I had not intended for so long a time to pass between entries.
First of all, had a wonderful experience at the Ark-La-Tex campmeeting in Jefferson, Texas. Learned much, was much blessed. In every way, that was a lovely time.
Fascinating, how events overtook my most recent blog about women’s ordination. I have written elsewhere that I think this issue, along with a couple of others, is actually a diversion from more important considerations. It it’s a diversion, it’s very successful.
As to the latest series of skirmishes, I will say this. A dear friend of mine, Gary Patterson, has detailed where the authority on ordination lies within the church here, and here.
Gary served on the GC executive committee for years and knows what he’s talking about.
There. Can we finally move beyond this question. Yes, I think the outcome of this issue matters. But the reason we’re stuck here is because it is not a central issue, not a testing truth. In my experience, the difference between a central issue and a peripheral one is one of scope.
Let me ask a question. What other issues does the issue of women’s ordination directly affect? The Compassionate crowd would probably say “inclusiveness” because they usually invoke nice-sounding but vague concepts. The Traditionalists would probably say “authority,” or some variant, because they want to know the rules. But otherwise it has little effect.
By contrast, a central issue affects virtually everything. It changes the way we see worship, grace, the law, mission–you name it.
So, please pardon me if I’m tired of climbing that particular tree. Rumor is there might actually be a forest.