Thursday, 2 February 2006

women bishops: the opponents rally

Updated Friday

In the Church of England Newspaper there is an article listing Roger Beckwith, Wallace Benn, Gerald Bray and Mike Ovey as contributors, which sets out Why evangelicals are unhappy with the Guildford proposals.

And another article in the CEN reports on the Forward in Faith rally last Saturday: Church is treating us like children says bishop and Bishop Lindsay Urwin wrote in his local newspaper that Women bishops - compromise ‘won’t solve problem’.

Detailed reports from the FiF rally are to be found here, and here.

Update The Church Times has an extensive report by Glyn Paflin on the FiF event: Catholics will take TEA if it’s ‘fairtrade’.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 2 February 2006 at 4:38pm GMT
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

Concerning the CEN article on the Guildford Report, has the adjective 'conservative' mistakenly been deleted in the headline before the word 'evangelical'? It does not make sense without it...

Posted by: Graham Kings on Thursday, 2 February 2006 at 6:17pm GMT

I find it ironic that FiF believes that the "Church is treating us like children".

Isn't that exactly how they treat Anglican women? "No, no, sweetie: you only *imagine* that God is calling you to the priesthood. Be a good girl now, and go back to the altar guild!" ;-/

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Thursday, 2 February 2006 at 8:29pm GMT

Not all "Anglican women" support the innovation. I was unable to attend the meeting on Saturday, but just listened to Emma Forward's speech. It adds to my glee that the youngest member of General Synod is a FiF supporter and a woman. This must have seriously brassed off the establishment. (How kind of the Germans to lend us that useful word Schadenfreude!)

The problem in a nutshell is precisely that the Guildford commission couldn't be bothered to talk to opponents. I suspect that the powers-that-be have rather lazily put up the unfortunate Bishop of Guildford to placate the spikes in much the same way that Tony Blair puts up John Prescott to placate the lefties. Sorry, folks, but it won't work. John Prescott is no longer an NUS shop steward and the Bishop of Guildford is no longer the curate of S. Michael's, Tividale, remembered by spikes of a certain age from the midlands.

I recall the last liturgical function at which Bishop Hill and I were both present (I at the church where I normally worship when in the midlands and he for a family occasion). I felt rather sorry for him, sitting in the congregation as if he were a layman, while a "flying bishop" was chief concelebrant. However, I would have hoped that this probably rather unpleasant experience might have made him realise the gravity of the situation.

Posted by: Alan Harrison on Friday, 3 February 2006 at 2:11am GMT

CEN article sounds like banal humour followed by so much beaurocracy and so little scope for God.

Posted by: Tim on Friday, 3 February 2006 at 9:40am GMT

Alan Harrison, "glee" seems a very strange response to what you describe as a grave situation.

And I would no more feel sorry for a bishop sitting quietly in the congregation while other bishops and clergy officated than I would feel sorry for Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

It isn't all about power or status. It's about love.

Posted by: badman on Friday, 3 February 2006 at 6:18pm GMT

"It adds to my glee that the youngest member of General Synod is a FiF supporter"

Not surprising in the least, Alan.

After James Fowler ("Stages of Faith"), we all come into this world as little fundamentalists (w/ "God" usually being a projected combination of the Great Teat and, regrettably, the Great Swat). Hopefully, we grow out of this stage, and into something more mature (something more New Testament! :-D).

That the "youngest member" appears not to have done so (to the level of an adult faith), isn't as sad as that quite a few of her *elders* seem similarly stuck... :-/

{Just callin 'em as I see 'em---not that I couldn't stand to be "more mature" myself!}

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Friday, 3 February 2006 at 9:05pm GMT

From the ChurchTimes "TEA" piece:

"In the 1980s and ’90s people paraded their pain in front of us, at not being able to fulfil, as they saw it, their vocation. Well, I want them to hear about my pain in being regarded as a ‘thing’ on the edge of the Church. I am fed up with being regarded as a nonsense."

A nonsense? No. Persons, beloved by God, aren't nonsense.

But to equate the *the denial of orders, merely on the basis of gender* to the inability to *maintain male-supremacist hegemony* is NONSENSICAL. [Love the "as they saw it, their vocation" swipe! Sarcasm/off]

FiF is, fundamentally, seeking *permission to create schism* . . . but that permission can never be granted (by definition). If schism is what they want, then they'll just have to take it, "damn everything else." :-(

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 5 February 2006 at 2:52am GMT

JCF wrote: "we all come into this world as little fundamentalists........... Hopefully, we grow out of this stage, and into something more mature (something more New Testament! :-D)" AND "*maintain male-supremacist hegemony*"

Dear JCF, Either you don't understand the position of conservatives very well at all, or you are indulging in trite condescension - which is hardly "New Testament" behaviour! Most conservatives I know believe in equality but not sameness of the sexes. Men aren't superior if only they are called to certain roles, and women to others.. just different ! Or are you saying that Christ was "maintaining male-supremacist hegemony" when He chose only men as Apostles ?

