I’ve heard it said that Willow Creek Community Church tries to target middle-class males of about my age precisely because we are the hardest group to reach. As the thinking goes, if you can win them over, reaching others should be a snap. Jews for Jesus makes the same claim about trying to evangelize Jews.
I wonder who might be the hardest group of Christians to reach with the good news that in Christ there is neither male nor female (Gal 3:28), and the (to me) necessary corollary that God gifts both men and women for ministry. The (big-O) Orthodox may not be the hardest to reach, but I’m sure they’re in the top five. They’ve got a view of the church, its ministry, and its sacraments that isn’t just “high,” it’s stratospheric. And they’ve got a nearly 2,000-year track record of not ordaining women. If you can convince an Orthodox believer, you’re probably a long way towards convincing anybody else.
Clearly the author thinks Orthodoxy has a gender issue when it comes to ordaining women to Eucharistic ministry. If one were so inclined, one could almost take offense at this carefully worded criticism.
On the other hand, it is almost an unintended compliment.
At least I, for one, take it as such.
Of course, given that the author wholly misunderstands the Orthodox rejection of female ordination to Eucharistic ministry, one should really be given to reading this in the best possible light.