As someone who thinks that we shouldn’t even have male bishops the current stushie in the Church of England over women bishops leaves me cold. Why argue over whether unicorns should be green or blue?
There is, however, one aspect of yesterday’s discussion in Britain’s largest denomination which is truly disquieting for all Christians. The role that gender plays in selecting leaders in the Christian church is one which is important and which divides many well-meaning Christians. It can only be decided on the basis of biblical interpretation and the theology which emerges from it.
Yesterday’s discussion in the CofE Synod, supposedly the leadership of the church, displayed a frightening reluctance to grapple with the biblical theology and a corresponding eagerness to grasp for the cutesy and simplistic. The entertainment industry seems to hold a fascination for the Anglican Synod.
The Revd Dr Canon Dagmar Winter of Kirkwhelpington, Newcastle, Rural Adviser in the diocese, who claims amongst her loves “Music and especially the New Testament,” clearly spends too much time listening to music to slit your wrists by. Instead of basing her arguments on Paul or Peter or any of those old unhip guys she instead opted for Leonard Cohen, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Dagmar also gave that other secular saint Barack Obama an obvious shout out, “Yes we can.”
Christian Rees of St Albans, supporter of the ordination of active homosexuals and film aficionado quoted from the Book Of Spielberg, specifically the parable of Indiana Jones and the chasm. It seems that when Indie has a chasm to cross he steps out in faith and finds an invisible bridge under his feet. This caused one of those nit-picking theological disagreements with Thomas Seville of York who countered that Indie failed to find and posses the Holy Grail which was destroyed. That’s the problem with films, there is always someone out there willing to distort the clear meaning of the parables in order to justify their own position.
Despite his unfortunate faux pas of giving the Almighty a mention the hard fought for prize of most inept contribution must surely be awarded to another man, David Kemp retired Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Canterbury. It seems that God was skimming stones on a lake, as He does. Turning to His otter companion, we should not forget that the Almighty is also an eco-warrior, He said “They’re fencing me in with the history, and their Book and their ideas again.”
In the interest of balance I wish I could say that this would never happen in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, but then there is that pesky 9th Commandment.