In the past, I’ve commented numerous times as to how Protestant male educators in the Christian circles are only supporting egalitarianism because they are turning the sacrament of holy orders into nothing more than a power-grab away from the mystical aspect of the bride-bridegroom theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar and other proponents of restricting this sacrament to males only. In fact, no discussion of even redemption theological hermeneutics on the side of those supporting a male/female priesthood even mentions the bridegroom-bride relationship that God ends up taking with his Church in the fullest redemptive mode possible (referring specifically to Eph. 5:22-31 and Rev. 22).
This does have feminist critiques but I think if we take in the call of John Henry Newman (qtd. in Vindication of Tradition) as well as the call of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, we can avoid the mistake of allowing the sacrament of the priesthood become a grab at power, thus allowing women full participation in all aspects of the Church’s theology. As all believers are in the third tier of the priesthood though not necessarily the sacrament, all believers are to partake fully in the theological structure of the Church. The sacramental priest is only the icon of the bridegroom. This won’t make sense to too many feminists and they will consider this sexist but this anarchistic model of the priesthood must be maintained at all costs.
So why then would a Protestant pastor/priest/minister want there to be women sharing the same status at him, allowing them the equal opportunity to participate in his ministry? I was reading on Jimmy Akin’s blog just this recently and found that “[Protestants] retain the exercise of private judgment for themselves, but because they prohibit its public exercise in their congregations, they are able to keep the expression of opposing viewpoints in check, except for the occasional dissenter who leads to a church split“. Protestants have brought a dilemma upon themselves that they can only justify with a women pastor in charge of a board. It becomes an equality issue if you think of the priesthood in terms of a power-grab only where only the guy wearing vestments on Sundays can make a legitimate statement on theology. For Protestants, only one of their pastors or ministers can make a valid judgment on scriptures.
Hence, a male Protestant finds it reasonable to promote women to leadership roles in interpreting scripture not based on a social justice issue at all but so he can maintain to a problem that was criticized prior to the Reformation by a Catholic writer. A problem which ultimately led Luther to declaring all priests to be abolished in favor of ministers interpreting the scriptures instead. The problem is that there were priests (not all of them I should point out) who themselves were laying claim to authority that they should not have rightly had. Because of this, the ministers were put into action by Martin Luther to keep the unity of the faith. But due to these ministers, you have created a new problem in which unanimously, all of Protestantism, now suffers the problem of the pastoral role as a power-grab.
It’s not really about “male privilege” that scholars such as Scott McKnight and N.T. Wright have started to reconsider the all-male sacramental priesthood (despite what they deceive you into believing it’s about!). It is about their own personal power. If they don’t allow women to share the same power they perceive themselves as falsely having, then their claims to power are quickly revealed by their theological, ethical, and social opponents as abuse against women. So by inviting women to share in their totalitarian abuses of power, they have fixed that problem–keep our privilege, don’t get accused of being misogynists. Thus, we can keep the unity of Protestantism and quash the laity beneath us! It’s Protestant ministers vs. their laity no matter where you go. Wonderful because no lay person in Protestantism is allowed to present his views on things any more no matter how out of line the teachings of the ministers are!
(My thoughts on Protestant ministerial abuse of their laity exactly.)