Irish ‘Reform’ rejects C.of I. Appointment of Woman Bishop

Reform Ireland criticises appointment of new Bishop of Meath and Kildare

Reform Ireland has published this:

Appointment of the new Bishop of Meath

The Church of Ireland, in common with the Anglican Communion worldwide, has always prized doing things ‘decently and in order’ (1Corinthians 14:40). With the appointment of the first woman bishop in Britain and Ireland, it has furthered the disorder in God’s church that it originally initiated with the decision to appoint women as presbyters and bishops by an act of Synod in 1990.

God’s order for the family and for his church is male headship, a loving, Christ-like, self-sacrificing leadership for the purpose of leading others into maturity and fellowship in Christ. This ordering, initiated by God at the creation of man and woman, is not based upon or designed to produce any inferiority or inequality of woman to man. Rather, it is based upon the very nature and purpose of relationships within the Trinity itself.

As God’s Word makes clear, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal persons of the eternal Trinity, ‘One God world without end.’ Yet, the Son is eternally submissive to the Father (1Cor.11:3), who is described as his ‘head’, and similarly the Holy Spirit’s role in the economy of God is to serve the Father and the Son. Such headship of the Father does not imply the inferiority of the Son or the Spirit. Rather, the submissiveness of the Son within the Trinity is for the purpose of a perfect loving fellowship where there is mutual glorification of the other.

In 1 Corinthians 11, the NT teaches that the principle of male headship in the family and the church is modelled upon the relationship of the Father and the Son. Male and female are equal in status (Galatians 3:28) but woman is called to be submissive to God’s design for male headship in the church. This voluntary acceptance by a co-equal of her role in the church is her Christ-like service of God, and like Christ does not imply any inferiority or inequality. On the contrary, like the voluntary submissive relationships within the Trinity, the purpose of the woman and the man in playing such complimentary roles is for the purpose of mutual glorification of the other in Christ.

This complementarian approach is creational, biblical and crucial for our sanctification in Christ. To ignore God’s design for man and woman is to bring disharmony and disorder into Christ’s body. The Church of Ireland, by its recent appointment of a woman to be Bishop, has not only brought more disharmony and disorder into God’s church, but it has also side-lined Christ in his own church. If God’s Word does not rule his body, the church, then Christ is a mere figure-head and not the captain of his people.

By ignoring God’s equality agenda and role for man and woman and substituting it with a ‘spirit-of-the-age’ equality agenda, the Church of Ireland has in effect discriminated against those who hold to a biblical position. This decision will not only prevent those who believe in God’s agenda for man and woman being able to serve in Meath diocese, but also impair fellowship throughout the Church of Ireland. The appointment to Meath is therefore a sad day for many in the Church of Ireland because it is one more indication that the Church of Ireland is no longer listening to God’s purposes for his church.

23th Sep 2013

Posted by Simon Sarmiento (T.A.) on Tuesday, 24/09  ______________________________________________

Thanks to ‘Thinking Anglicans‘ for this report from the Irish branch of the conservative Anglican think-tank going by the title ‘Reform’. It’s view on Women’s Ministry in the Anglican Communion is well known. It’s reluctance to abandon the archaic system of patriarchy in the Church – from an extreme evangelical point of view – almost exactly matches that of extreme Anglo-Catholics, who also believe that Women are just not equipped by God to compete with Men in leadership roles.

Male Headship is the single most troubling feature of opposition to Women as both priests and bishops, for both extreme evangelicals and ultra-montane anglo-catholics in the Churches of Great Britain and Ireland. Whereas disgruntled A.C.s have an avenue of escape from Women’s ministry in the R.C. Ordinariates, it would appear that  male-headship Evangelicals have no such provision awaiting them in their quest for male-only clergy and bishops.

The question is, should they have special provision made for their opposition to women’s leadership in the Church? My own instinct says: ‘No!’ If the Church decides to encourage Women into valid ministry, for the sake of ecclesial unity, there should be no avenue for refusing such provision.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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