Belinda Brown: Feminism is corrupting the heart of the Church

The Right Reverend Philip North, selected to be a diocesan Bishop  is to ‘withdraw’ from his appointment. Why?  Reverend North does not believe in women priests, and this has caused more than a rumble in parts of the Anglican Church. Residents from his new diocese  spearheaded by Reverend Professor Martyn Percy and his wife Reverend Canon Dr Emma,  have been working  to get Rev North to either change his views or stand aside. They have succeeded in their mission. This is the second post he has been pressured by activists in the Church to withdraw from. In a statement he said "The highly individualised nature of the attacks upon me have been extremely hard to bear. If, as Christians, we cannot relate to each other within the bounds of love, how can we possibly presume to transform a nation in the name of Christ?"

While Rev North is guided by Theology, God is suprisingly pragmatic and his laws serve the human condition well. I also don’t think women can be, or should be ordained.

The motivations for doing so are influenced by secular ideology and the creation of women priests threatens the integrity of the Church.

The desire to have female priests and bishops is driven by a secular idea of equality based on power and status. This ignores that a servant is equal to his master and we are all equally precious in the eyes of the Lord.

The insistence on a secular equality of power and status between male and female is particularly pernicious. It is a denial of the difference and complementarity of the sexes and these were created by God.

Above all, it suggests a stubborn and wilful denial, even a rejection of the greatest gift God has given to women; the gift of new life. It is turning our face from God. For if we truly valued that ability, we would never feel threatened or undermined by male power. We would know that we are totally and utterly the equal of men.

We don’t properly value our reproductive potential because we have lost sight of the value of life itself. This is a consequence of feminism which supports abortion, and divorce, encourages us not to look after our children and is inimical to life itself.  We can see it reflected in an extremely influential feminist text: “Women’s body seems to doom her to mere reproduction of life; the male by contrast… must … assert his creativity externally … In so doing, he creates relatively lasting, eternal, transcendent objects, while the woman creates only perishables – human beings”.

By devaluating our reproductive capacity, feminism blinds women to their equality. And it is feminism that is corrupting the heart of the Church.

For when we properly value human life and therefore our capacity to reproduce it, we see our roles as complementary. Women give birth to the physical body. Men as fathers are providers, as priests provide spiritual substance. Through baptism a person is reborn.

Furthermore when we look at the role of the priest, it is women’s interests which are most tangibly served. Biologically men are more marginal to family life. Historically family life was dependent on their commitment and even now it plays a far larger role than feminists care to admit.

Through marriage not only are men channelled into being faithful, but through the symbolic representation of God the father and man the padre they are corralled into protecting, providing and if needs be even making the ultimate sacrifice.

This point is totally and utterly lost when a woman decides that she will be the father in the Church.

Having men as priests is not only good for women. It is also essential for the wellbeing of the Church. Motherhood and priesthood are mutually incompatible because both involve putting something of infinite value first. Mothers – their children. Priests – Jesus Christ. God tested Abraham to see if he would put God before his child. God would never be so cruel as to test Isaac’s mum.

Of course, we all know that many priests are not and never will be mothers or that they could be very devoted fathers to their own offspring. The point is that rules should be there to reflect general patterns and maximise potential. Even if this disadvantages those who would take exceptional roles.

Such injustices and unfairness are the bread and butter of Christianity. The meek can cope with them because they will inherit the earth.

After 25 years of women in the priesthood the Church is looking like a compass that has forgotten which way is north.

God’s calling is reduced to a career as the language of equal opportunities replaces theology under the greedy eye of WATCH: “There has been no attempt to make special provision for women – no sense that it might have been helpful to redress the lack of women in senior positions – no attempt to take advice from  other organisations about how appointment proceedings may need to be reviewed if women are to flourish”.

To see women bargaining in the language of equal opportunities to act in personae Christi in some sense desecrates the priesthood. Jesus did not want, or ask, or choose, to be hung upon the cross.

Concepts such as sexism and feminism are part of the ideological soup we live in. Protecting us from the waxing and waning of earthly ideologies should be part of the role of the Church.

