Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Readers’ comments: Women have many roles, but bishop isn’t one of them


In response to Peter Day-Milne: A bishop in high heels does women no favours,

Ken Bishop wrote:

Tooooo funny: men are often berated, and not without justification, for describing professional women in terms of what they are wearing. And what does the lady bishop do? She launches straight into a description of a bishop’s shoes.

David wrote:

This is a very well written and thought provoking article, which reaches conclusions that I broadly support. As a conservative evangelical Christian, who happens to be an Anglican by virtue of my personal history, I accept the need for bishops. But I do not attach the same weight to them as others might. But as one who finds that men and women are equal in all things (except, speaking statistically, physically), but different, complementary, I lean to the complementation position which rejects the idea that women should be the overall leaders of churches and therefore dioceses. Women have their own, immensely valuable, roles to play within each church family. Young women are immensely badly served by our culture’s lack of suitable role models, so there is much leadership work for women to do there.

The article explains these points very clearly, women undoubtedly being capable, but spiritually less suited to the task. This explains why, in my experience, the few rapidly expanding churches I have ever encountered are led by men, men with a deep faith, and who are also energetic, entrepreneurial even.

Perhaps the most telling point raised by the article is that to succeed the Church must present challenge to whatever its surrounding culture is, in that time and place. By aping secular trends, by defining leadership in worldly terms, as about status and power, it signally fails to offer such a challenge. The more like the surrounding culture that a Church becomes, the less attractive it is to those seeking God, not Caesar.

James Chilton wrote:  

High heels with matching mitre and handbag: that get-up should restore spiritual authority when everyone stops laughing at it.

Damaris Tighe wrote:  

Stilettos are the most sexualised shoes a woman can wear. They’re designed to push the b*m out and make the woman look more sexually alluring. A female ‘bishop’ wearing such footwear has completely lost (if she ever had) any concept of what her role as priest means. It does not mean ‘being oneself’; it means hiding oneself in the generic role of representing Christ. If she’s going to wear stilettos, why not go the whole hog with bright red lipstick and thick mascara?

Audre Myers wrote:

Jesus never called a woman to his ministry. It’s not that he ‘couldn’t’ – he’s the Son of God; he could have done anything he wanted to – it’s that he didn’t.

Women have ample opportunity to serve Jesus in his church – Sunday school teachers, visit shut-ins, start prayer groups, hold morning and or evening prayer for women, be secretary at need to their priest, organize and carry out events that reach out to the neighborhood and beyond.

But that wasn’t was enough. Some women just had to wear the ‘big boy pants’ and nothing less would do. Their greed and egotism did so much damage to the Church.

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