Buses and Bishops

If our bishops won't fly in, our buses will fly out!

I've been talking at college today with my very good friend who is part of an FIF church. It is lamentable to see his struggles over what might happen next and he suspects that when it comes to ordinations and confirmations over where he worships, they will all just simply get on a bus and these ceremonies will occur in another church where a male bishop presides and is willing. I must say I imagine them all getting on that bus, some are unaware why they are being transported out from their own church but others are fully aware, some care and some do not. For some it is very necessary and for others the confirmation or ordination would have been equally valid if it had been performed by a female bishop. Thus are our churches, there are all sorts of people of all sorts of theological persuasions on board.

Fulcrum does not articulate what the solution might be but they are praying into it and affirm the latest developments from the Revision Committee. You can read their statement here. Personally, I am glad that Fulcrum exist because they express conservative open evangelicalism as I see it and at least give me a 'body' with which I can identify, which is rather an unfortunate image to use really considering the only body to which I really belong is the Body of Christ. I suppose, as with earthly bodies, there are some bits which trouble us and some bits about which we feel comfortable, but even so the whole body must remain united in order to be whole and holy, let's just hope there aren't any nasty dismemberments no matter how much some of the limbs cause us pain. I think I would rather my friend stayed home than got on his bus!


Anonymous said...

I think that many might see the phrase
"conservative open evangelicalism" as an oxymoron!

From all I have read on Fulcrum, they define themselves by their visceral dislike of things conservative.

Or perhaps I'm wrong- might this be the evolution of yet another evangelical species- the Conservative Open Evangelical (COE)?

Not to be confused with the CoE).


Rachel Marszalek said...

Very neat, Iconoclast.

On a more serious note, you confirm something I have often thought, which is that as much of our theology is about reaction, as it is about action and I suppose, in that way, Fulcrum is no different.

DDDIII said...

Ah, Rachel, this post makes me very sad. First, because it is around the Lord's table that we gather and are nurtured in local communities/congregations so what identity do have unless we take our table with us, hoist it on the bus, as it were. And secondly, with regard to our spiritual feeding/growth/discipling - how do I mark what has taken place in me (and hopefully because of my faith community) outside of the community in which it has taken place? I hope the CofE does not go the path that only enriches lawyers as we have in the US.

Rachel Marszalek said...

Yes, DD
The press coverage of the wranglings over church property has been very disheartening. In our churches, we represent all colours on the theological spectrum as do the occupiers of seats on the imaginary bus. I like you hope that there is a way for us all to remain together in our diversity. I am not sure whom it should be who sacrifices to whom and I am conscious that I have not sacrificed my call to ordination to appease traditionalists, who do not believe I should be pursuing it and so in some ways I am a part of the problem.

Charles Read said...

Rachel - for many of us you are part of the solution not the problem! Having men and women minister equally is for us a Gospel imperative - part of Biblical justice. Don't problematize yoursef - there are enough people in the church who will do that for you!


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A little background reading so we might mutually flourish when there are different opinions