Friday, April 28, 2006

Why do the Methodist ordain women?

Go here to find out why do we ordain women.

The whole issue of the May/June 2006 Circuit Rider is dedicated to "Women Called and Ordained." You might want to check it out: it has stories, history, thoughts, and musings.

Here is what Rev. Frank Gulley has to say about it. "Now, more specifically on the question of the ordination of women. Methodists begin by underscoring the point that all baptized Christians are ministers of the gospel. “Our links with the apostolic faith... lead us solemnly to affirm… that all who are baptized into Christ are members of Christ’s ministry....” (Social Principles, 153) Hence, all of us--men and women--in the Methodist fold are called to witness to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Further, we believe that in the sight of God all--men and women--are equal. “We affirm with Scripture the common humanity of male and female, both having equal worth in the eyes of God.” (Social Principles, 35) If these affirmations are taken seriously, it is only logical that our Church would conclude that ordained ministry should be open to both men and women--regardless of what some texts of Scripture might suggest to the contrary."

Rev. Dr. Steve Harper throws his hat into the ring to comment on the ordination of women in the UMC. He uses one of my favorite verses, Acts 2:17 -18 that has spoken to me from the time I was called by God. He draws on some of the other verses in the Bible as well. Well worth the read. 17" 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. " Dr Harper says, "The Greek word for “prophesy” is broader than the role of the prophet, and is used to speak of the general communication of the gospel message."

I'd say that is a pretty big statement that Peter tells the crowd about the fulfillment of Joel's prophesy on the day of Pentecost. That passage has been affirming for me in my ministry, when times were tough, when I wasn't so sure about my call, when the doors were closed, when negative things were said to me about women being called, when my family even questioned my call, when I have come close to walking away from my call and ministry.

1 comment:

Red said...

"The Greek word for “prophesy” is broader than the role of the prophet, and is used to speak of the general communication of the gospel message."

Sometimes it is. However, in the context of Joel 2 (not Peter or Luke) and the rest of Acts 2, I would suggest the word προφητευω (or נָבָא) is intended to mean just what we tend to think prophesying means. Visions, dreams, wonders, and signs are used to describe it here. I don't see anything to suggest women having authority in the church body. I do see strong evidence for women ministering the Gospel along with every other person who calls upon the name of Christ, but 1 Timothy 3 is clear about church offices. Acts and Luke are clear about equality of salvation in Christ. However, "Authority" is not a synonym for "Superiority", and "Equality" is not a synonym for "Sameness". Your position is simply not a Biblical one, whether right or wrong.