Lay rep: decision on women bishops right

GUERNSEY’S lay representative has defended his decision to vote against a move to allow women bishops.

Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England which voted against introducing women bishops. Guernsey’s lay representative, David Robilliard, was one of those voting. (PA Pictures) 1285752
Dr Rowan Williams, the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking during a meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England which voted against introducing women bishops. Guernsey’s lay representative, David Robilliard, was one of those voting. (PA Pictures) 1285752

GUERNSEY’S lay representative has defended his decision to vote against a move to allow women bishops.

David Robilliard, who attended the special sitting at the Church of England General Synod on Tuesday, said the legislation did not have the right provisions for those who could not accept women bishops and needed further work.

He insisted his vote was not one against female bishops but was simply against the proposals.

‘The legislation did not have acceptable provisions for either the Conservative Evangelicals nor the Anglo-Catholics.

‘It is now just a case of going a little bit further and finding some way, some sort of middle ground, so we can accommodate women bishops.

‘For the Conservative Evangelicals, the issue is authority and headship as they believe from the Bible women cannot be ahead over a man.'

Comments for: "Lay rep: decision on women bishops right"

Dee Sharisse

We are all equal in the eyes of God. Where, in the Bible, does it say that the Divine decreed that only men hold senior posts?

John Hamilton

1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Jeff

I just don't understand why people see this as an issue - the above verses from the bible are clear on this and those who are supposed to be leading the church should not ignore the very book they should believe and teach (this goes for many points such as homosexuality, abortion, divorce etc). The church has bent over double to accommodate secular society and it’s when we reach a point where they decide not to put something through (by way of political voting anomalies) everyone is up in arms.

I don’t expect non-Christians to understand (with all due respect) but the bible clearly explains the structure of leadership of the church, i.e. Christ is head, man is subject to Christ, women subject to husband, Christ subject to God (read 1 Corinthians 11). It is no wonder the church looks hypocritical and out of touch when it cannot shun these new age ideas and actually get on with the job in hand, spreading the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth. Please don’t get me wrong, Godly women are the backbone of any church, they just should not lead it.

Some people have to get over thinking it's a case of the bible being sexist or out of touch. It’s when we realise that whether man or woman, all Christians have a role to play in the church structure – these roles are most effective when the right person is in the right job.

By way of note - there is a distinct difference between a woman preaching and a woman teaching/leading. I do not see the bible saying a woman can’t preach.

Martino

Jeff, I am quite happy for you to carry on belonging to whatever little sect you choose and to carry on believing literally in all this misogynistic, homophobic nonsense from 2,000 years ago that you appear to follow to the letter.

What we are talking about here, though, is not a funny little sect like the Villiaze Evangelical but the established Anglican Church that has bishops in the House of Lords and churches and rectories over here that we are required to fund through our parish rates.

The C of E should be subject to the same progressive laws and principles of equality and inclusion that apply to all other public institutions or it should dis-establish and become just another sect. It's as simple as that.

PLP

Jeff - I think the issue of women bishops is clouding the more pertinent issue, namely the position of the CofE as the state church and its entanglement with the establishment.

Being the established church has become a millstone round its neck. The CofE are stuck playing politics and trying to pander to everyone...and as I'm fond of saying if you try to please everybody you end up pleasing nobody.

Compare the CofE with many other Christian groups (most notably the Roman Catholics). They do not allow women priests, let alone bishops - and yet David Cameron and the national media don't make a song and dance about that....and let's not forget Islam!

Disestablish and let it become an independent church free of politics and state interference. Then they can see clearly to address issues such as women bishops among themselves.

PLP

Martino - just seen your post, it came up just after I'd finished mine. In many ways you've hit the nail on the head my friend.

There are some great Anglican churches around but that doesn't change my strong distate for the concept of a state church - and your comment illustrates why.

This entanglement with the state is an embarrasment. The church should be independent and self governed, funded by its own members who voluntarily choose to be a part of it.

Doug

Jeff / John. Where do you stand on the shellfish question?

