cyberharrasment, domestic abuse, physical or psychological violence.
  7. And crucially, and this is what Ambridge Addicts are doing at the moment – the sociopath occupies your headspace, often to the exclusion of all else. You find yourself worrying what they are doing, what they might do, trying desperately to understand why things don’t work between you; even when all falls silent, you worry about what is being planned next.

As a minister of religion it seems very distressing  that the church is particularly vulnerable to the depredations of sociopaths, both in congregations and among ordained ministers. In churches and other faith institutions, we have a presumption that people are going to be well-intentioned, truthful and will want to do their best for others. It can take a very long time for ministers with personality disorders to be uncovered, and meantime they leave a trail of havoc behind them (watch out for the pastor who hops from church to church, from denomination to denomination). Who actually wants to challenge the bishop who tells lies, or the vicar who preaches such wonderful sermons, but you have a horrible feeling they might be dipping their hand into the collection basket? It is difficult to do in the faith context.

When the sociopath harassing me was at their worst, I asked a wise old pastor for advice and help. Partly this was simply because I didn’t know what to do, but partly also because I was wrestling with a theological question. Sociopaths can’t, in a sense, be blamed for their conduct, as they often have almost no insight into their true nature. Most are never diagnosed by a psychologist, as they wouldn’t dream of going near one. There is no treatment as such, as this is not an illness; the exception is for the small number of people with personality disorders who have some awareness of their problem, and are willing to work hard with a psychologist to at least modify their behaviour, if they are aware of how damaging they are, and if they care.

So, for a Christian, the question is – where does salvation lie for the sociopath? If someone is quite unable to see their wrong behaviour, their sins, for what they are, they are also unable to confess them honestly, and be forgiven. They also cannot repair their relationships with other people, for the same reason. At the same time, the self-obsession of most people with personality disorders makes ‘repentance’ – metanoia – a change of focus towards God impossible.

The wise old pastor said something along the lines of ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ (Matthew 19.26) He told me to keep praying for the sociopath, and to pray for myself to be able to forgive them, and to leave the rest to God’s grace.

And all that stems from a soap opera story line.





Referāts nolasīts 2015.g. 28.oktobrī Latvijas evaņģēliski luteriskās baznīcas mācītāju konferencē

Sievietes ordinācija Vārda un Sakramenta kalpošanā – cits viedoklis

Paldies arhibīskapam Jānim Vanagam un šīs konferences rīkotājiem par to, ka esat mani aicinājuši runāt par šo tēmu, kura, kā varat iedomāties, ir tuva manai sirdij.

sievietes SO 20 jub
Sieviešu ordinācijai Latvijā 20. gadadienā – bilde no Indras Skujas-Grīsles


Uzrunas shēma: mana doma nav censties atspēkot katru iespējamo tēzi, kas apšaubītu to, ka Sieviešu ordinācija nav pretrunā ar Bībeli, un ir baznīcas tradīcījas attīstība, nevis noliegšana vai atkrišana no īstās, tīrās ticības. Teoloģiskos argumentus varat atrast konspektīvā veidā vai nu dokumentā no Austrālijas luterāņu baznīcas, vai arī māc Mārtiņa Urdzes rakstā. Tā vietā

  • sniegšu īsu pārskatu par Sieviešu ordināciju luterāņu pasaulē;
  • kā piemēru minēšu Austrālijas luterāņu baznīcas pēdējo gadu diskusijas par šo jautājumu
  • apskatīšu pamatu diskusijām
  • konspektīvi iztirzāšu vienu no klasiskajiem tekstiem
  • īsumā komentēšu to, ko Mārtiņš Luters par sievietēm teicis
  • apskatīšu vienu īpašu aspektu – SO ietekmi uz ekumēniskām attiecībām

Bet vispirms mazliet par mani, lai jūs zinātu, kādi dzīves piedzīvojumi mani atveduši šeit, un veidojuši mani kā mācītāju. Esmu dzimusi Londonā, bēgļu ģimenē; tēvs Alberts Jērums bija komponists, koru diriģents, Dziesmu svētku rīkotājs un virsdiriģents, un ilggadīgs ērģelnieks latviešu un igauņu draudzēs Londonā. Māte Lauma, dzimusi Grigora, bija māc Augusta Grigora meita; viņš, savukārt, bija pirmajā Teoloģijas fakultātes izlaidumā 1924.gada pavasarī, tika ordinēts kā mācītājs, un dibināja Rīgas Kristus draudzi, ar tās īpašo kalpošanu neredzīgajiem, jo vecais tēvs pats bija neredzīgs. Diemžēl, viņam nebija ilgi lemts kalpot, jo jau 1926.g. viņš negadījuma rezultātā gāja bojā.

Augusts Grigors
Mana vecmāmiņa, Šarlote, māte Lauma, un vectēvs māc Augusts Grigors

Augot Londonas ļoti aktīvaja latviešu sabiedrībā, palīdzot tēvam ar sabiedriskiem darbiem, mācoties arī pa vidu mūziku un brīžiem asistējot viņam pie ērģelēm, latviešu draudžu dzīve trimdā bija neatņemama sastāvdaļa no manas bērnības un jaunības; tāpat gan man, gan arī manam vīram tikai ieaudzināta mīlestība pret Latviju, un sapnis par to, ka kādā brīdī tomēr varēsim ‘atgriezties’ Latvijā.

