Christ Church Plano Releases a Paper on Women’s Ordination
...Christ Church’s reasoning on women’s ordination can be summarized as follows:
1.Scripture clearly teaches that we ought to take a mission-oriented approach when determining what teachings and practices we adopt as we proclaim the gospel to a particular culture. All unnecessary barriers to the reception of the gospel by a culture should be removed. The limits of what counts as “necessary” are to be found in Scripture, with traditional teachings and practices bearing testimony to Scripture though not having the same weight as Scripture. Traditional teachings and practices should be presumed correct unless a culture has changed so much that it is at odds with those teachings. If a culture has changed dramatically, the mission-oriented approach requires us to re-examine those traditional teachings and practices in the light of Scripture and its missional mandate to determine what from tradition must be kept (i.e., that which is the eternal truth of the Christian faith) and what can, and should, be modified.
2.The mission-oriented approach we apply here is bolstered by and follows the strong precedents of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral and the long-standing principle of contextualization widely upheld by Christian missionaries.
3.The best understanding of Scripture’s particular prohibitions on women preaching, teaching, and leading during worship is that those prohibitions are culturally conditioned (i.e., addressing particular problems in the original culture that do not now exist) rather than transcultural (i.e., rooted in the fundamental differences between men and women). New Testament scholar Scot McKnight unpacks this view in a helpful and understandable manner in part 4 of his recent book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible.
4.The best understanding of Scripture’s teaching on male headship in marriage is that it is rooted in God’s different ordering of men and women (i.e., innate gender differences). While the scriptural teaching on male headship in ministry is perhaps less certain, a strong enough parallel between headship in ministry and headship in marriage appears to exist so that we are not prepared to part with the traditional teaching of male headship in ministry. Instead, we will wait for this issue to be resolved through the process of reception.
5.Bishops represent Christ as the visible heads of the local congregations under their pastoral care. Deacons and priests (including rectors) all serve under the covering of the headship of the bishop who, with their fellow bishops, guides the churches in their mission to proclaim the gospel in accordance with Scripture.
6.Therefore, we take the position that ordaining women as deacons and priests (with the ability to serve as rectors) but not as bishops is the most faithful response we can make to our mandate to proclaim the gospel in our surrounding culture.
In what follows, we will articulate in more depth the reasoning behind our mission-oriented approach and how we arrived at our position.
Obviously WO is “on topic” for this thread. However, in addition to the standard SF policies:
1. There will be no use of the word “priestess”. Correct or incorrect, many find it insulting.
2. #1 is not debatable.
Should you choose to violate warning 1 or 2 your decision will also represent a choice to relinquish your posting privileges.
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