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For some people, the solemn, floor-length, black-and-white habit brings repressed nightmares involving rulers and bleeding knuckles flooding into the conscious mind. Others regard these women as re...
The question is a misnomer since "nun" is not a biblical term. A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically one living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. She may be a woman who decided to dedicate her life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live her life in prayer and contemplation in a monastery or convent. The term "nun" is applicable to Catholics (eastern and western traditions), Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, Lutherans, Jains, Buddhists, Taoists, Hindus and some other religious traditions. While in common usage the terms "nun" and "sister" are often used interchangeably (the same title of "Sister" for an individual member of both forms), they are considered different ways of life, with a "nun" being a religious woman who lives a contemplative and cloistered life of meditation and prayer for the salvation of others, while a "religious sister", in religious institutes like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, lives an active vocation of both prayer and service, often to the needy, sick, poor, and uneducated.
The term, is indeed NOT Biblical, nor is that of unwed priests as is practiced in the catholic church (even Aaron the first High Priest, was married and had children; even Peter who the catholic church claims was the first catholic priest was married [Matthew 8:14]...but I digress). As to being unmarried: While the passage in 1 Corinthians 7:34 cited above is in fact in the book, Paul makes it clear he is speaking on his own. 1 Corinthians 7:25, he clearly states: "Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them." People to be alone was not God's plan; and we are told that a woman should leave her parents and be one flesh with her husband and that through child bearing and rearing, she is sanctified (1 Timthy 2:15). Now the concept of staying unmarried and childless is not necessarily wrong nor is it unbiblical. Paul's point is that he wants peoples' devotion to God to be total. However, Paul was speaking from the viewpoint of an unmarried man (1 Cor 7:40 "in my opinion") and most other completely devoted characters in Scripture were married, and blessed through it and spoken of for their great faith. As to secluding one's self: Jesus himself prays for protection for his people, not that they seclude themselves from the world, but that they be protected when they go into it: "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world." John 17:15-18. We were never meant to seclude ourselves and ONLY surround ourselves with believers. How is it that the world would be evangelized if believers did that? How in fact would we carry out the Great Commission that Jesus starts his ministry with (Follow me and I will make you fishers of men- Matt 4:19) and ends it with (Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matt 28:19-20)? Matthew 10:18 speaks of the hardships believers will endure in this world and Christ says: "But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me." We are also told that unbelievers may come to faith because of our faithful action both in 1 Cor 14:22-25 and in unequally yoked marriages in 1 Cor 7:14-16. All true Christ-followers are called to be about the business of Love, mercy, chastity, Spiritual poverty and Obedience. We are all called to evangelize and witness and give testimony. There is no ordination we must go through to do this, ie, there is no class we must take or robe we must put on or yoke we have to bear (Paul states he is not trying to put restrictions on people 1 Cor 7:35) or denomination (typically catholic or episcopal or Anglican) in order to be God's people in Christ and to practice these things. By Christ's blood, our confession through Believer's Baptism, our repentant change of heart and lifelong sanctification by the Holy Spirit, we are made a Holy Nation and ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a special possession of God's (1 Peter 2:9). There is no reason to join a reclusive, seclusive and exclusive group in order to do these things.
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