PEAR USA on Women’s Ordination

The Proposed Charter of the new Missionary District says:

Section 3. Men and Women in Ministry

PEARUSA upholds the biblical teaching that both men and women are created in God’s image and called to service in his Kingdom. For this reason, PEARUSA is committed to promoting the ministry of women alongside men, both within and outside the church. At the same time, the Bible also teaches that God created men and women with distinct differences, and has given them different roles within his Kingdom. Within the Anglican Communion there is a diversity of opinion regarding the ordination of women. While the Anglican Province of Rwanda does ordain women as Presbyters, PEARUSA does not, nor does it consecrate women as Bishops, nor does it receive or license women to serve as Presbyters or Bishops.

Technically, AMiA held this same position, although it watered it down over time by creating various sub-jurisdictions and entities. This is a very encouraging step towards rolling back the errors inflicted on the Church in the Seventies.

9 thoughts on “PEAR USA on Women’s Ordination”

  1. so let me get this straight: according to your analysis, the Anglican Province of Rwanda exhibits these ‘errors inflicted on the Church in the Seventies’? hmmm…

    1. I was speaking of TEC, which embraced this error in the 70’s. I’m not sure when it happened in Rwanda.

  2. Mr. Martin, what I am trying to get at is the question of whether you see ‘the error’ as ordination of women in se, or as the way in which this was implemented in PECUSA in the seventies. My understanding right now is that ACNA allows differing opinions on this topic, giving room that was not given by the mode adopted by PECUSA thirty-some years ago. Would you likewise call ACNA’s position an error? I am also wary of calling the United States’ actions in the seventies as “an error inflicted on the Church,” unless you clarify what you mean by the capitalization of church. Do you mean to imply that the United States’ actions in the seventies has led Rwanda’s communion into this error? Where else might Rwanda have received its sense that women and men are to be freed for ordained ministry? I find it difficult to side, as you appear to be doing in other blog posts, against the recent behavior of AMiA towards Rwanda (which I likewise find troubling), while condemning one tenet AMiA seems to be holding in common with Rwanda and parts of ACNA.

    1. Kirsten, my replies follow:

      [the question of whether you see ‘the error’ as ordination of women in se, or as the way in which this was implemented in PECUSA in the seventies.]

      Ordination per se. It was also implemented covertly. See http://livingtext.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/the-origins-of-women%E2%80%99s-ordination-in-the-episcopal-church/

      [Would you likewise call ACNA’s position an error?]

      Yes.

      [Do you mean to imply that the United States’ actions in the seventies has led Rwanda’s communion into this error?]

      I meant that TEC’s embrace of WO was an error. Rwanda apparently followed in 1984 – another error.

      [I find it difficult to side, as you appear to be doing in other blog posts, against the recent behavior of AMiA towards Rwanda (which I likewise find troubling), while condemning one tenet AMiA seems to be holding in common with Rwanda and parts of ACNA.]

      I’m not sure what you mean. AMiA’s behavior was bad on a number of fronts. The creeping move towards WO was only one issue.

  3. Mr. Martin, what I mean by my last point is that if your point on WO holds, it is difficult for ACNA to champion the story of uniting with ‘the rest of the Anglican world’ in order to try to hold TEC to the biblical tradition of the Church. The rest of the world has differing consensus on WO. If your points are adopted, it becomes difficult to sustain this narrative. I personally think quite a bit of Scriptural revision and historical ignorance has to hold sway in order to brand any type of WO as erroneous in se.

    1. There should be a separate order of deaconesses that do not exercise liturgical or sacramental functions.

      In terms of ACNA and the wider Communion, there will be a long battle to restore the Biblical tradition on women’s ordination. TEC’s errors are so egregious that WO is only one of them.

  4. Mr. Martin, my apologies for taking so long to respond. I was busy finishing a semester and getting married. However, I must quibble with your notion of an ‘order of deaconesses’ with ‘no liturgical or sacramental function’–this seems fallacious to the extreme! Good heavens, what would an order entail if it had no liturgical or sacramental function *at all*?

    1. Kirsten, I would say that it entails teaching (outside of the liturgical service), serving the community, counseling and so forth. Jim Jordan says: “I would suggest that the OT and pre-pentecostal NT passages be taken into account. There were
      clearly women teachers in Israel, but they were not priests. Two passages in the OT are written
      by women (songs of Deborah and Hannah), to which we add the Magnificat also. Nobody is
      shocked when Joab brings a wise woman to preach to David. Anna hung around the Temple,
      and certainly would have “taught classes” (i.e., sat and talked with) male priests and Levites and
      others who came to learn from her. Huldah and others are not thought of as weird exceptions to
      some rule. Jephthah’s daughter had a diaconal ministry at the Tabernacle, though with other
      women in her case. But women were not priests. They did not do altar service. They did not
      “do” the covenant renewal meals. The “top” of the teaching heirarchy, the priests, were men.
      Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet is nothing new. Note that the men around Jesus don’t object to her
      being there. Martha objects, but not because sitting and learning is scandalous, but because she
      needs help. Jesus’ statement to her is that the dishes can wait for later, along the lines of His call
      to certain men to leave off burying fathers for the time being and follow Him.”

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