Do you believe in ordination? Or, more accurately stated, do you believe in denominational structures that regulate who is ordained for ministry based on prerequisites, credentials, and education?
Tony Jones, author and a leading voice of the emergent church, has started a ruckus on his blog about the legitimacy of denominational ordination after watching his friend, Adam Walker-Cleaveland, endure a slow and difficult ordination process. According to Jones, Adam has "suffered abuse" through the ordination process of his denomination. Jones wrote:
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.
But what gets to me even more is that bright, competent, and pastorally experienced persons like Adam continue to submit themselves to these sinful systems. They assure me that it's not for the health insurance or the pension. They do it cuz they feel "called." And if I hear another person tell me that they're sticking with their abusive denomination because, "They're my tribe," I'm gonna go postal.
Jones' frustration led him to launch an online petition calling Adam to circumvent his denomination and accept ordination by "the body of Christ."
The petition states:
Adam Walker-Cleaveland, having watched you be ritually abused by the ordination process?we beseech you to forsake ordination in said bureaucracy.And please accept the following: We, the body of Christ, hereby ordain you as a Minister of Word and Sacrament, and we grant you all of the rights and responsibilities thereto. May God bless your ministry.
In a follow up post, Jones outlines some of his own thinking about ordination. Referring to the ...