Leviticus 11:12 "Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you."

Adultery: Leviticus 20:10 "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

And the important question of mixed fibres?

Dueteronomy 22:11 "Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together."

I never knew my polycotton sheets were so sinful.

You lot all pick and choose what you wish and what satisfies your own particular form of bigotry. Why are you not picketing M&S, the fishmonger and stoning those leaving the family courts?

Martino

Cheers PLP. I think we're essentially singing from the same hymn sheet on this one - but coming at it from different ends of the belief spectrum!

PLP

Probably Martino, although I lean towards the more "traditional" side of this particular discussion. Still, I attend a church where women are allowed to be in leadership so perhaps I am a closet liberal at heart?!

Personally I think the church could learn a lesson from that old Christian proverb, "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."

Jeff

@Martino - well actually we shouldn’t need to be speaking about any specific church, Anglican, CofE or independant churches - the church, as defined by the bible, states that women should not be leaders/teachers in the church, whether you think holding this belief is incorrect or not is not the point, this is a church matter which should be based on the bible. Of course non-church-goers would likely want it to have secular equality as well as openness to sexual-persuasion but this goes against what the bible teaches. It boils down to whether someone believes in the bible as being mankind’s instruction from God or not.

What these leaders that are pushing for this ‘equality’ fail to realise that going against scripture doesn’t undermine scripture or prove it’s outdatedness; it undermines that denominations witness of the absolute authority of the bible. As soon as you declare something is no longer relevant then you open yourself up for other issues, which we have seen all too often.

@PLP – I don’t really know what I think about the CofE as being the state church – given the fact that the country is becoming more and more agnostic or atheistic I think the CofE and Anglican church in particular have clearly pandered to more secular lobbying so clearly is no longer standing firmly on the Word of God as they should be.

@Doug, you may not bother to read this as often with these sorts of discussions people simply choose to believe what they want, more specifically that the bible contradicts itself and enjoy thinking Christians are a bunch of hypocrites (latter is often true, sadly); those points that you are quoting have to be read in context and not simply understood by that verse alone. The book of Leviticus for example, is God’s instruction to the Jewish nation at Mount Sinai. These commandments were made by God to teach the nation that communion with God had to be by sacrifice as well as a way of life, in order to walk with God in holiness.

One of the areas Jesus dealt with when He dwelt in Israel was to fulfil the whole law of God; it was simply not possible for anyone (except Jesus) to live a holy enough life to make right for the sin in our lives through sacrifices etc. By Jesus’ perfect life and by His death on the Cross He took upon Himself the sins of everyone. Through Him the law was fulfilled, meaning that by His Resurrection we (anyone who believes and puts their faith in Jesus) do not have to live by these laws but can have life through faith in Christ.

Someone put it this way - all of these physical exercises [in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy] were given to teach spiritual truths. Paul [Apostle] states that “these things were our examples” (1 Corinthians 10:6). It is simply not something that is easy to understand unless you know of whom these are talking about, but that is what faith in God’s Word shows.

By me wearing my woollen Guernsey or eating some Conger Eel (cor dammy la) that isn’t something that condemns me as I don’t live under the law, as is the case for all Christians. The bible states that we are all living in one of two ways: under the law which demands death, or acceptance of Jesus’ death for our sin in our place and believing in Him and His resurrection.

It's a deep subject and happy to discuss further.

Doug

Thanks Jeff but I'm afraid I'm still unconvinced. I have given some examples of fairly explicit statements from your bible and you have given plenty of reasons why they don't apply to our society or to you personally. I can't even recall my school Chaplain fretting about scampi and chips on the menu.

However, if we look at Leviticus 18 & 20 on the topic of homosexuality I think we'll find plenty of christians who rather adore this bit of the bible and take it rather literally. I note (in the King James) that it is described as an abomination as is shellfish and those who engage should be put to death as should adulterous couples.

It strikes me that as these passages play nicely to a predetermined prejudice they held to apply in a way that views on mixed fibres are not.

