Embrace Tony Jones

As many of you know, there is talk of schism in the United Methodist Church over the issue of homosexuality. I do not support schism. Of course, this has gotten me to thinking about original schisms. Anyway, Tony Jones, emergent pontiff, has called for schism over the ordination of women:

The time has come for a schism regarding the issue of women in the church. Those of us who know that women should be accorded full participation in every aspect of church life need to visibly and forcefully separate ourselves from those who do not. Their subjugation of women is anti-Christian, and it should be tolerated no longer.

via It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church.

What is anti-Christian is schism.

In speaking with Bishop N.T. Wright this past weekend in a private reception (I’m going to get a lot of traction out of this), I asked him about the recent news regarding the Church of England and women bishops. His first answer was simple. He supported it. His second answer is something complex. He knows parish priests and others who will object to it. The issue for him, however, does not involve schism, but unity and how to achieve unity. Why? Because those same priests are among the poor and oppressed.

This is a theological answer by Wright. Jones? I really don’t know. What Jones is calling for is an isolationist approach to theology. If they do not agree with me, then they are banned. How is this beneficial? Yes, the theological issue of women ordination is important, but to destroy the ecumenical relationships many have worked to sustain and build upon over the past few centuries? Not worth it.

Instead, we organize internally. We embrace those who deny to women what men have. We embrace those, like Jesus did, those who we see as in error. We don’t ban or shun them. God will win. Love will win. Schism is neither of these.

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4 Replies to “Embrace Tony Jones”

  1. The ELCA has already undergone schism over the issue of homosexuality and having gone through that, let me say, it isn’t pretty. Pope Jones has no idea what he’s taking about.

    It seems to me the call to unity is pretty important as it is mentioned in Ephesians…

  2. I don’t take schism lightly. Neither can I accept second class status in a church I attend and support. I think it is sad when my male colleagues are willing to consider affirming and being part of a church that DOES relegate women to second class status. It disturbs me when I hear United Methodist male clergy who are disturbed by the strife in our church consider joining up with the Anglicans.

    That being said, I have appreciated the several opportunities I have had to preach in churches that do not affirm women preachers. I have had positive relationships with Catholic priests, Baptist ministers, and pastors from the Church of Christ. In these relationships, I felt respected as a professional clergyperson.

    My existence as an ordained woman challenges many in the church. Schism HAS occurred, and there is no going back.

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