Martyn Percy worries what the church looks like to those outside it. Why pay tuppence for public opinion? I thought the Church was supposed to be concerned with pleasing God.

And the women priests in Rev North’s future diocese are worried that he won’t be able to provide support and sustenance. I thought they took their support and sustenance from God? They should not care what Philip North thinks of them because they should know that God is their ultimate judge.

St Paul made it clear that the celibate were better able to serve God (although this isn’t compulsory). In today’s Church we see the married - Emma and Martyn - chasing Philip North, a celibate priest, out.

I do believe these women had callings and that the Church was right to listen. But the women should have been more creative about what they had to offer and the Church perhaps more attentive to what God was asking them to do.

(I would like to acknowledge the influence of my husband Geoff Dench's book "Transforming Men: Changing Patterns of Dependency and Dominance in Gender Relations”)

Belinda Brown

  • Bik Byro

    Starvation in the world
    Wars going on in the world
    Injustices going on all round the world
    Church of England priority : whether or not to have women priests.

    • Andrew Tettenborn

      How many people will be fed, or wars stopped, by a decision to accept women priests? A church must be ruled in its beliefs by theological, not secular, considerations.

      • Bik Byro

        You have just brilliantly demonstrated why you are part of the problem and not part of the solution and why many people laugh at the increasingly-irrelevant navel-gazing church.

        • choccycobnobs

          The CofE is not increasingly irrelevant in my eyes. I bimble around the graveyard in the mornings with the dog. Lovely and peaceful. Wouldn’t welcome it becoming more relevant though, place might get busy and full of screechy feminist types….ughhh!

          • Bik Byro

            Hehe. The C of E right now is like Jeremy Corbyn’s labour party : a dwindling bunch of navel gazing enthusiasts focusing on completely wrong priorities, unaware or uncaring that the rest of the country has left them behind and is laughing at them.
            And, like Jeremy Corbyn supporters, they either cannot see it, are in denial about it, or refuse to do anything about it.

          • choccycobnobs

            Nail on head Bik

          • Phil R

            I agree with you for once.

            The Anglican Church focuses on the wrong priorities and that is the root of the problem.

            Many current issues, women priests gays marriage etc should not have been given 5min of Synod time. The Bible is very clear and the Church should never have even gone there on many current “issues”.

        • Andrew Tettenborn

          Is a church likely to make people sit up, take notice and follow it simply by parroting every modish secular nostrum? Left-wing clerics have been doing this in the C of E for decades. The result … politely put, plenty of room in the pews.

          • Bik Byro

            OK, keep on circle-jerk navel-gazing then.

  • Lagopus scotica

    Thank you Belinda for articulating what many women feel, it is not right that we should be priests.

    • Busy Mum

      Though nobody needs to be a ‘priest’ anymore as there is no further need for sacrifice!

  • Partridge

    Excellent article.

  • James Chilton

    Rev North’s arguments against the women priests lobby are not only ineffectual, but useless.

    The Church of England is career option now. The clergy who are employed by it have no “vocation” in the traditional sense. They have chosen a branch of the social services in which to make their living, and they must abide by the rules which regulate the conduct of social workers.

    • Bik Byro

      Every minute the church spends arguing the toss about women priests is a minute that could be spent campaigning vociferously against FGM or for the rights of the unborn child.

      PRIORITIES.

      • Busy Mum

        Women ‘priests’ are the cause of the problem – their priority is to ‘fulfill their potential’ rather than fight evil. They are more about serving themselves than serving God. If women ‘priests’ were going to be so wonderful, why has the CofE become the laughingstock of the likes of you? I cannot see how women ‘priests’ have done anything other than hasten the decline of the CofE.

        • Bik Byro

          you’re never going to get it, so there’s no point, keep navel-gazing, keep watching the decline, wondering what’s going wrong despite me telling you.

          • Busy Mum

            I am not part of the CofE. I am not wondering what is going wrong. I know what is going wrong. The CofE has abandoned the truth, that’s what is wrong with it.