Pie teoloģijas studijām pievērsos samērā vēlu, kad bērni bija jau paaugušies; un kopš ordinācijas 1997.gadā esmu kalpojusi gan Latvijas evaņģēliski luteriskajā baznīcā ārpus Latvijas, gan Lielbritānijas luterāņu baznīcā. Biju arī baznīcas prāveste, un vēlāk bīskape; kalpoju Lielbritānijas luterāņu padomes valdē, Anglikāņu luterāņu biedrībā ka Moderatore, Anglijas baznīcu kopienā (Churches Together in England) kā Prezidente. Esmu arī piedalījusies ekumēniskos dialogos un konferencēs, pārstāvot vai nu LELBĀL, vai arī Lielbritānijas luterāņus.

Visu to stāstu nevis pašreklāmas dēļ, bet lai paskaidrotu to, ka baznīca un kalpošana man ir gandrīz ierakstītas gēnās; un arī ka tas, kas notiek baznīcā Latvijā man ir ārkārtīgi nozīmīgi. Es neesmu, un nevaru būt, vienaldzīga par šo Kristus miesas daļu kas ir mani lolojusi, un kuru esmu caur daudziem gadiem mīlējusi un tai kalpojusi.

  1. Sieviešu ordinācija luterāņu baznīcās

Šajā sadaļā runāšu galvenokārt par PLF sastāvošajām luterāņu baznīcām, tā vispirms mazliet atgādināsim, tieši kas ir Pasaules luterāņu federācija.

  • PLF sastāv
    • 145 baznīcas
    • 98 zemēs
    • >72 miljoni kristiešu
  • Salīdzinājumam – Starptautiskā luterāņu padome (ILC) – 30 baznīcas; 4,3 miljoni locekļu
  • Prezidents bīskaps Munibs Junans (Mounib Younan), Evaņģēliski luteriskās baznīcas Jordānā un Svētajā zemē bīskaps
Bp Younan
1. no kr – bīskaps Junans, Lielās piektdienas gājienā Jeruzālemē 2015.g.
  • PLF ir dibināta 1947.g. kā luterāņu baznīcu apvienība. Luterticīgie visā pasaulē vēlējas apzināties savu vainu 2.Pasaules karā, reflektēt, panākt savstarpēju salīdzināšanos un reaģēt ar kopīgu diakonisko darbu uz humanitāro krīzi, kura sekoja 2. PK.
  • PLF prioritātes šodien: teoloģija, ekumēniskie sakari un dialogi; vienota (holistiska) misija un diakonijas darbs
  • PLF ‘Department for World Service’ (budžets EUR 88,2 miljoni)


Tātad no šīs lielās baznīcu kopienas, cik daudz ordinē sievietes?  77% baznīcu ordinē, un tajās sastāv 93% no PLF luterāņiem.

Starptautiskās luterāņu padomes baznīcas neordinē sievietes; SLP lielākā baznīca, protams, ir Misūri sinode (apmēram 3,3 no 4,3 miljoniem), un arī tur ir izveidojusies organizācija, kas mēģina rosināt diskusiju par SO.


Protams, ka tas, ka lielais vairums luterāņu baznīcu ordinē sievietes pats par sevīm nenozīmē, ka tas ir ipso facto pareizi, ka tas atbilst Dieva gribai, vai ka LELB būtu jāpielāgojas, un arī jāatsāk ordinēšanu. Tieši otrādi: PLF, kā baznīcu kopiena – federācija ar zinamām komūnijas iezīmēm – nepieprasa kategoriski no savām baznīcām ka tām būtu vienots viedoklis visās lietās, vai arī ka būtu jābūt vienam, itkai pareizam, baznīcas vadības modelim; un PLF cenšas veicināt to, ka katra baznīca pieiet baznīcas vadības jautājumiem pēc iespējas atklātā un atbildīgā veidā.

Bet viena lieta gan: visas baznīcas, kuras ir izlēmušas sievietes ordinēt, ir to darījušas apzināti; pēc garām diskusijām, lūgšanām, pārrunām draudzēs, sinodēs, diacēzēs, konferencēs utt. Tas nav bijis tā, ka tā būtu vienkārši pakļaušanās laika garam, vai atsaucoties uz cilvēktiesībām, vai sekulārās sieviešu vienlīdzības kustības iespaidā; tas nav tā, ka visas šīs baznīcas no Somijas līdz Indijai, un no Hongkongas līdz Krievijai, nebūtu lasījušas Bībeli, centušās to saprast un attiecināt uz savām dzīvēm un savām baznīcām.

Luterāņu baznīcas, kuras ordinē sievietes, tātad, ir nākušas pie slēdziena, ka

  • SO ir iespējams pamatot vai attaisnot Dieva vārdā, kā tas atrodams Bībelē
  • Jeb vismaz SO nav pretrunā ar Dieva Vārdu
  • SO nav nesaskaņojama ar evaņģēliski luterisko ticību, tas konfesijām, teoloģijas pamatiem un attīstībai, un
  • SO nav nesaskaņojama ar luterisko baznīcu tradīcijām

Tā pirmais princips, kuru man gribētos atzīmēt ir tas: šajā diskusijā ir nepieciešams, ka visi viens otru respektē. Tas tiešam neveicina izlīdzināšanos un sadzīvošanu, ja mēs mētājamies ar apvainojumiem – ja SO atbalstītājus sauc par Sātana kalpiem un ķeceriem; un ja pretiniekus sauc par atpakalpalikušiem un sieviešu nīdējiem. Respektēsim viens otru, kā kristīgām māsām un kristīgiem brāļiem pienākas.

Kā piemēru labam procesam, pievērsisimies Austrālijas luterāņu baznīcai, kura jau ilgāku laiku pārrunā SO un ar to saistītus jautājumus.


