It is deeply troubling that the decision to introduce women as bishops in the Church of England was made in a kind of political vacuum, utterly divorced from discussing the theological and doctrinal imperatives, justifications and implications for the change, and taking into account only the “trends and priorities of wider society”. It is especially astonishing that such a momentous decision was reached with almost no reference to what Scriptures, the Church Fathers and Mothers, ecumenical councils, or the writings of divers Saints had to say on women’s role in the Church. Yet, following recent developments in the Church, it is sadly unsurprising that those pushing for this change did not bother to ask themselves “What do the Scriptures, holy tradition, and the Saints say on this subject?” The only real concerns in the minds of many, certainly the current and former Archbishops of Canterbury and the Prime Minister, seem to have been over questions of relevancy, public opinion, and political pressure.
Is the goal of any Church simply to “ensure its place” as “modern”, or perceived as relevant to the ever-changing norms of the society in which it exists? In their eagerness to ensure that the Church of England maintains its established position by catering to the changing tides of a public opinion largely ignorant of Christian theology and history, those pushing for these reforms seem unaware that a Church which so compromises and alters its doctrines will have little remaining authority in society to speak certain truths to it. A Church which shows itself willing to operate as a malleable institution obsessed with perceptions of relevancy and keeping its privileged status cannot inspire much devotion in its people, nor will political society or public opinion respect it as an authoritative national voice when it has surrendered all authority that contradicts or challenges them.
Photo: Abel, by Henry Vidal in Tuileries Garden, Paris, France Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199675334/ By Luke Moon (@lukemoon1) A low ranking Church of England vicar got rather nasty after the recent vote for gay marriage in the UK. Rev Marcus Ramshaw thoughtlessly used Facebook to rant against the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rev. Ramshaw publicly declared the Archbishop “a […]
By Mark Tooley (@MarkDTooley) America remains overwhelmingly religious in a world that is largely growing more religious, with fast growing Christianity increasingly competing for souls with Islam globally, especially in Africa but also Asia. Religion will be a top news maker in 2013 no less than in 2012. Here are some projections of likely stories […]
Contact: Jeff Walton (@JeffreyHWalton) 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell Washington, DC—Political shifts, continued economic hardship and changing religious trends could make 2013 a big year for church news. Below are IRD’s predictions for what religious news stories have the most potential to make headlines in the coming year. New Archbishop of Canterbury: After succeeding Rowan Williams in March as head of the […]