Your Jesus character was rather silent on the issue I believe?

Martino

Jeff, Jeff, listen. I'm not interested in the word of God because the word of God was written without any divine help by a bunch of blokes (not women) in an unenlightened, medieval society which had no concept of quantum physics, DNA and genetics, let alone the notions of social equality and inclusion.

All I am interested in is the fact that a church institution, the Anglican Church, that I have no choice but to help fund through my parish rates, operates an exclusion policy against women getting in among the top jobs.

If it becomes independent and non established all of a sudden then I'll lose 90 per cent of my interest in how it operates internally but at the moment this is not the case.

Rachel

Yes, yes Jeff I've heard it before, "bro's before ho*'s". There is nothing holy about inequality no matter who you call yourself and sorry but i can't believe that that is Jesus's message no matter how you frame it.

Nick Le P

Ironic isn't it that when Christians want to object to Sunday trading, they are told to mind their own business yet when the Church does something, non churchgoers feel they have a right to a say.

Double standards or is it me?

PLP

Nick Le P - normally I'd agree with you, however as I've already mentioned on this thread the problem lies with its entanglement with the state. Things like seats on the Lords make the CofE part church part de facto political party.

You can't really blame people with no real church connection to want a say in an institution that technically makes up part of the government - and an unelected part at that.

As Martino said, if the CofE wasn't a state church he'd lose interest - I reckon that applies to the vast majority of non-church goers too.

Nick Le P

Paul I take your point, however, the Lords bit doesn't apply to Guernsey and there are plenty of women already in the Upper House.

Rachel

So, in essence, he feels more strongly inclined to protect those who oppose women as bishops than he feels about allowing women to become bishops at all.

Benedict

You are creating a false dichotomy. I am not an Anglican but I have followed the debate. As I understand it, the Church of England has accepted in principle that there will be female bishops. Recently it has been trying to find a formula that respects everyone's opinion. If the advocates of female bishops had been somewhat more tolerant in the provision of facilities for the traditional group, there would be female bishops now.

For decades there have been male and female doctors. Am I compelled to attend a doctor of a dictated sex?

The whole debate has been extremely badly reported by the media, sometimes wilfully misrepresented.

It is often argued that Christ chose twelve male disciples because he was bound by the social conventions of the day. This is a mistaken argument because there were many sects, cults and religions in the Graeco-Roman world that had priestesses.

Martino

‘If the advocates of female bishops had been somewhat more tolerant in the provision of facilities for the traditional group, there would be female bishops now.’

That’s one way of looking at it. The other is that if the ‘traditional group’ and its supporters had been more tolerant there would be female bishops now.

It is quite clear to me that the evangelicals and the anglo catholics do not want women bishops under any circumstances and that they and their supporters like Mr Robilliard are using this spurious legal provisions argument as a rather convenient smokescreen.

Eh

I still don't understand why the church (and other belief organisations) are exempt from sexual discrimination legislation?

Benedict

And would you wish to compel the Women's Institute to have male chairmen? Either 'yes' or 'no'. Therefore you have criteria. What are they?

Doug

So Benedict. Are you saying that the WI has male members, allows to work tirelessly for the institute, allows them to be office holders but forbids them from being the Chairman?

Benedict

By asking another question you avoid the original question. Sophisticated rhetorical trick.

Doug

You're not getting away with it that easily.

The clue to your question is the word Woman in the title of Women's Institute. It's a volunteer club for women where they have chats, make jam and raise money for charity. So no, I'd probably not compel them.

The CofE on the other hand is the established church, sets itself as the national moral guardian, has seats given it in the legislature and takes funds from us, via the tax system, to use for the maintenance of it's property.

It seems happy to take gifts and tithes from women, it seem happy to employ women in it's lower orders but forbids them from elevation to senior management.

Can you really not see a difference between the WI and the C of E?

Benedict

They are both voluntary organisations.

Both are regularly consulted on social matters.

By virtue of their office WI ladies are regularly invited to sit on influential QUANGOS.