Austrālijas luterāņu baznīca – vērtīgs piemērs

1966. gadā, kad ALB piedzima no divu iepriekšējo Austrālijas luterāņu baznīcu apvienošanās, pamata nostādnes jaunajai baznīcai par SO teica tā:

“Though women prophets were used by the Spirit of God in the Old as well as in the New Testament, 1 Cor. 14:34-35 and 1 Tim. 2:11-14 prohibit a woman from being called into the office of the public ministry for the proclamation of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments.”

Tātad: lai gan Dieva Gars runāja caur pravietēm kā Vecajā, tā arī Jaunajā Derībā, 1 Korintiešu vestule 14.34-35 un 1 vēstule Timotejam 2.11-14 aizliedz vokāciju sievietēm publiskās kalpošanā Dieva Vārda paušanai un Sakramentu pārvaldīšanai.” Arī angļu valodā tas izklausās dīvaini, starp citu – sievietēm tiek aizliegta vokācija, nevis kalpošana.

Tā arī ALB neordinē sievietes, un varētu teikt, ka visumā tā ir piederējusi t.s. konservatīvā baznīcas spārna, lai gan dažādu iemeslu dēļ tai ir vienmēr bijusi nosliece uz frakcionālismu, un brīžiem uz ļoti asām domu izmaiņām. ALB, starp citu, ir novērotājas statuss kā PLF, tā arī SLP.

Bet jau ļoti drīz pēc 1966.g. apvienošanās, jautājums par sieviešu ordināciju sāka parādīties. Viens iemesls tam bija fakts, ka iepriekšējām baznīcām apvienojoties, nenotika diskusija par SO, jo abu baznīcu nostājas bija vienādas. Bez tam, ņemot vērā to, ka daudzas ALB partnerbaznīcas bija sākušas ordinēt sievietes, tad ALB Teoloģijas un starp baznīcu attiecību komisija sāka ilgstoši šo jautājumu pētīt. 2000.g. Sinodē ši komisija prezentēja savu viedokli – resp. ka

„pēc daudzu gadu abu galveno Bībeles tekstu, kā arī citu, saistītu, Bībeles tekstu, teoloģisku argumentu par un pret sieviešu ordināciju izpētes, un pēc spraigām diskusijām un debatēm, vairums komisijas locekļu atbalstīja viedokli, ka – visu vērā ņemot – Bībele neaizliedz sieviešu ordināciju. Šis niansētais lēmums norādīja uz to, ka bibliskā liecība pret SO nebija tik stipra kā liecība par to, ka sievietes atļauj ordinēt.”[1]

Šī pati komisija dažus gadus vēlāk arī sagatavoja ‘par’ un ‘pret’ argumentus konspektīvā veidā; arī jums visiem ir izdalīts dokuments (2 A4 lapaspuses), kur ir ‘par’ argumentu kopsavilkums.

Bez tam, ALB un tās draudzēs ir notikuši pārrunu vakari lajiem un mācītājiem, teoloģiski forumi un diskusijas; un pēdējos gados arī izveidota šī mājas lapa – ‘Ordination – We’re Listening’ [OWL – pūce] – ‘Ordinācija – mēs klausāmies’. Šajā lapā (zinu, ka nevarat saredzēt visu) ir 28 dokumenti, bukleti un citi resursi, kurus draudzes un indivīdi var izmantot, lai palīdzētu veidot diskusiju.

ALB Sinode ir balsojusi 3 reizes par SO atļaušanu savā baznīcā – 2000.g., 2006.g. un pavisam nesen – 2015.g. Katru reizi vairāk nekā 50% delegātu ir nobalsojuši par; bet tā kā ir runa par satversmes maiņu, ir nepieciešams 66% delegātu vairākums: šogad bija 64% balsu. Līdz ar to, ALB nemaina savu Satversmi, un SO vēl arvien nav atļauta.

Protams, ka arī šajā procesā ir bijuši savi asumi, un pats par sevi saprotams, ka cilvēki gan vienā, gan otra diskusijas pusā brīžiem jutušies aizskārti, pat sāpināti. Bet visumā, no tālienes skatoties, un cik saprotu no paziņām Austrālijā, pats process ir bijis vērtīgs, atļaujot kā mācītājiem, tā lajiem iedziļināties Bībeles tekstos, un t.s. drošā vietā oponentiem satikties, un tiešām ne tikai runāt, bet arī vienam otru uzklausīt.

1 Korintiešu vēstule 14.34-35

„34 Sievas lai draudzē klusē, jo viņām nav ļauts runāt, bet lai viņas paliek bauslības noteiktajā paklausībā. 35 Bet, ja viņas grib ko mācīties, lai izjautā mājās savus vīrus, jo sievai ir apkaunojoši runāt draudzē.”


Par šo tekstu un tā ekseģēzi ir ļoti daudz rakstīts. Varat paši paskatīties prof Daces Balodes rakstu, kas publicēts LLSTA mājas lapā, piemēram; jebkurā Bībeles komentārā arī būs viedoklis, un starp labākām grāmatām, kas izsmeļoši iztirzā abas vēstules korintiešiem, ir Bena Vitheringtona Socio-retoriskais komentārs par 1. un 2. korintiešiem[2]; bet tādu ir daudz.

