My name is Solomon Keal. I am a minister for the General Church of the New Jerusalem, which is a Swedenborgian Christian denomination. These are some of my thoughts about the Lord, the symbolic meanings in the Bible, life after death, faith, charity, usefulness, loving the Lord and one's neighbor, the 2nd Coming, Swedenborg's Writings, and other theological stuff.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
A Doctrinal Foundation for a Gender Inclusive Clergy in the General Church
This is a paper I wrote in May 2014 for the council of the clergy in the General Church of the New Jerusalem, which is a Christian denomination based on the Bible and the works of Emanuel Swedenborg. (There are many references to Swedenborg's writings in the paper, which are often simply referred to as the "Writings." Quotes from the passages in his books are traditionally referred to using abbreviations, such as HH for Heaven and Hell, TCR for True Christian Religion.) At the time of the writing of this paper, the tradition and policy of the General Church is that of a male-only priesthood, of which I am a member. In writing and sharing this paper I am not speaking on behalf of the organization. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong. This is simply my own individual understanding of what the doctrines say in regards to gender in the priesthood. This paper (book) is very long because this conversation has been around for a long time, and a comprehensive approach involves examining a large number of passages and doctrines. My hope is that this will be a useful contribution to a discussion which seeks to be guided by the Lord in His Word. The paper can be read here: A Doctrinal Foundation for a Gender Inclusive Clergy in the General Church.