          • Bik Byro

            ho hum, none so blind etc.

          • Busy Mum

            …but now ye say, ‘We see’; therefore your sin remaineth.
            John 9 v 41

          • Bik Byro

            anyone can copy and paste biblical quotes, it’s just tiresome.

          • Busy Mum

            But not ‘anyone’ knows the words are there in the first place. I didn’t copy and paste by the way; I knew what I was looking for, turned a few pages and found the reference.

          • Bik Byro

            You need to be told that for the rest of us it comes across as tiresome and demonstrates an inability to think for yourself, just the same as someone quoting from chairman Mao’s little red book as if it somehow made a valid point.

          • Busy Mum

            Why wouldn’t it be a valid point? How can one understand Chinese history if one remains in ignorance of what Mao said?

          • Bik Byro

            It doesn’t mean that anyone quoting from his book would be right by default though, would it? If anybody tries to claim the superior high ground with me by quoting from somebody else’s book, I, like many others, get bored with them very quickly.

          • Busy Mum

            But we are on a thread discussing the Church of England, which has, or rather had, the Bible as its sole authority.

          • Bik Byro

            If you want to take your authority from a book that talks about talking snakes and women made from ribs then that’s your decision.

          • Busy Mum

            It’s not about me – it’s about the CofE.

        • Iain T

          Maybe you should just get back in the kitchen dear and let the men got on with it. ( BTW in case you’re not clear this statement is ironic)

          • Busy Mum

            I am only commanded to keep silence when in church so am at liberty to speak my mind when out of it:)) In fact, it is my duty as a woman to be a ‘helpmeet’ to man i.e. support, and warn when necessary. Men do not have the monopoly of truth and men are just as liable to err as women.

          • Iain T

            That’s true.
            Do you obey the injunction to avoid wearing mixed fibres? I assume there’s no polycotton in “Busy Mum”‘s household

          • Busy Mum

            Where does the apostle Paul mention mixed fibres?
            I am a Gentile and am under no obligation to follow Jewish ceremonial rules.

          • Iain T

            I’m afraid our understanding of our faith is really very different . As a gay man I am not able to subscribe to your understanding of the role of women so we need to agree to differ with mutual respect

          • Phil R

            ” As a gay man I am not able to subscribe to your understanding of the role of women so we need to agree to differ with mutual respect”

            Mutual respect has been a clever tool for getting acceptance in churches for behaviours and views that the Bible condemns.

            It would not surprise me to find churches that offer Devil Worshippers “respect”.

          • Iain T

            I was offering respect to someone whose views I do not agree with but clearly you are not able to respect me.

          • Phil R

            Nothing personal at all. God clearly condemns a number of behaviours. We are all under grace as Christians so we are not under the law. However, if we say we love God then we keep his commandments.

          • Iain T

            Yeah but is personal as my God given sexuality is part of my pesonhood.

          • Phil R

            All behaviour is a choice. Otherwise, we would spend our days acting on every desire.

            Man desires many things and it is ludicrous to suggest that we can choose what is good based on personal preferences.

          • Iain T

            Human behaviour is not simply a matter of choice are much more complex than that. Anyway I’m off to make some tea and toast unless there’s a biblical injunction against that

          • Iain T

            I was thinking about you in bed (Ohhh Matron!)
            It seems that folk on this website are guilty of the very thing they deplore. You demonise a group of people without any sense that there are different viewpoints within the group – even the conservatives here do not all agree on the same issues. In the same way you deplore the approach of others you wish to impose your views and demands on others and recruit God and the Bible to validate your position.

          • Busy Mum

            Relevance of that comment?

          • Iain T

            What do you mean?

      • Under-the-weather

        The rights of the child – period. What would be interesting is a debate on when life begins, because of course the church believes on initial cell division, while science says an embryo is still part of the mother, and points to consciousness as the beginning of an independent life. Intervention (including the automatic preservation of life under any circumstances) can have dire consequences for an unborn child who has no say in the matter either way. The question arises as to what is possible to determine from a scan when, and that appears to have insufficient detail.