Tātad – rezumējot galvenos argumentus tieši par šo tekstu


  1. Ir ļoti daudz runāts un rakstīts par to, vai 33b-35 ir vēlāks iestarpinājums tekstā. Netaisos to visu šeit atkārtot, jo tas prasītu vēl veselu atsevišķu referātu. No vienas puses, teksts arī ir loģiskāks bez iestarpinājuma; un ir arī pretrunīgas liecības par to, vai šie panti ir bijuši daļa no oriģinālās vēstules. Dažos agros manuskriptos tas parādās šai vietā, citos nē; dažos (Rietumu manuskriptos) tas atrodas pēc 40.panta, kur arī izklausas itkā loģiskāk. Kas ierakstījis, kurā brīdi – to laikam neiespējams pierādīt. Bet viens diezgan pārliecinošs arguments ir šāds:      “Iespaidīgākā liecība par to [ka Pāvils nav šo pantu autors] ir fakts, ka 34-35. panti atrodas aiz 40.panta vairākos Rietumu baznīcu manuskriptos. Šās teksta pārvietošanas dēļ, daudzi pētnieki uzskata, ka 34-35.panti sākotnēji bija anotācija 1.korintiešu vēstules lapaspuses malās, ‘nepauliskas’ rokas rakstīti; bet ar laiku tika ievietoti vēlākos manuskriptos (pēc 33.panta dažos, pēc 40.panta citos)”[3] Tā Filips Abots Peperdainas universitātē. Katrā ziņā, rakstīts par šo tēmu ir ļoti daudz – arī latvietei Aļesjai Lavrinovičai ir pētījums, kuru diemžēl nevarēju laikā atrast; bet nešaubos, ka varam to izdarīt un nosūtīt, ja kādam interesē.


  1. Interesantāks faktiski ir vispārējais pantu konteksts. Pirmkārt, jāatceras, ka šo vēstuli jaunajai baznīcai Korintā Pāvils raksta kā atbildi uz problēmām, konfliktiem un jautājumiem, kas tur bija radušies. Šī tiešām ir vēstule, kas rakstīta zināmiem cilvēkiem, Pāvilam pazīstamā konteksta, un ļoti specifiskos jautājumos. Šajā vēstules daļā (no 11.-14.nodaļai) Pāvils raksta par to, kā baznīcas locekļiem jāregulē dievkalpojumu norisi, un kā kristiešiem dievkalpojumos jāuzvedas; kā ir teikts 14.40 – Tomēr viss lai notiek piedienigi un kārtīgi; un 14.23 – Ja nu visa draudze sanāks kopā, un visi runās mēlēs un ienāks kādi nezinātāji vai neticīgie, vai viņi nesacīs, ka esat traki? Tā viens no Pāvila mērķiem, šo vēstuli rakstot, ir saglabāt kārtību baznīcā, lai tā nebūtu par skandālu – klupšanas akmeni – neticīgajiem. Tā profesore Karena Blumkvista, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (Klusā okeāna luterāņu teoloģijas semināra) dekāne, bijusī PLF Teoloģijas departamenta vadītāja:

“Ir iespējams pieņemt šos tekstus kā autoritatīvus, bet tomēr tos lasīt ka sieviešu ordināciju pieļaujošus. 1 Korintiešu vēstules 14.nodaļas konteksts ir tāds, ka agrajā baznīcā dievkalpojumi visticamāk bija kluvuši nekārtīgi, un nesa neslavu jaunajai ticībai. Pāvils, kurš daudzos citos tekstos pieļāva sieviešu vienlīdzību un piedalīšanos, šeit atkrīt atpakaļ savos patriarhalos aizspriedumos, un aicina apklusināt sievietes kā vienu iespējamu situācijas atrisinājumu. Pāvils aicināja sievietes klusēt, lai panāktu kārtību un pielāgošanos vietējai kultūrai, lai evaņģēlijs būtu dzirdāms, un to publiski neapkaunotu. Vairumā mūsdienu sabiedrībās sieviešu publiskā runāšana nav ne kulturāli apvainojoša, ne arī tā noved uz nekārtībām…. Vēl vairāk, mūsdienu kontekstā aizliegt sievietēm sprediķot drīzak diskreditēs baznīcu un evaņģēliju. Citos vārdos, 1 Korintiešu 14 mērķi drīzāk sasniegsim šodien, darot precīzi pretējo Pāvila toreiz teiktajam!”[4]

Mazliet citāds viedoklis: “Arguments nav attiecināms uz vienu dzimumu. Pāvils pieprasa respektu, paklausību un klusumu no ikviena, kad runā kāds pravietis (28.-32.p), un veids, kā viņš apietas ar sievietēm, kuras uzdod jautājumus, ir vispārēju principu, kas jau agrāk attiecināti uz visiem, specifisks pielietojums. Jāpieņem, ka viņš īpasī uzrunā šīs sievietes tāpēc, ka bija dzirdējis, ka viņas uzkrītoši pārkāpj šos principus. Viscaur nodaļai Pāvils labo pārkāpumus, un viņa vārdi jālasa šādā kontekstā.”[5]


No šiem dažiem piemēriem, gan par teksta integritāti, gan par kontekstu, var arī saprast, cik ļoti viedokļi atšķiŗas kristiešu, teologu, Jaunās derības pētnieku un profesoru vidū.


  1. Vēl pāris domu. Pirmkārt, par vārdu, ar kuru tiek aprakstīta šī aizliegtā sieviešu nodarbošanās, resp. runāt; λαλεῖν. Manā grieķu leksikonā šo vārdu tulko angliski kā talk, speak, utter, babble; noteikti būs šeit kāds, kas varēs izlabot, ja man nav taisnība, bet cik varu saprast, šo vārdu neattiecina uz spredikošanu – vai sludināšanu, Dieva vārda sludināšanu, kā to Jaunajā derībā apraksta. Vārdi, kas apraksta sludināšanu ir παρήγγειλλω, εὐαγγελιζω, καταγγελλω, κηρύσσω; arī par Marijas Magdalēnas sludināšanu/ vēstījumu Jāņa ev 20.18 – αγγελλω. Bet īpatnā kārta, vārds λαλεῖν tiek lietots 1 Kor 14: 39.pantā – Tad nu, brāļi, tiecieties pravietot un neliedziet runāt mēlēs; arī, piemēram, 29.pantā: Bet tie, kas pravieto, lai runā divi vai trīs, un citi lai apspriež. Tātad vārds λαλεῖν šeit tiek attiecināts uz runāšanu mēlēs, un arī uz pravietošanu, un varētu domāt, ka uz to attiecas šie panti, aizliedzot sievietēm pravietot. Bet; 11.nodaļā, kur Pāvils apcer galvas apsegus, ir rakstīts tā: ‘Un ikviena sieva, kas ar neapsegtu galvu lūdz vai pravieto, apkauno savu galvu’ (11.4); un Apustuļu darbos 21.9 Lūka raksta, ka evaņģēlistam Filipam bija četras meitas, jaunavas, kas pravietoja. °