And as for trying to recruit developmental psychology to prove that only liberals are mature... I think most people in western society start out liberal humanist as that is the surrounding spirit of the age. I started out a liberal christian but now I realised I was just a confused Christian! If I were still a liberal I would be worried about why all my most passionate themes happened to be the same as the issues current in the culture around me !!

Posted by: Dave on Monday, 6 February 2006 at 10:15pm GMT

Dave,

Patriarchal ideologies/religions routinely exaggerate the differences between the sexes in EVERY area . . . but no more so when they determine that only one gender, males, has the "calling" to *define* what those differences (supposedly) are! (Thank God that Christianity is not, intrinsically, such a belief-system! :-D)

"Or are you saying that Christ was "maintaining male-supremacist hegemony" when He chose only men as Apostles ?"

That's way too complicated a topic to be responded to propersly in a comment thread. Suffice to say that *today* the Church, in its wisdom, is coming to understand God-in-Christ calling both men and women to ALL orders, including that of "apostle" (bishop).

"trying to recruit developmental psychology to prove that only liberals are mature..."

That's your characterization of Fowler, Dave, not mine.

"I started out a liberal christian but now I realised I was just a confused Christian!"

Every time I have had an in-depth conversation w/ an "I used to be a liberal Christian", I have found that I don't believe the "liberal Christianity" that they don't believe in either.

. . . I *do* believe in a Christ that liberates ALL people, however. In my experience, conservative Christians invariably have some "except for _____" clauses. :-/

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Wednesday, 8 February 2006 at 12:49am GMT

Dear JCF,

My, my, you're certainly vocal.

I was in the debate when Emma Forward spoke against the assumed (and widely sprouted) position that all young people and all women wanted the ordination of women. She, like many other women, stood to say that from their reading of the scriptures, women had equal but different roles from men.

This is not about how society perceives us, nor about the rights or otherwise of women, but about a mature and reasoned approach to the scriptures.

As for your comment that the only reason she holds her beliefs are that "Hopefully, we grow out of this stage, and into something more mature (something more New Testament! :-D)... the 'youngest member' appears not to have done so (to the level of an adult faith)"(jcf), I can only say a few things: The new testament contains some quite clear passages about the different roles for Christians, and talks about different parts of the body all completing different tasks to further the whole body. Your reference to her spiritual maturity is clearly based on the presumption that you have accurately interpreted God's commands, and on her age, yet "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."(Luke 18:17).

Age has nothing to do with a person's spiritual growth (or lack of it), and although we may "all come into this world as little fundamentalists" that doesn't mean that those opinions are wrong; rather you have become world-wearied and unable to support the strength of your beliefs (if indeed you ever had any). Perhaps your use of the "'God' usually being a projected combination of the Great Teat and, regrettably, the Great Swat"(jcf) is quite indicative - for we are told time and again in the scriptures that "The rod of correction imparts wisdom" (Proverbs 29:15a) and that "A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating" (Proverbs 18:6)... are you a fool that you do not believe in discipling children?

I don't believe in a "Christ that liberates ALL people"(jcf), except in setting them free from sin. The new testament does not for example say that people shouldn't have slaves, nor that all prisoners should be set free, nor even that people shouldn't have to have the burden of taxes (Matthew 17:24-27, Matthew 22:17-22).

Christ died on the cross (and rose again) to give people the opportunity to escape the consequences of their sin, but only if they became his slave (Romans 16:22-23). So no references to bra-burning at all! Christ calls us for his own, but like all slaves we have to live the way our master wishes.

-=Romans 16=-
22But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

---------------------------------------------------------
Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Bible NIV
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved

Posted by: TC on Saturday, 18 February 2006 at 7:26pm GMT

Iam a committed Anglican, who believes in the truths of the Gospel.If there is to be a new Heaven and a new Earth, love, compassion and justice must prevail. I understand that my Church is in a turmoil over the question of the ordination of female bishops. What on Earth is all the fuss about? Let them be so ordained if they feel that particular calling. Some, I'm sure would make splendid bishops, with something special to offer than no man could give.
Right through the centuries women have been oppressed and held back by a misogynistic,male- dominated Church hierarchy. The time is now ripe for that form of injustice to be repaired.If the Anglican Church allows the Ordination of women bishops it might indeed become more worthy of the name 'Christian'.

Posted by: Robert J. Harris on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 3:30pm BST
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