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June 11, 2008

Comments

RevK

The culture that permits female elders? Does the Holy Spirit trump?
Just yacking...

Boneman

I knew that was coming! :)

Will try to banter on it more later...

BB

Brett Bonecutter

Hey RevK,

I guess the simplest way to respond is that the Holy Spirit graciously works despite theological / practical errors in many communities. I disagree with ordaining women, but in certain non-feminist / Evangelical contexts I have found it to be no more damaging than many thoughts and behaviors I have seen in churches who don't ordain women...

:)

Boneman

RevK

Hmmmm...
I think there is a relationship regarding the "culture" (if you will) of the church and the "government" of the church. Government and grace are not usually associated terms – and they should be in the church. However, THE ONLY earthly government endorsed by God (outside of Romans 13) is that of His church, and of those who shepherd it. And with that context, I think it requires a higher level of scrutiny -- there will always be churches (w/ their culture & government) that are more and less pure; but let's not equivocate on a foundational priority.

Brett Bonecutter

Interesting comment. Let's break it down a moment. I'm not a polity-wonk, but I am a Presbyterian by conviction. I am going to a Presbyterian church, not a congregational or episcopal church, so that counts for something, right? It isn't like I am "equivocating" by excusing Quakerism or something like that... We still have pastors, elders, and deacons. It isn't a free-for-all culture.

I guess it all turns on what we deem to be a "foundational priority." I certainly believe ordaining women is in error, but I am not convinced it is "fatal" error. It can be "serious" error depending on the way it is handled, but I don't automatically assume it is a disaster.

Again, I bring out the "existential" argument and say that the church I am attending is WAY healthier than many churches who are "pure" on this issue. You've got to wrestle with that cognitive dissonance somehow.

Boneman

RevK

Thanks, that was a great reply -- yet!
I agree that the church you attend is "presbyterian" but maybe I would argue in POLITY only...
Now, I'm sure you're at one of the more conservative ones with a faithful pastor, I'll grant that; but my experience with others in that camp called "presbyterian" are such in structure ONLY -- they've got another culture going on based upon theological convictions which set them apart from a certain tradition (replacing it with a new tradition that permits their polity to change everything! That's part of their culture isn't it?)
My comment on "God endorsed" government goes beyond what the literal structure looks like but relates to how it bears results for the advance of the kingdom...
Patriarchally wonkish,
RevK

Boneman

Yeah, I feel like you just switched feet on me. You started with "government" (which is polity) and now you are talking about patriarchy. If we're dealing with patriarchy, then let's deal with it, but let's not confuse the issue with polity. If "literal structure" is not the problem, then don't make it the problem.

What I am simply saying is that "for me and my house," I can tolerate this error within a certain context. I just have not found it to be so fundamental that it damns the whole thing to disaster. I think you would find my family to fairly "partriarchal," and in a position of leadership I would not ordain women to the office of Pastor. Nevertheless, "behind every great patriarch is an even greater matriarch." You can take that to the bank, brother!

:)

Boneman

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