28.5.08

so do male clergy and all the laity need to be 'safeguarded' against women bishops or not?

for those who think 'not', there is a petition:

here for laity

and here for male clergy

I think that the CofE will get it dreadfully wrong if it goes with enshrining in law the idea that women by their very presence, will taint an all male priesthood. I also stick by my convictions that the CofE has beauty because of its breadth. I don't want my conservative evangelical brothers and sisters to shear off and go their own way, I think we would all be poorer if we are left in little enclaves with others who think 'just like us'.

but am I so totally naiive to imagine that there might be a little trust between those who affirm and those who oppose women in the priesthood? that this can be worked out between friends in Christ?

12 comments:

hrht said...

I think that the vicars of Little Eaton and Duffield in Derbyshire will the first to fly in their bishops, unfortunately.
I am living in the parish where this is what's preached http://www.stalkmunds.stixworx.com/mp3/roleofwomen.mp3. It's killing me because I feel so called into ordained ministry. In posting this on your site it can be commented upon and critiqued. I want to understand further the other ways in which this passage can be read. After all it has to have been interpreted differently for the Church of England to have decided to ordain women in 1994. For example, I do not understand how the vicar can say that biblical submission is to put yourself under someone's authority - I thought it had more to do with putting their needs ahead of your own. The vicar talks of Christ and the beauty of his submission but surely that was in sacrificing himself for us - atoning for us, dying for us - there's the beauty!

jody said...

hrht

hello :-)

thanks for your comment.

I can only assure you that there is enough good theology out there with regards the full humanity of women - and so their acceptability in ordained ministry - that you can feel affirmed in your own calling.

if you let me know which passage has caused you most trouble, I'd be happy to expand a little, however I haven't listened to the sermon you posted, mostly because, as you will identify with, I've heard enough sexist crap to last a lifetime :-)

if you are really feeling depressed and withered at your church, it might be time to move?

blessings to you, Jody

Revd John P Richardson said...

Jody, you know this title is a bit naughty! The safeguards are not 'against women bishops'. For the Anglo-Catholics, it is a safeguarding of sacramental ministry which is required (not against women). One may not agree with this. I myself do not agree with this view of priesthood. But it is good practice to seek to give the best representation we can of people with whom we disagree.

As for Evangelicals like myself, it is again not safeguarding against women but more like the safeguarding of what we believe to be an important principle, based on the Bible, against unsympathetic, sometimes unscrupulous and generally male members of the hierarchy.

As to the talk to which hrht refers, I did listen to it, simply to see if it was any good. It was rather long (with an unnecessary digression on circumcision). There was nothing original in it (for me) but you have to do something with this passage and others like it, and I am never persuaded by arguments which say, "That was then, and there is nothing like it today to which it might apply."

The preacher invited questions, didn't hector and didn't duck the issues. If you can point me to a non-"sexist crap" sermon on this topic I will gladly listen to it.

hrht is right, though, to raise the question of how this was interpreted to allow the ordination of women. I'm still not sure about that myself!

As an aside, this isn't my blog, but I would ask why hrht feels ordination, specifically, to be important to her calling. (Just to explain what I mean, when I first put in to be ordained it was because I really enjoyed doing CU missions st University and thought it would be great to be able to do this and get paid for it. Little did I know!!)

Anonymous said...

Dear Rev'd Richardson
"That was then, and there is nothing like it today to which it might apply." I too never argue from the perspective of culture and society when it comes to looking at passages like 1 Tim 2. It is purely from a Biblical position that I can not hold that this passage restricts women from the minisrty. Some much cleverer people than me have looked at the Greek and the grammar which is fascinating and are happy that this text does not restrict women from the ministry for all time. Paul was addressing a particular situation in the church at the time - that someone with no education should not be allowed to usurp the authority of the one preaching. This stands today in principle. Out God is a God of harmony and peace and order. I would not start to stride to the pulpit with my own point of view, upsetting worship and emabarrassing the preacher. The application of the passage is just that - that we should learn first and not create chaos but go about our studies peacefully and prepare ourselves for ministry with a humble spirit. The passage does NOT mean that women should never preach.

