A member of the General Synod of the Church of England explains about the vote not to allow women bishops.
The legislation we voted on needed to achieve two outcomes: the ordination of women to the episcopate; and sufficient provision for those who, for theological reasons, find this innovation unacceptable.
For theological reasons – that’s important, you see. They can’t be political reasons or moral reasons or we just don’t like them reasons. Why? Because it looks bad. But theological reasons – ah now that’s a whole different kettle of bullshit. That gets a pass, and a wide berth, and a deep bow, and a determined looking in the other direction.
You can do a lot with theological reasons. You can drone about how the bishop is supposed to be a Jesus-substitute, and pretend that that means the bishop has to be A Man, while the bishop doesn’t have to be Jewish, or a carpenter, or an Aramaic-speaker, or a whole list of things that Jesus had or was. All the variables can vary except just this one thing, and that one can’t be touched not nohow. The bishop can be different from Jesus in more ways than anyone can count, as long as the bishop too is A Man.
In other words, the Church of England wanted women bishops but within the framework of an inclusive church, where people could disagree about the ordination of women yet remain loyal Anglicans and united around the good news of Jesus Christ.
An “inclusive” church that includes people who think women are inferior, but not people who think churches shouldn’t make rules that apply to everyone while excluding half of everyone from the rule-making jobs.
Voting no was a vote for equality in the church; equality that stems not from what we do, but from what God has done for us; God created each one of us and Christ paid the same price for each one of us, so we are free to serve one another without reference to role or status. Leadership in the Church is surely modelled on the Son of Man.
Word salad. The church makes rules for all its members, but excludes half its members from the top decision-making jobs. That’s not some special fancy goddy kind of equality.
To be called to be a bishop is a calling to serve God’s family. The Church is not a workplace, with a hierarchy to climb, but a family in which each member has different responsibilities but is equally valuable. To be called to be a bishop is not to be called to be a CEO but to be a father to the church family. The bible teaches us that fathers are called to lay down their lives in self-sacrificial service by taking responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their family. Of course, the Church needs mothers, too, but I believe they have a different, equally self-sacrificial and equally valuable role to play.
No. It’s not “equally valuable.” If women are officially excluded from the top of the hierarchy, that is not any kind of equal. It is profoundly dishonest to pretend it is.