An analysis of the contribution of the church to the community would show a balance in favour of the church. For centuries they provided schooling and hospital care.

Tithes vanished long ago.

I have often helped WI groups in a variety of ways and I have been happy so to do. I do not proceed to claim that I should be able to hold office

Rachel

Yes Benedict this is an example of sexism going both ways. There were women who even voted against equal rights when they voted in 1972. Narrow minds exist equally in both sexes.

Eh

Wouldn't have a problem with that myself!

Andy

I thought women would be too intelligent to want to be involved in an archaic belief system.

Iron Knee

I think perhaps it is simply a case that the "as the actress said to the bishop" sounds so much better than "as the actor said to the bishop"...discrimination pure and simple!

Caz

What did we expect, the bible was written by men for men. It comes down to fearing women in charge.

I hope they are forced to change, and if they can't accept it its time to go. Belief in God comes from the heart, living your life as a Christian is about how you treat others not attending a church that does not think of women as equals.

I think this is the biggest blow to the church, and will have repercussions. They are already loosing church going numbers and this will only add to the decline.

I don't attend church for various reasons, but this is not going to tempt me back.

becks

Can someone please explain why it is so important to have women bishops or even priests?

I really don`t give a damn who wears the dress on Sundays or their collars back to front because I`m an atheist and don`t even recognize there is such a thing as a god.

"Religion" no matter which form is the cause of ALL wars and conflicts so why do idiots follow such teachings and who cares if the leaders are men or women?

If you think I`m wrong then just look inwardly at the division it is causing within your own belief.

GET A REAL LIFE.

Benedict

“Religion” no matter which form is the cause of ALL wars and conflicts'

'1941: Fascist Germany invading communist USSR? And scores of other wars have been brought about for non-religious reasons

Matthew

Forgive me Benedict, but was WW2 not already well underway by 1941? I thought Hitler's persecution of the Jews was the primary cause of the war?

Benedict

Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939 because Hitler invaded Poland on 1st September 1939. Britain and France were bound by a treaty obligation to go to the defence of Poland. Sadly neither country did anything effective to help Poland at that stage.

At no point was the Jewish question a 'casus belli'.

Britain and France made a stand against Hitler because of his appetite for invading countries - Austria; northern Czechoslovakia [Sudetenland]1938; southern Czechoslovakia, 1939. At that juncture the Anglo-French axis said 'Enough is enough!' and gave their promise to Poland. In August Nazi Germany formed an alliance with communist USSR and the two powers carved up Poland.

At no stage in any of this was religion an issue.

I could have used this to make my original point. It just takes a bit longer than a reference to the Nazi attack on Russia - Fascism v. Communism, manifestly not a religious struggle.

Thank you for your question.

Matthew

So why did the holocaust happen?

Andy

There decision underlines why so many people find religion a tad creepy.

King Maker

Outdated sect cronyism gone mad. Religion was OK when you had nothing better to do – or wanted to burn your neighbour or indeed declare war on some unfortunate. But in a modern world where globalisation is king – some botched up fanciful story from 2,000 years ago doesn’t hold much water.

Now, if a lady wished to dress in some dodgy outfits and parade around in a funny hat with a stick on beard and a shepherds crook then why not.

Rachel

I was always taught that he/she was interchangeable just like he/she was interchangeable in all historical texts when referring to people in general.

How can i raise my children to believe that with hard work they can be anything they want to be and take them to a church which acts strongly against this belief? How can i do this?

Benedict

'How can i raise my children to believe that with hard work they can be anything they want to be and take them to a church which acts strongly against this belief? How can i do this?'

The church is not about 'ego' and working hard to become whatever you want to be. The church is about the death of 'ego'. The essence of the church is service - Mother Theresa lived out the Gospels as have thousands of other women.

The church is neither a business nor an institution. It is a family, partly of this world, partly of the next, that has values that transcend immediate time and place.