As for my hopes. I want to serve. I want to dedicate my life to building up the body of Christ. I want to use my gifts, if it be God's will to encourge, motivate and teach. I want to share the beautiful gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through words and actions - poor vessel that I am.

In Christ
hrht

Anonymous said...

Hi Rev ugley vicar
Why the e in ugly? How do i communicate with you on ugley vicar site. I don't know how to post a comment and get through the identity google/blogger bit. Excuse the ignorance - new to all this blogging thing. It's just I've already written something for you but can't send it.

hrht

hrht said...

Don't really know what I'm doing yet - but I'll learn - just created a blog - I think called Revising Reform. Check it out - we'll communicate.

God Bless
hrht

hrht said...

Told youI didn't know what I was doing - hit on this and then you can be my first person on the site.
http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com/

Thanks Jody for enabling me to use your site to launch my own. You've taught me spiritual truth and technological know how!!!

hrht

hrht said...

Hi Ugley vicar and anybody else out there who's interested in listening to a 'non-"sexist crap" sermon on this topic"', visit my website and you can access just such a sermon. URL http://hrht-revisingreform.com

Revd John P Richardson said...

hrht, could you be a bit more specific? I can't find exactly what it is you're referring to (also the url you've given for your blog is wrong: it should be http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com/)

hrht said...

Hi Rev Richardson

My site is now making more sense. I am referring people to commentry on 1 Timothy 2 that is 'non-sexist'. It can be found at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/06/07/is-ordination-a-requirement/

On my site I have posted a sermon that was preached in the village where I live by a vicar who has preached on this part of the Bible, using it to justify his stance on women. I feel called to give alternative viewpoints. There are women suffering in that congregation, I just know it and I want to help them. See my site http://hrht-revisingreform.blogspot.com

Revd John P Richardson said...

Dear hrht

I had a look at the site you recommended. Though you will not be surprised by this, I have to say that I was not at all impressed by the scholarship, though the woman concerned is evidently sincere.

To give a couple of examples, the verb (Hebrew and Greek) to which she refers in Psalm 109 can just as easily have the sense of 'receive' as 'take for oneself'. Her exegesis of the manner in which Matthias was appointed is thus difficult to accept, and its application to Paul and thence to women or men pastors is stretching it very thin indeed!

Similarly, I looked at what she said about 1 Timothy 2, which seems to be suggesting Paul had in mind a single individual, but find nothing really to support this in the text beyond the tense change to which she refers. As an example over against this, Gordon Fee, who is no mean scholar, takes the sense as being a reference to "women" (as later in chapter 5).

In the Church of England, ordination is properly understood to be the conferring of lawful authority on someone whose gifts are already proven and recognized. The things to read are Article 23 and the Ordinal, especially regarding Priests.

Significantly, Archbishop Cranmer did not believe ordination conferred anything other than this authority, which was seen by the Reformers as essentially simply a necessary part of the ordering of the Church. This is quite a different view from that of the Catholics, who believe a person is empowered by ordination to do what the non-ordained can't.

There might be some agreement there with your woman Cheryl, but that still does not settle the gender-leadership issue. Paul, incidentally, would have been 'ordained' as a teacher within Judaism, like many of his contemporaries. The book to read is Roger Beckwith's Elders in Every City.

The best answer, I am sure, is to get on with the job Christ has given us. Ordination is, in my view, overblown in our current understanding and debates!

hrht said...

Dear Rev'd Richardson

I thought you might like this, so eloquently put:

The proper way is not to follow the world but to work hard at understanding God’s purpose and his plan through the holy scriptures so that we can settle this conflict in the church once and for all. The radical complementarians who reject women’s gifts are to blame for holding women back in the body of Christ, while the radical feminists who accuse Paul of being a chauvinist pig and who choose to ignore scripture rather than work on the inspired context are also to blame for the disrepute that has caused some to paint the whole egalitarian movement with. May God help us to get the message out that his Holy Spirit has gifted and empowered women for the benefit of both men and women in the body of Christ because he loves us and wants his best for us. Whomever God gifts and sends forth with his message is God’s gift of love to us regardless of their gender, regardless of their nationality and regardless of their social standing or their education. When we all get that message and we are humble enough to learn from others not quite like us, the church will go forth in the full power of the Holy Spirit.

Yours humbly
hrht