Skip to comments.We're Not Going to Get Over It
Posted on 02/09/2006 5:23:35 PM PST by sionnsar
Over the last three years even revisionists have come to accept that our current unpleasantness is not just going to blow over like womens ordination. That, if you remember, was the mantra coming out of GC2003. The same people who just got over womens ordination (WO) back then will just get over same sex blessings and ordinations now.
Well, that hasnt happened and a lot of people in high places are no doubt scratching their heads. I think I have some idea why theyve been so blindsided.
In seminary, I took a course on congregational dynamics. One section of this course dealt with introducing change. We were given the following formula. Every time you initiate change of any sort you can expect roughly ten percent of the congregation to react supportively, ten percent to react negatively, and the remainder to fall somewhere in between. The key, according to this theory, is to stay pastorally connected to all three sections of the congregation while refusing, gently, to turn back. If you continue to move in the same direction while staying connected, keeping the avenues of dialogue open, then eventually the broad range of people in the center will swing your way. At that point, those who make up the opposing ten percent will either refuse to adapt and leave or stay and submit to the change. If they stay, you can expect the very same people to object to the next change, whatever it is, in the same way and subsequently adapt in the same way.
One key to this congregational dynamics theory is the idea that the content of change does not matter. Change of any kind will evoke same responses and can be accomplished successfully if you simply follow the correct pattern: stay connected and dont back down.
In the aftermath of GC2003 I recalled this theory and I began to suspect that the confident expectations on the part of many ECUSA hierarchs derived directly from it or from similar theories. They seemed to think of the orthodox dissenters as that last cranky ten percent: stubborn reactionaries against change of any kind. They thought that if they could just stay connected (dialogue, table fellowship) and stay the course, we would eventually leave or adapt to the change.
Well guess what?
That didnt happen. It turns out we didnt leave and we arent going to adapt so much for theories.
There are a myriad of reasons why this did not turn out like WO, but chief among them is the fact that the content of the idea itself, the assertion that the Church can and should bless homosexual sex relations is, in fact, not comparable to WO. Those holding the classic position on scriptural authority, evangelical and Anglo-catholic alike, recognize that the decisions of GC2003 are fundamentally incompatible with the teachings of Scripture. Assent or submission, therefore, is unthinkable. The orthodox are united in this core understanding. Whatever you think or thought of WO, the same was not true.
Content, in this case, not only matters, it is the matter
IMHO, it is absolutely ridiculous that any Christian congregation should even be having this discussion. Love them, minister to them, try and help them...but in no instance accept such behavior as "good" or in any way bless that behavior.
His point would work better if a lot of folks didn't know that ordination of women is also contrary to scripture. He's just caught up on what parts of scripure should be thrown out, not whether scripture should be discarded.
Actually, I'm not.
You missed my point. I was simply stating the fact that in this particular instance both conservative wings, evangelical and Anglo-Catholic are in full agreement. That was, in fact, not the case with WO.
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