by The Rt. Rev. Daniel R. Morse
The worst reason to do anything is in reaction to fear because it causes overreaction. In the present day Church there is such a fear of the radical feminist movement with its attendant push for the ordination of women that some people are afraid for women to have any part in worship. They are right to oppose the ordination of women to the holy office of priests simply because God is opposed to it and declares as much in the Scriptures. It is outside the scope of this paper to discuss the reasons for the exclusion of women from the priesthood, but suffice it to say that nothing that is said in this paper is meant to imply or prepare the way for the ordination of women as priests. If we follow the rule of Scripture in the Church, there is no need to be afraid, that is, to determine our practices in worship out of fear. We should never give up legitimate things that God leaves us free to do simply because we are afraid that doing them will cause us to stumble into doing illegitimate things. This, after all, was the beginning of sin in the Garden of Eden. Eve should not have spoken to the serpent at all, of course, but her sinful response was that God had not only told them not to eat the fruit, but they were not even to touch it, which God never said. If one prohibits what God allows, he will eventually allow what God forbids.