I am currently seeking ordination to the priesthood (God willing) in the Anglican church. A respected friend who is a pastor wrote to me awhile ago to ask me why I am for women’s ordination and to urge me not to be ordained because he believes women’s ordination to be condemned scripturally. This was a completely valid email for him to send. His tone and motivation was one of love and I received his words gratefully. I wanted to write him back a long email about how I’ve come to believe that women’s ordination is biblically permissible, but the busyness of a new baby and being in ministry has kept me from it.
Now that I’m further along in the ordination process and have been asked similar questions by many other friends – both men and women- whom I respect theologically and intellectually, I wanted to spend some time writing on how I as a Christian woman have gone from being against the ordination of women to being a female Anglican Aspirant.
But first, my method in approaching this discussion:
As I thought about how to address this topic, I couldn’t get away from the reality that my theological progression (or regression, depending on your perspective here) has been narratival and incremental. This doesn’t mean that there are not “cold facts” and hard biblical or hermeneutical evidence to support my change in thinking. However, a list of biblical arguments for women’s ordination alone would not have likely changed my theological convictions. Furthermore, it wouldn’t accurately portray my story, which was slow, meandering, and cumulative rather than revolutionary. I will offer the biblical arguments that have persuaded my husband and I that women’s ordination is not biblically prohibited, without which I wouldn’t be getting ordained, but I will offer them as they came in my story, not as a bullet point list.
How to Go from Being a Good Evangelical to a Committed Catholic in Ninety-Five Difficult Steps
is a recently published book by Christian Smith (It has a lot of buzz, and Jonathan wrote on it here
a little while ago).
I want to tell about this theological shift in a way that is systematic and yet allows for this sort of narrative unfolding, so I am ripping off Christian Smith’s method. I will spend several posts on How I went from Being Woman Against Women’s Ordination to a Woman Seeking Ordination in 25 Difficult Steps