  1. Viens izskaidrojums aizliegumam sievietēm draudzēs (sapulcēs – ἐκκλησία, kā vien mēs to vēlamies tulkot) ir šāds; neapšaubāmi bija tā, ka 1.g.s. sievietēm bija zemāks izglītības līmenis. Viņas reti rakstīja un lasīja, par teoloģisku izglītību nemaz nerunājot. Un grieķu prakse, piemēram, Delfu orākulā, bija klātesošo dialogs ar orākula pravieti; iespējams, ka Korintā sievietes arī pārtrauca dievkalpojumu ar jautājumiem, un tāpēc Pāvils saka, lai viņas mājas prasa vīriem atbildes. Otrs variants – ja līdzīgi sinagogām sievietes sēdēja vienkopus, nepiedalījās dievkalpojumā bet vienkārši klačoja, viņas traucēja dievkalpojumu gaitu.


  1. Un visbeidzot: Ko secinām? Manuprāt, ka ir grūti no šiem pantiem, īpaši visas Jaunās derības kontekstā, secināt pat to, kas faktiski ir bijusi agrās baznīcas prakse attiecībā uz sievietēm, kur nu vēl domāt, ka varam to kaut kādā burtiskā veidā pārnest uz mūsu ‘ekklēzijām’ 21.g.s. Ja tiešām uzskatām, ka gribām tulkot šos pantus burtiski, attiecināt uz mūsdienu baznīcām un pavēlēt sievām draudzēs klusēt, tad tā ir vienkārša lieta: tad sievietes vispār nedrīkst runāt vai sprediķot, vadīt lūgšanas, lasīt lasījumus – nemaz nerunājot par to, ka varētu kalpot kā palīgmācītājas, evaņģēlistes, mācītāja pienākumu izpildītājas vai tml. Jo te nav runa par to, kā Pāvils aizliedz sievietes ordinēt. Ordinācija, galu galā, ir vokācijas un baznīcas kārtības jautajums; kā raksta Mārtiņš Luters 1523. g. traktātā Bohēmijas Hussītiem, Sacerdotum non esse quod presbyterum vel min­istrum, illum nasce, hunc fieri; Priesteris nav tas pats kā presbiters vai kalpotājs – par pirmo piedzimst, par otro kļūst.[6] Respektīvi, mēs ikviens piederam Kristus priesterībai – visu ticīgo un kristīto priesterībai; bet par mācītāju mēs kļūstam ar Dieva aicinājumu, baznīcas apstiprinājumu un konsekrāciju/ordināciju.


Mārtiņš Luters un sievietes

Kā daudzos jautājumos, Lutera domas par sievietēm un to lomu baznīcā un dzīvē raksturo divi faktori; pirmkārt, nav viena definitīva raksta, kuŗā Luters t.s. saliktu pa plauktiem savas domas un teoloģiskās nostādnes attiecībā uz sievietēm. Tas, ko mēs zinām par viņa uzskatiem, ir jāizloba no vairākiem avotiem, to skaitā Lutera vēstules sievai Katerinai fon Bora. Otrkārt, Luters ir brīžiem pretrunīgs savos uzskatos. Bez tam, mums der atcerēties, kā teica angļu rakstnieks LP Hartlejs, Pagātne ir sveša zemē. Tur dara lietas citādāk. Ar šodienas ausīm un socioloģiskām smalkjūtībām klausoties Lutera izteicienos, brīžiem nobālēsim un būsim pārsteigti par viņa viedokļiem, brutālo valodu un raupjumu.


Dažas piezīmes par Luteru, tātad. Lutera domas par sievieti vispār:

”Dr Mārtiņš Luters apsmēja savu Kēti, kas gribēja būt gudra, un teica: ‘Dievs radīja vīrieti ar platām krūtīm, ne ar platām gūžām, lai tanī savā ķermeņa daļā būtu gudrs; bet tā daļa, no kurienes nāk netīrumi, ir maza. Sievietes gadījumā ir otrādi. Tāpēc viņai ir tik daudz netīrumu un tik maz gudrības.”[7]


“Sievietei nevar uzticēties. Par sievietēm saka, ka nevar nevienu noslēpumu viņām uzticēt. Luters atbildēja: ‘Senie sakāmvārdi to aizliedz. Jo tas, kas ieiet caur sievietes ausīm, iznāk laukā cauri mutei. Šī iemesla dēļ, noslēpumus var uzticēt tikai mirušai sievietei.’”[8]


Tanī pašā laikā, Lutera vēstules sievai ir aizkustinošas, pilnas mīlestības un cieņas. Brīžiem viņš arī sauc Keti par savu kungu, par doktori utt. Lutera raksti un sprediķi par Mariju arī ir brīnišķīgi, lai gan viņš arī brīdina pret mariolātriju, un pret viduslaiku baznīcas tieksmi Mariju padarīt par dievieti.

