Considering forsaking the #UMC for the #ACNA to preserve “Wesleyan Traditionalism?”

Recently, a former UMCer-turned-North-American-Anglican suggested that the “traditionalists” (if a schism were to occur) could find a home in the Anglican Church in North America, even if it meant women could not be ordained. Sure, they could minister, but the full ordination must be prevented. I lol’d his statement because a Wesleyan Traditionalist should uphold the equal ordination of men and women. He quickly blocked me.

It you notice, he mentions the possibility of a split in the ACNA due to women’s ordination. However, he has no issue bringing in Wesleyan Traditionalists from a schism into the ACNA.

Out of the pot, into the frying pan, I guess.

But, in the meantime – before the split in the ACNA, all you have to do is to give up the right for women to be ordained.

By the way, the ACNA does allow women’s ordination to be considered a local matter. They can be ordained — if the male bishop decides to allow such a process in his jurisdiction — to either the diaconate or the presbytery but not as a bishop. This is against Wesleyan Tradition, by the way.

But, I want to bring in another facet. Anglicans (and Wesleyans, Evangelicals, and others) count as one of their theological heroes the former Bishop of Durham, the Rev. N.T. Wright. Indeed, while I may disagree with him on a few things, I view him as someone who is essential to my own development as a believing scholar and as quintessential in the redevelopment of the Western church (someone pick Jim West off the floor).

He has a new book out: Surprised by Scripture. In it, he takes to task those who would read Scripture against the prospect of ordaining women into the ministry. You have to remember, Wright was the largest proponent of forcing the Church of England into ordaining women.

He has numerous statements littering the internet about this very thing. Such as this,

This above video is representative of what is said in the book. See Scot McKnight’s take here. Wright has and does and will always argue for an ad fontes! in respect to women’s equality in the Church. And I believe he is correct.

While a more “traditional” (i.e., conservative — they aren’t the same thing) church may be favored by some in the UMC, to do so you have to actually forsake the tradition of Wesley. We can trace our views on women’s equal service in the church to Wesley himself. Our Methodist predecessors ordained women. It is enshrined in our Methodist DNA. To forsake such a thing is one thing, but it is entirely grievous to both God and ourselves to suggest that women should be satisfied to be allowed to be paid and to minister but to never achieve equality.

So, before you go, conservative Methodists, take a look to where you are going. Understand what you have to give up — some of the very things that make you Wesleyan — in order to protect what you think is Wesleyan.

Post By Joel Watts (10,056 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

Connect

6 thoughts on Considering forsaking the #UMC for the #ACNA to preserve “Wesleyan Traditionalism?”

  1. From what you say about women’s ordination in the ACNA, it sounds like they would treat the issue in a similar manner to how Hamilton and Slaughter suggested handling the question of homosexuality in the church, except in the case of the ACNA the bishop, instead of a local church or even conference of clergy and laity, would decide everything. This strikes me as odd considering how the conservatives in the church painted such a plan as congregationalist and unwesleyan. It would also mean that conservatives who did leave the UMC for the ACNA would have to get used to a system where the bishops (whom they generally distrust in the UMC) would exert a lot more power and authority over the local church and diocese. This doesn’t seem like a good fit for them at all.

    • Phil,

      I’m glad you pointed this out. On facebook, there is a discussion right now about how the ACNA’s plan is similar to H/S’s plan. Perhaps that is why some ACNA members believe there will be another split.

  2. Acceptance of women as equal in service and leadership in a church is essential to me. It is an issue of great concern to me when we look for a church. In many other ways, I am much a fundamentalism, but this is one issue that would get me tossed out of a lot of churches. I can’t compromise easily on what God says about any subject, which makes it hard to find any human institution that fits. It’s one of the reasons why I consider myself more Methodist than anything else. I am just having a lot of trouble seeing myself as an Anglican of any kind, which I think may be due to the liberalization of the Episcopalians, and my difficulty in seeing ACNA as something different.
    I have followed CBE for over 20 yrs. They saved my sanity at one time.

  3. I favor evangelical United Methodists coming together to form a new denomination. There should be agreement about the authority of Scrpture, and the essential core of the faith. Beyond that I would like to see term limits for bishops and local church ownership of property.

Leave a Reply, Please!