25.6.08

I CAN'T HELP BUT HAVE THIS CALLING

You know, if I'm really honest, even though the battle has been won (1994 women ordained)and will be (2008 women to the episcopate), I can't help but continue to be a small voice in a big sea of debate. Yes, I know, to quote Ekklesia in its preview of 'Fear or Freedom? Why a warring church must change', we should be 'beacons of hope' and as Simon Barrow explains "Many Christians and other onlookers are completely baffled by the nasty arguments within Anglicanism right now...that the love of enemies, forgiveness, hospitality, repentance, social equality and 'turning the other cheek' urged by the founder of the Christian faith has often been embarrassingly conspicuous by its absence". It's just that there is still work to be done and someone has to do it. The Church of England recognises two integrities - belonging to those who support and those who do not support the ordination of women. Conservative evangelicals, if unhappy with provision made following Lambeth, might be forming their own evangelical Alliance outside of the framework of the C of E. We will have a schism, a real one, not quite on the scale of the Reformation but still a break-away. What do we do about it?

Conservative evangelicals need to have more listening ears. If we support the ordination of women, it is not because we are victims of the brainwashing of our culture and society. For the majority, it is because we believe in God's inerrant word - Sola scriptura for sure. This is not part and parcel of a liberal agenda. We can find no foundation for the prohibition of women in ministry in scripture, even in the texts, conservatives feel contain these 'absolute truths' to the contrary. Let's get back to proper Biblical exegesis and scholarly interpretations of those difficult passages and solve these issues once and for all.

I was visited today by one more 'voice' in the sea. There are a number of us out there.

If you are one small voice hoping to sing chorus, you might want to take a look at:
Radical Evangelical
Gentle Wisdom
Awesome
Men, Women and God
CPAS on Women in Leadership
Willow Creek
CBE
Books and articles by Gilbert Bilezikian
Strivetoenter

4 comments:

Simon Barrow said...

Many thanks for mentioning 'Fear or Freedom?', Rach. If people want to find out more about it, they can go here: http://tinyurl.com/4h7hw7

! said...

Thank you so much Simon. I keep up with your Thinktank on a daily basis and find it very helpful. I aim to read your book after I've finished Kenneth E Bailey's 'Jesus through Jewish Eyes'. Perhaps I'll try to read it at the same time, actually! I'll create a link to your site and thanks - I've accessed your profile so I will now be able to visit your other blogs to which I'll also create links. I'm particularly curious about 'new front ears' - I like your sense of humour re bananas etc, much needed - some of the blogs I read can be a little 'ugley' ie dry - if you get the joke?

God Bless Rach.

! said...

Sorry - that's 'Jesus through Middle-Eastern Eyes'. My mistake - I think that's because I was watching a very interesting programme last night called 'Jews' about their psychology as the next generation and how they are so affected by the Holocaust - but that's another blog entirely and I should really branch out with something less heavy by following your example. My husband will find it very encouraging to see someone with a blog on faith and football, each constructed with plenty of passion - our God has us enjoy, and is interested in, every aspect of our lives.

Simon Barrow said...

Good to make your acquaintance. My home page is here: http://www.simonbarrow.net/ and I'm also on Facebook. Yup, humour is vital :) Cheers, S.

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.