Today I have been dipping in and out of the General synod debate on women bishops. Some readers will now be confused and asking ‘what …. you mean the Church of England doesn’t have women bishops!!!???’ Sadly, no we don’t! Not yet …. but happily I think the day is coming and will be coming soon. (I kid you not – I had such a conversation last week in the coffee shop and the look of shock was amazing!)
I must admit to feeling a sense of frustration with some of the arguments against being recycled when, through our process of discerning and diocesan synod voting, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of dioceses believe this is where God is leading us. Out of the 43 dioceses, 41 voted in favour of women bishops. These meetings and discussions will have been covered in prayer and people will have debated prayerfully (as they have in general synod) … so we have asked God to lead us and God has.
It’s interesting that around the blog world the last couple of weeks that Driscoll and others have been shouting that the church is not masculine enough. A masculine Christianity is needed goes their argument … really? Coming from Driscoll, in a church that only recognises male leadership I fail to grasp how it can be more masculine!
TSK has been following the blog conversation and, as is his great skill, he writes a good summary here. In the discussion of headship, gender and suchlike TSK draws attention to the Song of Anselm who was Archbishop of Canterbury in 1109:
Jesus as a mother you gather your people to you
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds
TSK’s 6 challenges are real challenges to consider at the end of his post and challenge me, particularly number 2!
Some of the basis of the argument for all this stuff over gender and headship arises because many have lost sight of who God is. God is not human, God is God. God is not male, not is not female. When God created humanity …. male and female were created .. and both male wand female were created IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. How then can there be a difference or a holding back or a depriving of one part of God’s image from carrying out their calling from God? In one part i deprived, we are all deprived!
Maybe we need to take time, to contemplate, to rediscover that we follow a God of inclusion, a God of blessing and yes, a God of paradox …. but most of all a God of love and unity. One God, creator of all!