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:
Men, Women and God
CPAS on Women in Leadership
Books and articles by Gilbert Bilezikian