        • Busy Mum

          I think science is correct on this – from a religious point of view, the question is ‘when does the soul enter the body?’
          As a result, I think the ‘rights of the child’ argument detracts from the real reasons why abortion is wrong.

    • Greenlander

      It has been like this for hundreds of years, one son inherited the business, one joined the army with a bought commission and any other with an education went to the CoE and daddy used what influence he had to get him a wealthy parish. Yes there were some Christians who became clergy but an education was necessary and few in the past could afford the education needed to become a Minister or Religion.
      Look at all the little extras Bishops got by being involved in ‘paying’ schools and hospitals, when you see something with the Bishop of blah in the title you can be assured that Bishop got a salary from it, and lets not forget the HoL.

    • Coniston

      This is certainly not true of many priests I know (on the other hand I certainly try to avoid all well-known ‘liberal’ priests).

      • James Chilton

        I was thinking about the hierarchy in the C of E, not the humble and diligent parsons – if any are still preaching the gospel.

  • Timmy

    Just wait in 10 years Jesus will be a woman.

    • Probably a transsexual to cover all possibilities..

      • Iain T

        He might even be an English Pensioner!

        • I wouldn’t have the energy. Blogs and e-mails hadn’t been invented!

          • Iain T

            I think God is English – at least in the C of E

  • Sargv

    CofE is a non-taxable real estate agency with massive portfolio and direct access to some high-power patrons. Feminists and LGBT – all of them just want their piece of it. Theological arguments are absolutely irrelevant here – and so CofE will soon be.

    “Get a share of public institution that was build by previous generations using ‘equal rights’ as a leverage. Cash out by selling all assets it still have.”

    • choccycobnobs

      Bang on the money

    • Hoyos

      As concisely put as anything.

    • Coniston

      Actually, the income from the ‘massive portfolio’ (at present) of the CofE goes very largely on pensions for retired clergy – who tend to live a very long time.

  • markbrev

    “Martyn Percy worries what the church looks like to those outside it. Why pay tuppence for public opinion? I thought the Church was supposed to be concerned with pleasing God.”
    Unfortunately, God does not write for the Guardian, pleasing the readership of which now appears to be the CofE’s primary aim.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    The reform of the CofE now seems urgent.

    • Phil R

      CofE contracted a terminal illness a long time ago.

      A cure is available. But the leadership cannot the the pain and would rather die.

      • Belinda Brown

        The cure being?

  • Unusually, I have to disagree on this one, Belinda. I think you’ve conflated natural orientation with role, in which there is choice. So many reasons. Start with how Jesus and Paul treated women as equals, radically different to the culture of the day. Also there are clear and obvious examples of women leaders in the new testament – Lydia, Priscilla, Julia. Then ask if God created male and female in his image, why give such amazing gifts of leadership to women – I’m immediately thinking of my wife and daughters – if he thought they should then be suppressed and frustrated. It makes no sense. The only biblical argument is a couple of verses that clash with the bigger story and have almost certainly been mistranslated and misinterpreted in a way that makes them seem strangely out of place. Finally, having been a hard line atheist, I became a Christian to my considerable surprise in a church led by an amazing woman pastor called Jackie Pullinger-To. If God is so against women pastors, why would he let this happen? The only other argument is tradition, to which I suspect your response would be the same as mine. Yuck.

    • Belinda Brown

      I don’t think equality or leadership are incompatible with men and women having different roles within the Church. I noticed some article where Revd Treweek was being described as a ‘radical’. What is radical about simply nabbing men’s roles. It would be far more truly radical for the Church and women to work together to create roles for women in the Church. And it would be better for the Church. Mary Magdalene was not an apostle but she was just as influential as the apostles for all that demonstrating how to love Christ and being apostle to the apostles. And she was able to because she had a different role from them. You don’t hear her whinging to Jesus about why she couldn’t be made an apostle too. She knew she was special to him and had a special role anyway.

      • Belinda Brown

        And actually I have great respect for tradition but unusually for me don’t want to appear argumentative!!

