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.