Doug

Oh Benedict listen to yourself. It's about service? Balls. It's about self service and doing what is necessary to gain access to the Kingdom and eternal life. It is probably more reward based than working hard. We can't take our treasure with us but you think yours is waiting for you in heaven. As for it not being a business spend an hour in front of God TV. Don't forget your credit card to purchase that important blessing.

PLP

Sorry Doug but Benedict had it right. The central point of the Christian message is that you can't earn a place in the Kingdom, Jesus did that for you.

To gain access, all you need to do is "...confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead" You don't even need to have gone to church once.

The acts of service Benedict mentions should be done voluntarily out of thanksgiving to God, not as a means of earning your way in.

I agree with you about God TV though, hence why I never watch it.

Benedict

Dear Doug,

I do not have a television.

Best

B

Doug

Hi PLP

The acts of service should be done because they are the right things to do. They should have nothing to do with a spiritual belief system should they?

Benedict - you're not missing much, seems to be a lot of Americans suggesting that if you buy the DVD/CD/Book some etherial being will make you rich/happier/less spotty.

PLP

Yes absolutely Doug, you don't need to be religious to do good.

I was talking in the context of good deeds done "in the name of God" so to speak.

Eh

PLP - So are you telling me I can go out and commit some terrible crimes, murder, rape etc and so long as I say that Jesus is lord and believe that he was raised from the dead, I will go to heaven?

PLP

Eh - that's the Gospel. Offensive isn't it?

Of course you would need to be genuine about it - and if you really believed that Jesus is Lord you would want to turn away from that kind of life. Check out the story of ex-New York gang leader Nicky Cruz for an excellent real-life example of this kind of turnaround. Also look at some of the stories on the Alpha Course website (www.alpha.org)

PLP

PS Eh - I'm certainly not flippant about this....have a look at this poignant interview with the mother of a murder victim. She is far more qualified than me to talk about forgiveness.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/a-mothers-forgiveness-for-her-sons-killers/439.html

Phil

Benedict

What pious claptrap you spew forth. The church is a business, pure and simple, just look at the wealth it's accumulated whilst encouraging others to give to the poor and needy. Hypocritical in the extreme, and preying (note the similarity to another word you're no doubt familiar with) on the fears/naivety/plain stupidity of the people it sucks in. If all religious nut jobs were to be believed there'd be countless gods around, all promising a wonderful afterlife no doubt, and all telling their followers that they are the "only God" to be obeyed/followed/whatever.

Absolute nonsense, and how anyone with a modicum of intelligence believes in it is beyond my comprehension.

PLP

Phil - Benedict is saying what the church should be, which sadly I admit often doesn't reflect the reality. Nevertheless many churches are loving, supportive communities - there are countless stories of people being supported through difficult times in life.

So, the church is not a "business, pure and simple" - and since I doubt you've ever been a part of one I don't think you're in a position to make such sweeping generalisations....but then again you are a bit of a WUM.

Rachel

The church encourages people to do good in order to earn their place in the kingdom of God (ie the person will be 'rewarded' in the afterlife).

Ego= a 'reward-system' that gives us emotional driving fuel.

Julie

Which is why a certain church is screwing my son of 10% of his wages every month. Which he can ill afford!

PLP

Julie - It is a sad misconception among many churches that the Old Testament custom of tithing (giving 10%) is an obligation for Christians. If your son is being told that God won't bless him unless he gives 10% of his income that is a lie. If he can't afford to give that much he should not feel guilty or condemned - the New Testament is clear that giving is good but the amount/frequency is a matter of individual choice.

There is some good teaching on this online - if you're interested I can provide a couple of good links.

Martino

As Phil above describes so well, your son's church is preying on the people it sucks in. Hopefully you will in time be able to rescue him from this money grabbing cult. For people like Benedict to deny that churches are businesses (very dodgy ones in some instances) is simply laughable.

Ray

Google 'The business of religion'

A very superficial one pager but with links to other sites

It starts off by saying it is a grey area ( so not one for Spartacus)but they talk in terms of BILLIONS in cash,shares and other assets

Julie

Thank you for advice and information. I will certainly look it up. It is a real concern of ours as his parents

Betty Swollocks

Are the zealots who quote literal texts from the bible more qualified to do so than Dr Rowan Williams who has dedicated his life to consideration of these matters?

Dr Williams has received much criticism for his opinions but he does, I feel, reflect the views of the majority.

It is time these religious extremists took a more liberal approach to the ordination of women.

Benedict

There are many theologians as well qualified/better qualified than Dr Williams who disagree with him. But the issue is more than about academic qualifications. It is about fidelity to what is perceived to be the truth. In that respect the humblest peasant in the Third World deserves respect. It should not be forgotten that the Anglican church has world-wide connections. The debate transcends national boundaries.

PLP

Good post Benedict (and your 5:18pm one too). What I find strange though is that the CofE already allows women to serve as vicars. There may be different interpretations of the texts but if you're going to take the Bible as the authority on this subject surely you have to either allow women to serve in all positions of leadership or none at all?

What the CofE needs at this time is strong leadership who have the courage to say "we have studied the texts, interpreted them this way and made a decision based on that interpretation." That would send a message that the leadership of the Anglican Church has studied the Bible, discussed their theological differences among themselves and then had the courage to make a decision - even if it turns out to be the wrong one. If I were an Anglican I would have a far greater trust and respect for that decision - even if I disagreed with it. Sadly, what comes across at the moment is that neither side is particularly convinced they've got it right....and in my opinion that is far more damaging to the church than taking a strong position either way.

Although some might see that as a bit dictatorial I don't. The church isn't a democracy and there are many times I've disagreed with my pastor, but each time I have a choice. Is my disagreement so fundamental to my faith that I'm prepared to leave the church? Invariably the answer to that is no....let's face it, wanting women bishops is hardly questioning the virgin birth or the resurrection is it?

markB

PLP ...Try having a Sunday off from the old claptrap your Pastor keeps feeding you..... Be a Man not a sheep.

Doug

So the Episcopal Church in the USA shouldn't have elected a gay bishop because a lot of Ugandan homophobes didn't like it? The English church shouldn't have female bishops because Nigerian misogynists will get the hump?

Life is not a race back to the Middle Ages.

gsygirl

We have 3 women Bishops in Australia

Doug

And so you should. Maybe Australian men aren't quite as frightened of women as Englishmen seem to be?

vic gamble

....isn't it all upside down in Aussie...? Don't they believe beer was made by God and women were created from a rib of a wallaby? Or is that just me being silly?

PLP

Perhaps slightly on the silly side Vic but many excellent beers (and that less auspicious Buckfast Tonic Wine) originated from monasteries so you're partially on the right track at least....God bless those monks!

vic gamble

God never had sex in his whole long life and I have combed the Bible to see if this is true...sure he is into killing and storing up treasures and all of that Viking stuff...but no, never had sex with a man or a woman..so how would you expect him to be favourable in his attitude to liberalism concerning women..I am sure Paul Le Page can find some little half-sentence somewhere in the Book of Whatever to prove me wrong...bring it on Paul.

PLP

Vic - There are a few stories in the Gospels of Jesus sticking two fingers up to the established prejudicial attitudes towards women.

Most of them seem pretty innocuous to us now such as the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery and Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene however when read in the context of 1st century Israel his behaviour was a hell of a lot more controversial than an argument over women bishops!

vic gamble

...Paul, thank you for responding...but ladies at wells and all of that wonderful story telling stuff...why would anyone want to use any of this as a yardstick to measure today's world. No don't tell me..."Because it is all relevant and the teachings of the Bible reach out to a modern world"....there, that saves you having to answer.

PLP

Cheers Vic, you've saved us both some time.

Rachel

PLP, strange isn't it how those bits are left out when formulating arguments for or against. Even the contents of the Bible have been carefully selected from many writings.

I just don't believe that jesus would approve of any policy of exclusion in any context. The virtuous do not exclude.

PLP

All I will say Rachel is that the Bible has been misused for hundreds of years by men to excuse dictatorial rule over women - particularly in the context of marriage.

My Bible tells me that as a husband I should love my wife like Christ loves the church, which means placing her needs before my own and being prepared to die for her if necessary. Tough standards indeed - and hardly misogynistic.

Benedict

I just don’t believe that jesus would approve of any policy of exclusion in any context. The virtuous do not exclude.'

1.Technically, this is a circular argument, the conclusion is built into the initial premise.

2. Jesus did not appoint women as his apostles.

On the other hand he, and the church, elevated the standing of women. And women were amongst the most enthusiastic supporters of the church.

Rachel

Benedict, Jesus also had long hair and wore long robes- doesn't mean that you are any less christian if you don't.

Imagine a virtuous person at the holy gates and Jesus saying "sorry you can't come in because you wore the wrong clothes" or "sorry you can't come in because you were a female bishop"... It's just ridiculous. These are just excuses for oppression.

PLP

Rachel - I don't think Benedict (or anyone) is suggesting that people will be refused entry to paradise because of their stance on women bishops. That is based solely on faith in Jesus Christ and not your position within the church, so being a male bishop in itself is no guarantee of entry into heaven either. Jesus himself told the self-righteous religious leaders of the day that tax collectors and prostitutes would enter the Kingdom of Heaven before them.

Nevertheless the Bible lays down certain criteria for people who should lead the church - things like integrity, good behaviour, monogamy, Christian maturity, not given to drunkenness, gentleness and non-violence (among others) are included. If these were followed more closely it's fair to say we wouldn't have so many cases of abuse within the church.

In all honesty I don't care much whether it's politically correct or not, what I care about is fidelity and integrity within a church that is told by its God to take the Bible seriously. It's also fair to say that opinion within the church is divided on the issue of women in leadership. This is down to the interpretation of particular texts, and whether instructions (particularly in Pauls Epistles) should be considered as timeless or only for a particular cultural context.

It's inevitable there will be disagreement in a community as large as the worldwide Christian church. What matters is how that disagreement is handled - in love and unity or with bitterness and schism.

Pidge

Its not that girls are not as good as us, in some things they are better. My bit of fluff is way better than me at cooking and things like keeping things clean and tidy even paying the bills. I'm okay working, but she is the bogs dollys at things like knowing when the car insurance is due.

She can't drive very well or anything like work round the house but it doesn't mean shes worse than me.

Vic you must let your women be free to be themself they dont want to be like a man.

Pete

The Bible was compiled 300 years after the death of Christ by what was basically a committee of men. They picked the scriptures they wanted and rejected the ones they didn’t. The so called Holy Land at that time was mainly Christian with a diversity of Christian sects many at odds with the beliefs of established church. Rather than being the word of God,whatever God is,the Bible reflects the views of this committee of men.

Ray

.. and 4,200 religions have since sprung up from that committee's deliberations...which one to choose?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion#cite_note-2

Rachel

here here Pete.

Benedict

Dear Pete,

1.The 'Old Testament' part of the Bible was in existence before Christ walked on this earth. Some parts of the Gospels ('New Testament') were possibly written within one generation of his death.

2.Christianity was taken beyond Palestine and was established in many countries within a generation of Christ's death.

3. If the Beatitudes were indeed composed by a committee (rather than being the words of Christ), I can only say that they were divinely inspired.

Julie

Allegedly

Benedict

Points [1] and [2] can be demonstrated by academics in a variety of ways.

[3] is my opinion.

Allegedly Julie exists.

Rachel

I was divinely inspired to write this post.

Rachel

and hear hear as well :)

cyril serbant

Hmmm, well it's their club so they should be free to set the rules, if you don't like it don't play (and there is something to be said for sticking to your beliefs no matter what I or other hand wringing liberals think of them).

What I would suggest however is that if you and your chums want exemption from certain bits of legislation then the state should not give you any tax breaks, charitable status or let you sit in the legislator.