      • … which presumes that there are fixed ‘roles’. Leaving aside the Mars/Venus oversimplifications, there are only two ‘taxonic’ (ie categorical) differences between men and women: physical strength and childbirth. That points us towards roles but I see no reason why it should confine us to them. I wrote about this – how childbirth changes the orientation of woman from husband and future to child and present – in What Mums Want (homage to Geoff!) 🙂

        • Belinda Brown

          No it doesn’t it presumes simply that we have different roles. Or to put it differently that men should have something we don’t have (mass or the sacraments) to balance out for the power that they don’t have. And there are loads of differences between men and women but contemporary ideology does not allow us to explore them. Having testosterone or oestrogen flowing through your body makes a huge difference for a start. And then we have overall brain differences e.g. http://mra-uk.co.uk/?p=718 . And although we know about the existence of these differences (e.g spatial awareness) we don’t actually know how these differences play out in real life (and oddly enough e.g. if you look at mathematical ability this becomes less in countries with big sex differences and more in countries with more fewer differences). Anyway I am not arguing for men and women and women to have the same roles generally – simply that the Church ought to be leading the way in helping us understand that men and women are equal but different. If the Church can’t find a way of showing that we are equal while being different what hope is there for the rest of this feminist society?

          • Phil R

            Last sentence.

            Accelerated decline of the liberal Anglican Church seems to be evidence that feminism trumps God.

            Not surprising as the creed of liberal Anglicans seems to be “if it feels good, do it”. And “be true to yourself”.

            Pure 1960s garbage now mainstreamy “theology”.

    • Phil R

      If God is so against women pastors, why would he let this happen?

      That argument does not go very far before falling apart in the wider context.

  • Alastair Haines

    This has been an issue in Sydney too, but the complementarian position is the stronger one here. I’ve heard many arguments put for and against on this issue over 25 years, but you’ve added a couple of strong ones. Thanks. I particularly liked: “While Rev North is guided by Theology, God is surprisingly pragmatic and his laws serve the human condition well.” Amen. It is gathering evidence to support that claim that has occupied a lot of my time for some years. I know you make it on solid grounds as a scientist, but I’m chuffed you also make it as a woman of faith. God bless your words above as a ministry to many readers … and may you and your husband have a good weekend, and good fellowship at church.

  • Under-the-weather

    “When the church was established at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on women
    and men alike, as had been predicted long before the coming of Christ (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:18).
    In the New Testament, women as well as men prayed and prophesied in the church (Acts
    2:17-18, 1 Cor. 11:4-5, and 1 Pet. 2:9-10). Further, the Spirit bestows gifts on all those in
    the community of believers, without giving preferential treatment based on gender (Acts
    2:1-21, 1 Cor. 12:7, 11). Every believer is to offer his or her gifts for the benefit of the Body
    of Christ (Rom. 12:4-8, 1 Pet. 4:10-11).
    We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and sole authority for the study of gender
    issues and all other issues in the church. However, we find that the prevailing ways of
    interpreting the Bible often fail us in studying a complex issue such as this. The few texts
    that appear to restrict participation of women in the church (such as 1 Cor. 14:33 and 1 Tim.
    2:11-12) were written in letters to particular churches with specific problems. We believe
    these verses must be interpreted in relation to the broader teaching of scripture

    beginning
    Oak Hills Church | A Study of the Role of Women in the Church Page 8 of 119
    in Gen. 1-3. Also, the cultural and situational contexts in which they were written and the
    contemporary cultural context in which we are compelled to apply them must be taken into
    account. This requires that we seek, from the context, the purpose of an instruction written
    to an early church. Although the process of studying such issues is a challenge, we found it
    within the abilities of ordinary Bible students.

    We agree and conclude that the Bible teaches full equality of men and women in status,
    giftedness, and opportunity for ministry and that the church is best served when men and
    women share responsibilities and serve together as complementary partners

    from ‘A study of the role of women in the church http://oakhillschurch.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/A-Study-of-the-Role-of-Women-in-the-Church.pdf

    Article by Armstrong today on how a womans role has changed since the Roman empire https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/international-news/politics/a-womans-right-to-equality-has-changed-due-to-socialism/

    • Belinda Brown

      I tried to find the study you mention but I can’t – if you have a copy of it perhaps you could message me at twitter and I could send you my email address? I am trying to collect material on this issue. Thanks

      • Under-the-weather

        hello Belinda, I checked the link and an apostrophe seems to have crept in at the end – which is the problem. I’ve just updated my link

        • Belinda Brown

          Thanks so much. Just downloaded it.

  • Philip Walling

    This is so right.
    It is hard to understand why hardly anybody in the Church says it, or if they do why nobody appears to listen.

    The Church of England has destroyed itself over this nonsense (and over divorce and contraception).
    And yet Islam, which laughs at such stuff, goes from strength to strength supported by the very people who howl against women’s ‘oppression’ and ‘inequality’ in Christianity.

    Thousands of young women willingly embrace subordination to men in Islam, wear the veil, and stay at home with their children. To the progressive feminist types in the Church this all seems fine, yet merely to suggest that women were not meant to be ordained is enough to have a man excluded from all office.

    I can only conclude that they want to destroy Christianity in the West.

    • markbrev

      ‘I can only conclude that they want to destroy Christianity in the West.’
      Nail. Head. Etc. By destroying Christianity in the West, you make it easier to ignore the 2000 years of JudeoChristian heritage that brought us to today and replace it with Marxism.

      • fenellastrange

        Yes indeed. Dressed up as the BBC and the MSM, Cultural Marxism is making steady progress towards its goal of destroying Western civilisation and the Christian religion.

    • Iain T

      I’m wondering how I ended up down this particular rabbit hole. I wonder people don’t see the irony of middle class women like Ms Brown who have the privileges brought about by women like the ability to go to university and be awarded a degree, to be legally defended from being beaten and abused by their husbands, to be allowed to express their views in public, to have access to democracy through the franchise and so much more and then wage a campign against the people who would defend and expand these rights for women in this country and around the world.

      • Phil R

        Not everything in this world is about rights.

        That was the whole point of the article.

        Did you not read it?

        • Iain T

          Yeah but – it IS about rights. I did read the article – I think the point about celibacy is interesting – you just want to look at the Roman Catholic Church to see the value of enforced celibacy.
          Anyhow – I’m bored with this now – I think all you folk need to go and do something useful instead of wasting your time on the internet.

          • Phil R

            For a Christian it is not about rights. The Bible teaches the exact opposite.

          • Iain T

            You didn’t address my point about Ms Brown’s having the advantages of middle class privileges much of which was the result of women’s activism

          • Phil R

            Even here you take a one sided view of history.

            Men enabled the changes. Some were for better some for worse…..

          • Iain T

            Men ( as in males not humans ) do not relinquish power – its patronising and untrue to say men enabled the changes.

          • Iain T

            And the views of history posted here are clearly not one sided. Ms Brown gives a balanced and considered view in her piece?

          • Phil R

            Well men did. Whether history will judge it to be a good thing or the greatest social disaster of all time, remains to be seen. All evidence seems to be pointing towards the latter. European countries will have to reverse some of these worst excesses of feminism just to survive. To thrive will need a much more radical culture shift.

          • Iain T

            Well men didn’t!
            Doesn’t seem we’re going to get anywhere 🙂
            Good night and God Bless!

          • Tricia

            There are down sides to being a vicar’s daughter. People have expectations of how you act and live your life in a goldfish bowl- so I’m not sure about advantages. Apart from having 2 parents with a Christian marriage and a bond of a living faith, which they seem to have done a good job of passing on to their daughter.
            Christians unlike Muslims do not consider that girls should not be educated. A wonderful elderly lady I knew was a retired missionary – she was one of the first women to go to University at the turn of the 1900’s, became a pharmacist and worked in the mission infirmary assisting her husband in China and India. Women’s activism had nothing to do with it. Her Christian Faith had everything to do with it.

