Saturday, May 9, 2009

Denominational Red Tapes

I have a habit of staying awake and depriving myself of sleep. It is clearly something bad but you have to blame modernity for creating things such as light bulbs that extend the role of the sun, mimicking daylight. I blame it also on reading. Sometimes i read too much. Well enough about that. As i was browsing the net and checking on blog updates, I wasn't disappointed in my findings. It got me thinking about denominations and procedures that denominations create in the matter of ordaining ministers.

Read this blog post by Adam Walker on the frustrations of his ordination process. According to the denomination that Adam is applying for his M.Div. from Princeton is not enough and he needs to do a whole years worth of courses to meet the standard requirement for him to get ordained. But to get a clearer picture of the situation, I encourage you to read the post and get a feel of what is happening.

Tony Jones, someone who is known for controversy (Emergent), has issued a petition of ordination for Adam on his blog regarding the whole fiasco. Tony is obviously pissed on what is happening as he states here, "Few things piss me off as much as the sinful bureaucratic systems of denominational Christianity. When rules and regulations trump common sense, then the shark has officially been jumped."

Reading these two blog posts, it does make me wonder whether denominations are actually hindering gifted and called people with the intention to serve the body of Christ their rightful place to minister. Sometimes it does seem like procedures can be a hindrance if there are too many red tapes to follow through to actually ordain someone. But with that on the side, I do understand that there is wisdom to have some sort of guideline or procedure to see if someone is fit for ordination.

I've had my fair share of 'denominational red tape' awhile back and I do have some '2 cent' (trying my best to sound 'humble') experience on this issue at hand. So what do you think, are there pro and cons of denominational procedures such as that is stated in the two blog posts that i linked above?

1 comment:

Mason said...

The pros, well clearly the rules are put in place because the denomination is concerned about its people and wants to ensure they get good qualified teachers/leaders. I respect that.

One problem with that though is each situation is different, so your standards can rule out people who are quite qualified but don't match your criteria.

Where it becomes dangerous in my eyes is not when there is an effort (however flawed) to ensure a high quality of people for leadership, but when the standards are used to weed out people you disagree with on non-core issues.

Hopeful Theo

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I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations