The majority of the church of England do actually want women in leadership. The general synod is made up in 3 sections. The votes last Tuesday were as follows:
The House of Bishops voted 44-03, the House of Clergy voted 148-45, and the House of Laity voted 132-74. The problem with this voting system was that it was rigged up a little like the US Senate in presidential elections. The majority doesn’t win…. this voting system is led by a two-thirds majority in all three houses.
With the agnostic media coverage pointing the lens at the vote of consecrating female bishops, dribbling for yet another bad move of the little house that God built, I had to hide under my giraffe printed ipad cover.
I love Christ, I love the churches I attend (it’s called healthy leadership – I know, shocking), but I despise religion, and the law that comes with it. Please note, God and religion have about as much in common, as Princess Beatrice and her choice of wedding headpieces.
They just – well, they just don’t mix well.
Most within the church understand that the majority of men are not threatened by the idea that women could, and should, lead in high levels of the COE’s hierarchy. Most also know that there are still some aggressive male leaders that really don’t win female approval on a Sunday. Thankfully a new generation in the church are bending down to their level and asking such male leaders to share, and play nicely. They may still have their arms folded. But that’s okay, they’ll just have to sit on God’s invisible naughty step until they’ve said sorry. That naughty step is also known as disconnection, lacking influence.
This argument for female leadership can’t be had by aggressive feminism; that just flings these men into plastic sword fighting. This argument can only begin from the same place they developed their own rules; the bible. I’d rather do it this way, than flinging myself in front of the King’s Horse. No one need do that again.
They’ve had it good. Men have. They’ve had the league of dominance for a long time and just as dominance does not work in healthy relationships, so does it not work in the church.
Women have been persecuted for 6,000 years – it’s all gone according to plan- at least for the darkest force on the planet. Eve was the one to be approached by the devil in the garden of Eden. Adam took the executive decision to eat the Braeburn and Eve got the blame. Satan hated the idea of God creating women, because he hated the intimacy God wanted to build between mankind.
To belittle the power of women was never God’s plan. It’s right there in Galatians 3:28*. It’s there when Jesus talks to women in public. It’s there when Jesus taught both men and women together. It’s there when Jesus stops the men seeking to stone the adulteress woman. It’s there in the very depths of grace in the gospel – using woman within God’s strategy, against spiritual warfare. It’s there when Jesus appeared first to Mary in the garden after his death. Mary was a woman, for those who aren’t clear. The first evangelist, was a woman.
Jesus plays check-mate with his resurrection, targeting a woman in a garden, (this was not a coincidence) and yet, we’re redirecting the process back again to segregating women from men, diminishing their real identity and purpose.
Jesus’s ministry exampled too many times his fight for, and belief of, the chicks.
So to limit a woman, is to limit God’s work.
Ladies seeking the rights for promotion aren’t desperate to overcome the men on their thrones. They just want to share it – to alleviate a chore or two. Because women are good at some chores and I’m not talking about our talents with a Dyson. We need men in leadership, but we need women too.
Are they concerned the majority of treasury meetings will be taken up with sentences like ‘you know? I don’t really feel loved when you…’ Are they concerned we’re going to add sequins to the current vestments?
Amongst that minority is fear. Fear and a lack of trust of building a teamwork between men and women in the church.
These are often the same men, in my own experience, who are obsessed with dreams of converting nations, when they can’t even have a healthy relationship with a woman. They just can’t understand them. There’s your winning component of taking over nations sunshine, understanding the other half of the human race.
On another note, when was it okay to begin to wear mixed fibers? Did Steve come into a deacons meeting one day wearing a polyester and cotton blend to a room full of gasps?
Just as we alleviated Apostle Paul’s veto about wearing clothing of mixed fibers, and the need to cover our locks with headgear in worship, so could we alleviate the idea that women can’t have a place in the hierarchy of the Church of England.
Because it’s right there in Christ. The reason for Christianity’s existence – the boss himself, was pro-woman. Jesus loves me – because Whitney Houston, I mean, the bible, tells me so.
But fear not sisters, there is hope. 2014 marks 40 years since my mother was one of the first female baptists to be ordained, not just in the UK, but in the world. She, along with my father, made a great ministry team – whilst he took the charging force, she worked on the look out for warnings before my father could spot them. She brought the compassion, he brought the drive. She bought the grace, he brought the truth. She brought the listening ear, he brought the action plan. She would be the counsellor when women of domestic violence couldn’t confide in a man, she could make leadership decisions that would be sensitive to those scenarios. Despite the prejudice towards my mother, my father fought hard for her to stay in that position. And won. She witnesses very little prejudice today. There are many churches that are fighting valiantly for the benefits of women bishops in leadership.
Also, England is pretty tiny.
Generations will evolve, churches will change with the times – I trust, whilst the grace of the gospel stays the same. That part is timeless, that part wins over the folded arms of the Laity vote. That part is the entire essence of why women are becoming great leaders across the world.
Be radical guys and let us support you, by wanting to support us.
That’s the gospel.
And that, my little folded-armed friends, is a rocking, post-modern, God.
* Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.