          • Iain T

            Did her Christian faith cause University authorities to decide that women were capable of being educated to degree level and granted degrees !

      • There has always been a tension between the church and the enlightenment, between spirituality and rationality. If you are alluding to feminism, as I think you are, for giving women privileges, I’d say feminism rode on the coat tails of the humanist enlightenment project, and we all have more to thank Descartes than Pankhurst. Most men did not have the franchise and were only awareded it after the mass slaughter of WW1.

        These issues are more nuanced than you give them credit for.

        • Iain T

          I’m willing to concede that if you are willing to concede that feminism is more nuanced than some of the posters here would have it and that notwithstanding the enlightenment women’s activitism has brought benefits to us all

  • Groan

    My denomination has had women ministers for a century. However I can understand other churches and religions regard “priesthood” more theologically.
    So as an outsider I observe :
    1. The supposed tolerance and “conversations” are in fact simply rubbish as it turns out intolerance and bullying wins out.
    2. The process of “appeasement” seems to have resulted in the reverse of the intention as so often the case in that the bully is simply emboldened, consequently there is a “losing” side and they will be frozen/eased out.
    3. The C of E appears happily guided by a “materialist” philosophy and should also junk any notion that priests or bishops are anything other than employed ministers with no greater significance.

    What a totally bizarre institution it has become I hope no public money goes to this chaotic bunch.

    • Theologically, there is a difference between a priest and a minister, but yeah, the CofE has pretty much devolved into – well I’m not quite sure what. We’ve had women ministers for a long time also, and many have been quite good, although I’m not sure that Belinda isn’t correct here. It’s a tough issue, really.

      In many ways, I admire the CofE down through the centuries for being able to be at least a simulacrum of all thing to all men, and women too, but it seems to be losing that ability. I suspect part of the problem is simply being the established church, and having to attempt to serve all the people, rather than restricting itself to serving Christians.

  • Tricia

    It has slowly been dawning on me that I have been wrong. I have been caught up in the spirit of the age. I thought of course women can be priests, we are equal before God. I know some very good women priests who are faithful people. I became uncomfortable at the point of women Bishops. I thought “don’t be ridiculous of course they will become bishops”. But the more I have seen them, the more uncomfortable I have become. They frankly look bizarre – they cannot become “our father in God”, it does not work. So I have to backtrack, I was wrong with women priests. That decision has brought us to the female Bishop.
    The attack on Philip North crystallises the issues- we are going in the wrong direction, driven by the spirit of the age and not the spirit of God. The progressives are going in the wrong direction and will drive the church in that direction. Fortunately their true colours have been revealed – they have no intention of working together in love, they attack like wolves.
    It is over for Justin Welby – there can be no “good disagreement”. No wonder we have heard nothing from Lambeth Palace.

    • I fear you are right, and I’m in the same boat. When the bishops thing was going, my point was that one can not close that off to qualified priests. I still think that, but that begs the question, “Can a woman be a priest”. I’m beginning to doubt it, strongly, far too large a percentage put themselves ahead of both God and church. Maybe it’s only the noisy ones, though, I don’t know. Must be another role they could fill.

      Lambeth sowed the wind – we know what comes next.

    • Phil R

      Welby needs to put paid this idea of “Good disagreement.” He also needs to stop talking about freedom.

      He doesn’t need to talk about freedom. He needs to talk about truth and virtue and constraints on human freedom. He needs to say “Thus far you may go and no farther.” But of course that will be met with “Who made you god over us?”

      And that’s the problem. The West has made an idol out of freedom, by which it means moral freedom. It has shifted the center of moral authority to man himself and demands that all pay homage.

      The AoC must challenge the presumed freedom of man, and do so in the very temple of man’s declared freedom.

      Yes, I’ll believe he will do that when he puts paid to this idea of “Good disagreement.”

  • ChaucerChronicle

    ‘After 25 years of women in the priesthood the Church is looking like a compass that has forgotten which way is north.’

    If sex is irrelevant to the priesthood then why should practising homosexuals be denied?

