How Long before a “conservative” #UMC begins to (re)debate complementarianism

The Two Source hypothesis solution to the Syno...

This really has nothing to do with the story, but it is the God’s honest truth and I want to rub your face in it.

It is interesting to watch the debates rage in other denominations. I know that the UMC had women pastors and view women as equal to men in everything, including the call to the Gospel. It did take some getting used to, however.

When the EC essentially split over the ordination of LGBT persons, with conservative groups forming their own communion with Canterbury, the debate over women’s ordination in the American Anglican church arose once more. Granted, there are differing views allowed but how long before these differences become new grounds for schism?

Take a moment and read what is happening in the Southern Baptist Church:

In his talk, Platt speaks about four gospel truths, ironically all taken from Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, not from the Gospels of the New Testament which detail Jesus ’actual words and actions. Watching his sermon, Platt’s gospel truths seemed more like opinion and conjecture, as he repeated his claim that, “We flee sexual immorality in our lives and we defend sexual complementarity for the sake of the gospel in the world.”

via Sexual complementarity: A dangerous debate.

I’ve asked other UMCers what they think will happen to women’s ordination. Most believe the matter is settled or would be of little or no consequence. Yet, what I predict will happen is that any conservative UMC group (if a schism occurs) will have to revisit this matter. There are plenty of UMCers who believe that the UMC started to go downhill when women were ordained.

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Post By Joel L. Watts (10,153 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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10 thoughts on “How Long before a “conservative” #UMC begins to (re)debate complementarianism

  1. Having some contact with the hard/far right of the UMC I can say that many on that end of things have a rather long list of changes that they would like to see and plan to pursue should there be a split, and female pastors is just one of them.

  2. Hey, man, you are really starting to worry me. “There are plenty of UMCers who believe that the UMC started to go downhill when women were ordained.”…
    We’ve got a woman pastor now. AND, in July, she will be replaced by another woman pastor. I just don’t see all this turmoil happening in UMC, but I am just a pew sitter, not a big shot. Or my world is smaller than yours. Joel, are you creating controversy when there really isn’t any? Or should I start looking for another church?

  3. Terrific.

    Thanks for letting us know.

    I don’t really understand so-called complementarianism. I mean, I get that they took a lovely word/concept, with no hint of hierarchy–complementary, and refashioned it for their own purposes.

    But seriously–I can see where one would get gender egalitarianism from the Bible, and I can see where one could get patriarchy. But this in-between thing (still patriarchal, but with girls and women granted limited rights and having limited recognition) is the least logical of the three. Really. I’m a woman, and really what gets my blood pressure up about “complementarianism” is how illogical is is. For example….

    “Equal but different” well, yes, normally I’d agree with this in concept, as I do think it’s part of what the gospel is about. But when “different” means lower in the chain of command, I can’t think of any other situation in which this view would be accepted at face value, when the situation we’re talking about is on a lifelong, all-encompassing basis (as opposed to situational and limited in time, such as supervisor and employee). We just wouldn’t believe that “equal” is what was really meant. Yet otherwise intelligent people buy into this. every. day. How?

    As someone who came to the church in my 30s, I came to a complementarian church (longer story I’ll leave off), and I was disappointed by how very much like the sexist non-christian world it seemed.

    And so many inconsistencies in practice…

    So is it that they can’t bear to go full-on patriarchal? Or that they’d risk losing members to do so? Or that they’d risk public opinion? Some mix?

    You’d think they might see that the fact that women preaching is a concern in a particular region might be a clue that something cultural is going on. Naw, must be that that they’re the only ones who are right. Or truly Christian. Or biblical.

    Yes, this is my hobby horse.

  4. Thank you! I owe credit to:
    Rebecca Merrill Groothuis
    “EQUAL IN BEING, UNEQUAL IN ROLE”
    Exploring the Logic of Woman’s Subordination
    found in “Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy” by Ronald W. Pierce, Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and Gordon D. Fee (Jul 25, 2005)

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