Mārtiņa Lutera sieva, Katherina von Bora – no

Savās lekcijās par 1. Mozus grāmatu Luters arī skaidri pasaka, ka pēc viņa uzskatiem Bībele apraksta Ievu (un caur viņu, visas sievietes) kā vājāko dzimumu. “Sieviete šķiet kaut kā savādāka nekā vīrietis, ar citiem locekļiem un daudz vājāku dabu. Lai gan Ieva bija brīnišķīgs radījums, līdzīga Ādamam kas attiecas uz Dieva tēlu, tātad taisnībā, viedumā un laimē, viņa tomēr ir sieviete. Jo, kā saule ir izcilāka par mēnesi (lai gan arī mēness ir izcils), tā arī sieviete, lai gan brīnišķīgs Dieva radījums, tomēr nav vīrietim līdzīga godībā un slavā”[9].

Tā saprotam, ka līdzīgi sava laika cilvēkiem, Luters neuzskatīja sievietes par vīriešiem vienlīdzīgām.


1532.g. Luters rakstīja traktātu, kuram angliski nosaukums ‘Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers’. Tas rakstīts, oponējot anabaptistiem: bet interesanti tas, kas tur parādās arī domas par sievietēm. Konteksts ir tāds: vispirms Luters apcer sievietes Vecajā derībā, Deboru, Sāru, Hannu utt, un saka, ka viņš brīnās, ka anabaptisti neizmanto šīs sievietes kā autoritāti 16.g.s. sieviešu sprediķošanai. Citēju:

“Bet taču viņas [t.i. VD sievietes] neuzvedās tā, ka dara ‘iefiltrētajies’ – bez autoritātes, un no pārākas pietātes un vieduma apziņas. Jo tad Dievs nebūtu apstiprinājis viņu kalpošanu, un darbojies caur brīnumiem un lieliem darbiem [seko mazliet pretrunīga doma par to, ka tomēr JD Sv Gars aizliedz sievietēm runāt baznīcas, lai gan Filipa 4 meitas pravietoja] Bet draudzēs un baznīcās, kur ir kalpošana, tur sievietēm jāklusē un tās nedrīkst sprediķot.”[10]

Tālāk 1539.g. traktātā On Councils and the Church Luters raksta: “Ir tomēr tiesa, ka Svētais Gars atskaitījis sievietes, bērnus un nekompetentus cilvēkus no šīs kalpošanas, bet izvēlas (izņemot izņēmumu gadījumus/kritiskas situācijas = emergencies) tikai kompetentus vīrieša dzimuma cilvēkus kalpot šajā amatā”[11]


Citur Luters arī runā par to, ka sievietes drīkst viena otru mācīt, un slavē pravieti Annu, piebilstot, ka viņai bijis iespējams nodoties pravietošanai tāpēc, ka viņa bija atraitne.


Lai gan Luters apelē pie pie minētā teksta no 1 Korintiešu vēstules, kā arī vēstules Timotejam, un Sv Gara pavēli sievietēm klusēt (caur Pāvilu), visbiežāk viņa argumenti pret sieviešu sprediķošanu pamatojas to izglītības līmenī, un Lutera domā, ka sievietes ir stulbākas un gaisigākas nekā vīrieši, radītas kā mēneši blakus vīriešu saulēm.


Man šķiet, ka Luters īstenībā necitē ontoloģiskus iemeslus, kāpēc sievietes nevarētu sprediķot; tieši otrādi, viņš pieļauj to, ka zināmos izņēmumu gadījumos viņas var to darīt. Luters arī uzskata, ka sievietes var pravietot, un (manuprāt) ne īpaši pārliecinoši atdala pravietošanu no sprediķošanas. 1532.g. traktātā vēl ir šāds posms: “Ja Dievs vēlas kaut ko paveikt kas būtu pārāks par šo amatu un aicinājumu kārtību, un paaugstināt kādu pāri praviešiem, Viņš to paradīs ar zīmēm un darbiem, tāpat ka viņš lika ēzelim runat (4.Mozus 22). ….Kad Dievs to nedara, mums jāpaliek paklausīgiem amatiem un varam, kas jau paredzēti.”[12]


Ekumēniskā pasaule un Sieviešu ordinācija

Beigās gribēju mazliet pievērsties ekumēniskajai dimensijai, ne no teorētiska vai teoloģiska viedokļa, bet no saviem novērojumiem un pieredzes.

bp agnes sigurdardottir consecration

Šajā bildē jūs redzat garīdznieku pulku, kuri bija klāt Īslandes prezidējošās bīskapes, Agneses Sigurdardotīras konsekrācijā 2012.g. Rejkjavīkā. Sapulcēti luterāņu un anglikāņu bīskapi un bīskapes, kā arī Īslandes luterāņu baznīcas mācītāji un mācītājas, diakones un diakoni. Tas, ka gan anglikāņu, gan luterāņu baznīcas ordinē sievietes mācītājas un tagad arī bīskapes amatos ir tuvinājis šīs divas baznīcu kopienas – katrā ziņā, daudzviet pasaulē anglikāņi un luterāņi sadarbojas ļoti cieši. Ir arī tā, ka anglikāņu baznīcai arī ir savs konservatīvais un izteikti protestantiskais spārns; piemēram, organizācija Reform, kas ļoti aktīvi aizstāv bibliskās vērtības, oponē viendzimuma laulībām un domai, ka homoseksuālus cilvēkus varētu uzņemt kā mācītājus, piemēram; tai pat laikā Reform ir par sieviešu ordināciju, bet ne par to, ka sievietes varētu ieņemt vadošas lomas baznīcās.

