Topical Tuesday: Flourishing after the consecration of women bishops
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 22 Jul 2014
Many of us in the Church of England today see the consecration of women as bishops to be a departure from God's revealed plan for the flourishing of his church. As Christians, our basic confession is 'Jesus is Lord', and so we believe he must decide how the church is governed.
Through his word, the Bible, he has made it clear that the elders/bishops of a church should be godly men who live and teach the truth and can refute error (see e.g. 1 Timothy chapters 2-3 and Titus chapter 1). This in no way contradicts the God-given equality, dignity or ministry of women, all of which are also affirmed by Scripture. As our Church’s legal constitution states, we are not at liberty to interpret one part of Scripture as ‘repugnant’ or contradictory to another (Article 20), and so we cannot set aside God’s good designs for the leadership of his church in a desire to affirm this right equality.
While we may regret the General Synod’s recent decision to go ahead with this novel and divisive development, we are thankful that some provision has been made in the legislation for those who in good conscience cannot see it as a positive move. We are grateful to be assured that the Church still wishes us to flourish, and will provide mechanisms to ensure this.
What does ‘flourishing’ actually mean?
Posted by Lee Gatiss, 8 Jul 2014
In this article from the latest edition of Crossway, Lee Gatiss has a question for the General Synod as it considers the provision to be made for complementarians, those who do not believe we should have women bishops.
In the last edition of Crossway and a recent edition of The Church of England Newspaper, I suggested that there is something of a credibility crisis in the Church of England. We are officially told by the House of Bishops that they want us ‘to flourish’. Some, no doubt, voted in the dioceses to progress the women bishops legislation because they believed such fine sounding words.
But it does not feel very much like flourishing when a constituency of our size and significance is never represented at the episcopal level. Despite over half a dozen appointments being made since my articles, nothing has changed.
We are compelled therefore to ask what exactly ‘flourishing in the life and structures of the Church’ means, if we will never again see a single complementarian evangelical serving as a diocesan bishop, as some have suggested.
A succession plan for our parish
Posted by John Simmons, 4 Jul 2014
In this article from the latest edition of Crossway, John Simmons shares some of the thinking behind why his church has become the latest parish to adopt Church Society as its patron.
Blake’s words about ‘dark, satanic mills’ were not specifically about Oldham, but they could have described the Oldham of my childhood, surrounded as we were by over 360 mills.
The damp, gloomy atmosphere of this Pennine town, together with the coal mined here, provided ideal conditions for it to be the textile processing capital of the world. The parish of Christ Church Chadderton was founded in 1870 at the height of this industry as a clearly evangelical witness.
None of the mills spin these days, although many are still there. I’m back here now as the latest in a long line of evangelical incumbents. We are a parish of 15,000 today with 30 per cent of our folk being non-white, mostly of a Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage, almost all of whom are active Muslims. How do you maintain evangelical ministry in this kind of setting?
Photo by Gene Hunt