3.5.09

A deconstruction of The Danvers Statement

I have recently been on a return journey to CBMW. CBMW, for people in the UK, who are not familiar with it, stands for Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. It is complementarian and anti-egalitarian. In other words, they promote Male Headship and Female submission. They suspect indeed that 'feminism' is destroying society and their Danvers Statement addresses these 'problems' and calls again for the 'willing and intelligent submission' of women to their husbands.

I have returned to CBMW because I was asked to look at an article by Wallace Benn who has written at CBMW's website in response to General Synod's decision to ordain women in the early nineties. Wallace Benn is a member of Reform (UK) and Reform organised themselves in response to the ordination of women in the early nineties and continue to oppose female incumbencies and certainly women in the episcopate. Hence, rightly or wrongly, I consider Reform to be the UK version of CBMW. It is no wonder I consider them thus when on their site they declare:

'The Council and Trustees each year sign the Reform Covenant, the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

Paula Fether at Fether.net has done an interesting deconstruction of The Danvers Statement. I'm not sure how familiar Christians are over here with this statement and I am interested to know whether anyone, particularly women, in UK churches has had this teaching promoted or indeed has been advised to familiarise themselves with the work and teachings of The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

We should be interested in this when we have the leaders of some of our Church of England churches signing this Statement. (Reform and The Danvers Statement)

Now, I'm sure there are souls being won for Christ in the churches where these people work and Melvin Tinker has made some very helpful contributions to this blog in the past, but I can't help but wonder about the women in these churches, just like I wonder about the women at Oakhill and Wycliffe.

Read this deconstruction of the Statement and then ask yourself what the culture must be like in the churches whose leaders sign up to it and then offer up a prayer or two on the behalf of those women please.

3 comments:

DespizdNRejectd said...

Tanx Rachel! :-)

And excellent points of your own. I've written elsewhere to challenge the argument that as long as people get saved we must not question any "ministry". This is a dangerous principle, and one that violates clear scriptures commanding us to test and examine, to be pure instead of merely the lesser of two evils. Also, the question about what life lis like for women steeped in such an environment is the "dirty little secret" that male supremacist teachings would like kept quiet. They parade "poster child" women who exude childlike submission from every pore, and tell every woman who does not comply that she is sinful and rebellious, even if her husband abuses her.

Anonymous said...

I agree that women harm themselves sometimes by joining male supremacist groups but look at what the feminists have done to society. They have destroyed the sanctity of the family as a viable sub-group. They may as well go on to ruin society and civilization as a whole by their wayward ways and finally bring thewhole house of cards down.

Funny how what took a million years to perfect can be finished off in a few years.

Rachel said...

Hi Anon
I think your comment is a little extreme. I think we are seeing the disintegration of family life for a much wider set of reasons than that women have secured for themselves roles which they fulfil alongside that of wife and mother. There are a lot of values that are shifting and family unity is being replaced by a quest for personal fulfilment and instant gratification. Jesus calls on us to put others before ourselves and I think it is this which we are reluctant to do in a post-modern society which is all about the individual and less about the group. I do not think that we can lay the blame for these things at the feet of one gender but must instead look at how we are all implicated in the breakdown of the values we once held dear.

Blessings
Rachel

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