Comments: opinion

Margaret Hebblethwaite seems to be assuming that Pentecostalism is representative of all evangelicalism, which is a bit like assuming that Holy Trinity Brompton is representative of all Anglicanism.

Posted by Tim Chesterton at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 1:31pm GMT

I enjoyed reading Mr. Hobson's piece.
I can’t argue about establishment, as I'm a Yank and we don't have that here yet, and I hope never. Back in the 1950s and before, TEC was called the “Republican Party at prayer”, because TEC and the political establishment were considered almost the same. Not anymore, LOL
I wanted to comment on the last section of Mr. Hobson's article. Doctrinaire, triumphalist conservative Christians would disagree, but it is precisely because we have no establishment religion that the average US citizen still views religion favorably. No government telling you what to believe, or assuming that you are automatically a member of the established church. No government working with church leaders to make a homogenized religion that may not excite anyone, but doesn't offend anyone, either. Well, except for those pesky folks who think that a national church should reflect the nation and include women and glbt people in its pastoral leadership positions.
And for those who pray that our divisions may cease, so that "we may all be one", I suppose the US is a disaster. Why argue about theology, structure, etc., when you could move down the road and start your own church? The result is hundreds of Christian denominations or independent churches. But I would argue that the result is that, for most people, they are in church, praying in the pews, because they want to be there. Not because it will increase their chances of getting their children a coveted spot at a prestigious school, although those people exist.
Now, I would prefer that separation of church and state would be even more total and absolute, that conservative presidents didn't feel the need to integrate religious conservative values into the law of the land for everyone. That we didn’t throw God into every discussion of national policy. But, overall it works, I think.

Posted by peterpi at Saturday, 6 November 2010 at 6:07pm GMT

"They (women clergy) reach places the old fashioned public schoolboys club that was clergy chapter back in the seventies never did, and have helped develop a more realistic picture of servant ministry to replace old romanticism."

- Bishop Alan Wilson - Change, Decay & Renewal -

What a wonderful way of describing the renewal of the outreach of the Church through the ministry of women! In fact, without women clergy at the moment, the Church in England would probably collapse.

The threat of male priests (& bishops) leaving for the Ordinariates could never be balanced by the possibility of our female clergy threatening to leave. The main difference is, that the women have been called by God and the Church to minister amongst us. Whereas the males who leave may actually be called into another part of the Church altogether - balanced between Rome and Canterbury, but without the emoluments.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 7 November 2010 at 8:56am GMT
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