At the outset of a study of church structure it is good to recall some facts as to what the church is and where it comes from. It is God who calls the church into being. It is made up of those who respond to His call, who then become the church. We neither create nor form the church. Rather we become the church. Thus, the structures we may form around the functions in which the church engages, are not the church. Rather, they are structures and institutions which assist the church in doing what God has called it to do, and as such are human institutions.
General Conference policy opposes discrimination based on gender (as well as race and color), but then goes on to contradict itself. Dr.
The Pentecost experience of the disciples was a singularly defining moment for the founding of the Christian church. “That the disciples of Christ might be prepared for the great work which they were to do, Jesus had instructed them to tarry in Jerusalem until they should be endowed with power from on high. On the day of Pentecost, as they were assembled together, and with one accord were seeking for the fulfillment of his promise, the Spirit of God descended, and the hearts of those who believed were filled with the Holy Ghost.
In a document released by the General Conference on August 9, 2012 responding to the July 29, 2012 action of the Columbia Union it is stated that “It is not accurate to say that policy follows practice.” While this is recognized as true, unfortunately for the point of the August 9 document, this statement undermines its attempt to indicate that the Columbia Union action is against General Conference policy because of the fact that there is no such policy regarding ministerial ordination requiring that only males may be ordained or that females are forbidden from being ordained.