Tas arī atspoguļo ļoti svarīgu faktoru: aizstāvēt SO nenozīmē to, ka baznīca automātiski arī ordinē homoseksuāļus, vai vispār maina savu doktrinālo nostāju šajā jautājumā. No baznīcām, kuras agrāk minēju, Tanzānijas baznīca (starp pasaules lielākām luterāņu baznīcām) ordinē sievietes, bet ietur ļoti konservatīvu līniju attiecība uz homoseksualitāti. Tāpat Etiopija, laikam tagad vislielākā luterāņu baznīca pasaulē; Hongkongas, Taivanas, Krievijas, Zimbabves luterāņu baznīcas utt utt.


Luterāņi – pareizticīgās baznīcas

Kad 2009.g. Vācijas evaņģēliskā baznīca (EKD) ievēlēja bīskapi Margotu Kēsmani (Käßmann) par savu prezidenti, Maskavas patriarhāts noreaģēja ļoti asi, un draudēja pārraut ilggadējās saites, pārtraucot arī dialogu ar EKD. Kā toreiz rakstīja presē:


«Maskavas patriarhāts, iespējams, pārtrauks attiecības ar Vācijas evaņģēlisko baznīcu, vienu no galvenām Rietumeiropas protestantu baznīcām, tāpēc, ka tā ir ievēlējusi sievieti kā VEB (EKD) padomes priekšsēdi. Pareizticīgo garīdznieki saka, ka tas ir pretstatā ar evaņģēliskiem principiem. Komentētāji baidās, ka tas varētu izraisīt nopietnu starpticību konfliktu. 28.oktobrī VEB padome ievēlēja bīskapi Margot Kēsmani kā savu priekšsēdi. Viņa ir pirmā sieviete, kura ir vadījusi VEB. VEB apvieno 24 miljonus protestantu vairāk nekā 20 luterāņu un reformātu baznīcās. 51 gadu vecā Hanoveras bīskape ir šķīrusies, ar 4 meitām. «Mēs plānojam atzīmēt 50 dialoga gadus ar Vācijas luterāņu baznīcu novembra beigās vai decembra sākumā», trešdien teica Volokolamskas arhibīskaps Hilarions Alfējevs, Maskavas patriarhāta Ārlietu departamenta vadītājs. «Svinības arī atzīmēs ša dialoga noslēgumu.»

Bet pēc tam, kad bīskape Kēsmane bija spiesta atkāpties, situācija normalizējās ļoti ātri; Oberkirhenrats Martins Illerts, atbildīgais par EKD dialogiem ar pareizticīgajām baznīcām rakstīja tā 2015.g.septembrī:

«EKD piedalās 3 divpusējos ekumēniskos dialogos:

  1. Ar Krievijas pareizticīgo baznīcu/Maskavas patriarhātu (dialogs atsākās pēc 2009, pēdējā sapulce 2012.g., nākošā paredzēta 2015.g.decembrī)
  2. Ar Rumānijas pareizticīgo baznīcu (pēdējās sarunas 2013.g., nākošās 2016.g.)
  3. Un ar Ekumēnisko patriarhātu (pēdējā sapulce notikusi nupat 2015.g.).

Blakus divpusējiem dialogiem ir ikgadējas sapulces ar pareizticīgo Bīskapu konferenci Vācijā un ar Senajām Austrumu pareizticīgajām baznīcām. (2015.g.sept)»

Tātad fakts, ka EKD sastāv daudz ordinētu sieviešu mācītāju, nav šīs attiecības iespaidojis; jautājums bija tikai par sievieti-bīskapi. Lai gan Maskavas patriarhāts paredzēja, ka Kēsmanes iecelšana par prezidenti varētu « izsaukt pēdējo gadu lielāko kristiešu savstarpējo konfliktu» (MP komentārs 2009.g.), tas nav gluži tā piepildījies.


No otras puses pareizticīgajā pasaulē:

«Mēs redzam, ka luterāņu baznīcās ordinē sievietes. Mēs to nedarām, bet kādus 100 gadus novērosim, kā jums ar to veicas, un tad atkal par šo jautājumu runāsim. Starplaikā uzturam labas attiecības ar Somijas luterāņiem, ieskaitot Helsinku bīskapi Irju Askolu» (Somijas pareizticīgo baznīcas metropolīts Ambrozijs, 2015.g.septembra uzrunā Anglikāņu baznīcas sinodei)

Luterāņi un Romas katoļu baznīca

2013.g. Vatikāns un Pasaules luterāņu federācija kopā izdeva dokumentu, ilgu gadu kopēja dialoga rezultātu, ar skatu uz 2017.gadu un Reformācijas 500.gadskārtu. Dokuments saucas From Conflict to Communion – no konflikta uz komūniju. Ievadā bīskapi Ēro Huovinens (Somu luterāņu baznīca) un Kārlheincs Diezs (RKB) saka:

“Teksts, kurš seko, apraksta ceļu no konflikta uz kopību/komūniju – ceļu, kura mērķi vēl neesam sasnieguši. Tomēr Luterāņu-Romas katoļu vienotības komisija ir uztvērusi Pāvesta Jāņa XXIII vārdus nopietni: «Lietas, kuras mūs vieno, ir lielākas par tām, kuras mūs šķir.»”

Dokuments ir ļoti nozīmīgs; tas ir nopietns un teoloģiski rūpīgi izstrādāts, nevairās no problēmām un strīdus jautājumiem, un nolūks ir tāds, ka tas kalpotu par pamatu PLF baznīcu un Romas katoļu baznīcu attiecību attīstībai. Savās 100 lapaspusēs sieviešu ordināciju tiek minēta vienu vienīgu reizi.

