Tuesday 1 January 2013

Here we are at the start of another year and we wonder what it holds for each of us. As Christians we must be concerned as to
what the future for the Church of England will be. Probably ever since it was established people have been forecasting its end, but God has not abandoned it even if many former members have. A cynic once remarked, ‘God must be an Anglican or else it could not have survived’.

At the present time there are the two niggling issues regarding the proposed legislation to create women as bishops, and the response of the Church to the same sex marriage question.

In relation to the question of women bishops, the outgoing Archbishop aggravated the situation by constantly stating publicly the decision of Synod caused the Church to lose credibility. Any lack of credibility was caused by such statements. I suspect that two days after the vote the majority of people, who never come near the Church, will have lost interest and memory of the vote, and cared little. Politicians anxious to promote themselves and their agenda appear to be the vociferous ones together with a militant feminist lobby.

There will be many people within the Church who will not have given a lot of consideration to the question, but will have formed a loose opinion influenced by comments made by secular journalists, without seeking to justify that opinion whether for or against.

I believe there are two ways of coming to a decision.

The Equality and Diversity Act enacted by Parliament demands that men and women must be treated equally in that, what is open to men must be equally available to women. The Church has so far been exempted from such legislation, although two Members of Parliament are forcefully trying to cut such exemption alleging their concern for women. As both are openly gay men, one may suspect that women are not their sole concern.

If that Act is your guiding influence then you have no problem, women should be considered for bishop appointments.

If however you are deciding on biblical grounds, there is no possible way you can justify appointing women as bishops. Every passage of Scripture concerning spiritual posts declares there must be male leadership.

It may be asked why then does the Church not refer to Scripture, and the reason is simply that people in the Church do not find the biblical answer acceptable. Some have tried to amend the Bible to make their case, only to be contradicted by other parts

The Church of England has the continued problem of deciding to follow Scripture or subscribing to the current secular agenda and in too many cases gives in to the latter in order to appear relevant. The irony in that is that those to whom it is striving to be relevant are not particularly concerned or responsive.

So,all you have to do is to make your own choice; accept secular law or biblical law.

As regards same sex marriage, this is completely against Scripture, tradition and reason. This is just another Cameron ploy to make himself appear trendy and popular, at the same time consigning his party to opposition in any future election.

Naturally there will be attention seeking clergy who will want to disregard the suggested exemption for the Church of England. This is an inevitable outcome

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