Saturday, 3 November 2012

Sorry, but no respect, no Measure

Yesterday's Daily Telegraph carries an article under the headline "Church rift over women bishops 'may last years'" which includes the following:
One veteran campaigner for women bishops warned that defeat by a small minority unhappy with concessions would spark “huge anger” among the rank and file.

“Too much attention has gone to this 'poor, poor beleaguered minority’,” she said. “They have been pushing this but they are like a spoilt child: the more you give them, the more they want.”
And that's why 'respect' is such a fragile thing on which to base the provision for traditionalists. From where we sit, the narrative has actually been quite biblical in the wrong sense: even what we have will be taken away.

Perhaps it is time for the whole Church of England to put the thing on hold - in fact a motion to that effect at General Synod might not be a bad idea. Then there could be some repentance, some re-thinking and an example for the world to follow.

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  1. As your title suggests, and indeed the new Twitter hashtag, twibbon and account all suggest, respect is very thin on the ground. It makes a pro-women supporter like me despair at the lack of grace by so many others who I share the view with. What's worse, they seem to have given up on the theological argument and appear intent simply to push it through as something which we've waited long enough for, when it's not even been 20 years since women priests arrived!

  2. This is biased reporting of the most pernicious kind.

    "The Synod vote had been due to take place in July, but was postponed after a last-minute row over wording. A compromise was later agreed, granting traditionalists... [but] it still does not provide enough assurances for them."

    An otherwise uninformed reader of this article would never suspect that the "compromise" in fact took away from what was originally offered. It is made to look as if traditionalists scuppered the vote, then were graciously granted a compromise, and threw their toys out of the pram because it "still" wasn't enough.

    Regardless of where you stand on this issue, you'll have to admit that this shoddy, misleading journalism.

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  4. I still want to know…

    What exactly would women Bishops would add to the CofE?

    Where is the evidence that God has blessed this departure from scripture?

    Is Katharine Schori the sort of leader who's views all of us are comfortable with? (Supporter of same sex marriage, abortion, panentheism, to name just a few)

    Do we want to accelerate the current decline in membership?

    Supporters of Women Bishops have not given a single reason why this departure from scripture would benefit the church other than they feel it is a good idea.

    But of course I got it wrong, silly me the whole process is not for the greater good of God's Church rather the greater good of me and my wants.
    After all society has moved on, we have to move with the times, get real will you? What can God possibly object to? We are only reflecting society in the structure of the Church.

    Oh that's all right then..... NOT!


    Also why are so many gays keen on Women Bishops?

  5. Actually, Phil, I have addressed some of the reasons FOR women bishops here:

    Using Schori as an example of a female bishop is a bit of a dodgy argument. That's like pointing to Benny Hinn and declaring him to be a representative of Christianity that we should base our view on the faith on!

    What I will grant you is that the main arguments, on both sides, are often done with very little reference to the Bible and mainly to do with tradition or society

  6. Youthpasta,
    But Benny Hinn is not a bishop and has no power in any church other than his own. Bishop Katie most definitely has the power, and has used it to silence a great number of orthodox clergy in the Episcopal church.

    As Phil has pointed out, if you really want to know what a church with a female episcopate is like, look no further than ECUSA - a denomination that is now smaller than the Jehovah's Witnesses and heading slowly down, with dioceses amalgamating and laying off staff. And their answer to declining congregations? More legal action against their own congregations and Bishops. It's not a pretty sight at the moment, and it's one that Synod should look at if it wants to know what the future has in store.

    1. I think YP's point, is something like "Yes, but it would be unfair to associate Benny Hinn with a wider movement, e.g. Charismatics or Evangelicals" &, I predict, a pro women bishop person would say ECUSA (or TEC as it is now) & +Katherine, isn't that Katherine is a woman, but what she believes.

      BUT, see my point below - there is a connection... not that women believe strange things (far from it, or at least no more than men) - but messing around with church order IS connected to other doctrines - as you rightly say.

  7. Phil has left out some important middle steps between Women Bishops to Katharine Schori.

    BUT, he does make a fair point. Can you think of ANYONE pro-gay marriage, or pro-ordaining practising homosexuals, who is NOT also pro-ordaining women/women bishops? Of course that doesn't flow in the opposite direction (not all pro-women-bishops are pro-gay marriage/ordination/practice generally). The complimentarian would say that's because it all boils down to gender confusion.

    Similarly, it seems, everyone who doesn't believe in penal substitution is also pro-women bishops. In fact some now consider this to no longer be essential to Evangelicalism. Again it doesn't always flow back the other way. This might be a case that "correlation doesn't mean causation". But again, there does seem to be a common root to both issues and there isn't space for that here.

    I can feel some sort of diagram coming on.

    Darren Moore

    PS so Phil was basically right, but a bit clumsy in wording (sorry Phil)

    1. Sorry Darren.

      I will try to be nicer with my words in future. After all that is what being a member of a church is all about.

      Sitting around in groups, finding ways to be "nicer" to each other. That is why the church appeals so much to young men......!

      While we are on this topic Women Bishops (An even more female orientated, church) will definitely increase the appeal of the church to young men?

      What a fantastic society we are heading towards. Men have no role, except to try their best to be women.

      They will say. Lets start a war! seems far more interesting.

      Or opt out of manhood entirely.


    2. no, don't try to be nicer... try to be more accurate!

      Otherwise, people leap through the loophole you've left. Nice, definitely not. Peace-maker, kind & patient, yep, someone important said that. Whilst, silencing foolish talk. Pretty hard to do both. Sounds like a man size task to me.

      Interesting bit of analysis I did on Chelmsford Presbyterian, typical Sunday turn-out, male/female ration - 50/50, membership 50/50, Mid-week, 60/40... that's male to female.

      On niceness v kindness see

    3. of course I meant ratio, not ration. We don't ration who comes.