«Katoļu-luterāņu dialogs ir atzinis, ka ordinēto kalpošanas teoloģijā un kārtībās ir daudz pārklājumu, kā arī atšķirību, tostarp sieviešu ordinācija, kuru tagad daudzas luterāņu baznīcas piekopj. Viena no neatrisinātajiem jautājumiem ir tas, vai Romas katoļu baznīca var atzīt luterāņu baznīcu kalpošanu. » (FCC, 176)

Lai gan, protams, sieviešu ordinācija ir diskusiju tēma ekumēniskajos kuluāros un oficiālajos dialogos, no manas pieredzes Anglijā un Eiropā tā nav šķērslis baznīcu sadarbībai.



[1] – lpp atvērta 2015.g.24.okt. Oriģināls angļu valodā: “After many years of study of the two central biblical texts plus related biblical texts and other theological arguments for and against the ordination of women, and after much lively discussion and debate, a majority of the CTICR members supported the view that on balance the Bible did not prohibit the ordination of women. This nuanced decision was saying that the biblical evidence against the ordination of women was not as strong as the biblical case for allowing women to be ordained.”


[2] Socio-rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians I. Title 227.206 ISBN 0-85364-622-8

Witherington, Ben (1995-01-24). Conflict and Community in Corinth: Socio-rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Kindle Locations 19-20). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition.

[3] Philip J Abbott, Bringing Order to 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, (2015.g.26.okt)

[4] Karen Bloomquist, nepublicēts raksts. Oriģinālais teksts: It is possible to accept these texts as authoritative but still read them as being in favour of the ordination of women. The context of I Cor 14 is that worship in the early church probably had become disorderly and was bringing the new faith into disrepute. Paul, who in many other passages accepted the equality and participation of women, here falls back on his patriarchal biases, and calls for silencing the women as a way of solving the problem in that particular situation. Paul called for women to keep quiet for the sake of orderliness and cultural appropriateness, so that the gospel could be heard and not publicly discredited. In most societies today, public speaking by women is neither culturally offensive nor does it lead to disorder. […] Further, in contexts today, prohibiting women from preaching is more likely to discredit the church and the gospel. In other words, the intent of I Cor 14 is likely to be more effectively achieved today by doing the very opposite of what Paul was calling for then!

[5] Witherington, Ben (1995-01-24). Conflict and Community in Corinth: Socio-rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Kindle Locations 6582-6586). Eerdmans Publishing Co – A. Kindle Edition. “The argument is not gender specific. Paul requires respect, submission, and silence of any listener when any prophet is speaking (vv. 28-32), and his dealing with some women who are asking questions (vv. 34f.) is a specific implementation of principles already applied in general to everyone. One must assume that he singles these women out for comment because he had heard that some of them were notable violaters of these principles. 9 Throughout the chapter Paul is correcting abuses, and his words must be read in that context.


[6]LW 40:18; WA 12: 178,9‑10.

[7] WA Tischreden II, 1975 – no Karant-Nunn, Susan C. and Wiesner-Hanks, Merry E, Luther on Women – A Sourcebook, Cambridge University Press, 2003

[8] WA Tischreden V, 5611 – ibid

[9] Lekcijas par 1.Mozus grāmatu, 1535.g. – ibid

[10] Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers, LW XL – ibid

[11] On Councils and the Church, LW XLI – ibid

[12] Infiltrating and Clandestine Preachers, LW XL – ibid

[13]LW 44:200ff.

So is this World 6.0?

So: two more educational and inspirational pieces of work – this time not books, but presentations.

A couple of weeks ago at our Deanery Synod we listened to a talk by Rev’d Dr Mika Pajunen, who is Theological Advisor to the Lutheran Archbishop of Finland. Mika talked us through a fairly classical model of developments in church history – of paradigm shifts in the way that the Church understands God, faith and itself, in the philosophical and metaphysical underpinning of the Church’s theology and worldview. The aim was to apply these understandings to our current obsession with matters of sexuality – but of course they have a much wider application. For what it’s worth, Mika’s opinion is that the church is in many ways stuck in Enlightenment mode, which requires that there is a right and wrong answer to problems to questions, which permit of no shading and not enough latitude to allow us to find solutions which are fuzzier.

Then last week at an International Conference here in Rīga organized by the Latvian Lutheran Women Theologians Association, Rev’d Dr Linards Rozentāls from Luther Church presented a different way of analyzing these shifts in humankind’s understanding of God, and the presence of the Divine in Creation. His innovative classification led us from God 1.0 to God 6.0, with the possibility of development onwards. It was fascinating to hear, and will, I hope, be published somewhere soon.

But it got me thinking (or, as Poirot says, it made me furiously to think). What is it that moves our civilizations and faiths from one paradigm to another? What kicks us from God 4.0 to God 5.0? Could it be that the present world crises I wrote about previously – the inherent instability of the global monetary system, climate change, poverty, inequality, wars – which are leading to this acute flow of refugees are actually a first sign of a real paradigm shift? And if so, which direction are we heading in – towards a deeper understanding, greater freedom and openness (marks of God 6.0) or backwards to greater prejudice, a more childish view of how the world works, a greater desire to see God as judge and strong ruler?

Just a pointer to an excellent view..

… which is a blog post by Slavoj Žižek at Birkbeck College in London. He pulls together the multilayered, complex and interconnected problems we face in a very clear way. Some comments to be made, which I will try to do this evening. But the title does pretty clearly sum it up, and approaches the ideas expressed by Rickards and Goodchild from a different angle.

We Can’t Address the EU Refugee Crisis Without Confronting Global Capitalism