    If practising homosexuals are no longer to be denied, then why not transgendered male-female priests?

    If transgendered male-female priests (under a legal fiction) then why do we need female priests?

    Problems solved all round, eh?

  • A Huguenot

    This is the finest summary of the biblical, and therefore properly Christian, theology of gender I have ever read. Bravo. Thank you. I write this as a Cambridge theologian.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Bravo!

    • Iain T

      and what difference does being a Cambridge Theologian make?

      • Belinda Brown

        It makes a difference to me.

        • Iain T

          Why?

          • Belinda Brown

            Silly question. Someone who could potentially have spent a serious amount of time, thought concentration, dedication commitment to issues of theology is saying to me (who has not) that I have written something really good. I am a bit puzzled that it needs explaining.

  • The_Mocking_Turtle

    Based on experience I haven’t noticed that marriage, in church or in the registry office, makes men more faithful than they would have been in stable relationships out of wedlock. I know many men who have outwardly successful and happy marriages and are serially unfaithful throughout their lives. Certainly a lot of MPs are. The current Prime Minister has called herself a feminist and has no children, as far as I know, and so I suppose she’s to be considered a baddun based on the article above, and after reading this piece am no longer sure whether to regard Nuns as dangerous and subversive feminists based on their lifestyle choice.

    The world is a savage garden.

    I am perplexed.

    • Phil R

      “Based on experience I haven’t noticed that marriage, in church or in the
      registry office, makes men more faithful than they would have been in
      stable relationships out of wedlock.”

      Data does not support your assertion.

      Regarding the OT.

      No one can begin with Scripture and arrive at a position that affirms the moral goodness of their own behaviour, Instead they begin with their presumed moral goodness and then seek to impose that judgment on the Bible.

      BTW. Your comment regarding Mrs May is not pleasant and is totally unacceptable.

      • The_Mocking_Turtle

        I thought on a site like this I would have received many replies from people, seeking to communicate the inmost wishes and will of the deity on his/her/its behalf, that would have puzzled and amused me but sadly only you, Phil R, rose to the bait.

        Rather disappointing really; I was expecting frothing hydrophobia.

        There you go.

        • Casting pearls before swine comes to mind.

          • The_Mocking_Turtle

            Come, come. Only the very worst sexists and chauvinists which haunt this site could be reasonably considered porcine. As for my pearls of wisdom, well, I distribute them freely to all and sundry, ungulates included.

  • Phil R

    There are three main issues with WO as I see it.

    The first is a serious point to consider under all this political correctness. The denial of complementarity implies that neither men nor women contribute anything unique to raising a child simply because of gender. It is an assertion that male and female parents are interchangeable components in child-rearing. In practice, this means that fathers are separated from their children. A father contributes nothing essential to the child that his mother is also not capable of contributing. So he loses yet one more compelling reason to stay. After all, everything “will be fine” if he leaves, or if he was never there in the first place.

    The second is that scriptural compromise is a big problem. To legitimise women’s ordination, we must norm Scripture according to an external standard, in this case the modern presupposition of egalitarianism. This is a dangerous precedent that can easily spin into other more destructive errors. Once you establish the principle that Scripture can be normed, you will find it easy to apply that principle in other areas as the recent Synod debate showed.

    Women’s Ordination was a stalking horse for liberal religion. This was the case in the CoE an approving this measure has sealed the fate of the established church. The advent of women bishops will solidify the control of liberals over the church hierarchy and thus trigger the inevitable outflow of conservatives from the CoE. It will become a self reinforcing dynamic. As more conservatives leave, the liberal agenda will become easier to enact, thus driving out more conservatives. There are plenty of liberals who want to see this happen but most of them won’t join let alone contribute towards the resulting church. They are only interested in removing an opponent of the posy-modern worldview. There will be no mutual respect and conservative views will simply not be tolerated. A fact displayed clearly with the recent resignation of Philip North . Within 20 years the CoE will be either deserted, bankrupt, and disestablished, or deserted and funded by the Government.