Do English Traditionalists Have a Point?

Some of the few ultra-conservative Evangelicals who voted against the General Synod legislation that would have permitted female bishops have pointed to the example of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

They have noted that Episcopalians who opposed the ordination of women in the 1970’s and later were repeatedly assured that their minority view would be honored. After all, male ordination had been the view of the entire church for almost 2,000 years.

In subsequent years, however, those same traditionalists have seemed to be less and less free to express their beliefs. In some cases, they have felt hounded out of the church; they have certainly disappeared in the councils of our church. Even the large committees and commissions no longer have any dissenting members.

English conservatives may well have felt they couldn’t trust a progressive majority that was allowed to get its way. —J. Douglas Ousley

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