A Serious Argument Against the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood and Episcopate
A Case for the Male-Only Priesthood
VOL: Recently the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met in Melbourne, Florida. In their communique on Women’s Orders they concluded that they could not reach agreement, and asked for continued prayer that through hearts and minds real change might emerge. They said they were mindful of the implications for their global Anglican and ecumenical partners. Archbishop Foley Beach has appointed a working group to help design the specific ways their conversations can continue. We believe that the primary source material work done on this issue was written by Bishop John Rodgers in 2011. When this story was posted it received, in time, over 17,000 hits, indicating how serious an issue this was then and continues to be now. We have decided to repost it in order to bring clarification to the issue and perhaps move the ACNA bishops forward.
David W. Virtue, DD
January 21, 2018
By The Rt. Rev. John Rodgers
June 6, 2011
God, being a God of order and being all-wise, good, and gracious, has ordered all things in creation for our good. This order in the creation he has retained and renewed in redemption. As part of this good order God has appointed the man to be the head of the family and to be the elder (presbyter) or priest in the wider family of the Church.
God’s good order does not envision nor permit women to exercise the ministry of “headship” in the family, nor the ministry of oversight involved in the offices of the priesthood and episcopate as they are understood and practiced by Anglicans. This is in no way detrimental to women for God has an equally significant, different, and complementary ministry for women in the family and in the Church. This godly order is to be enjoyed and respected. When men and women are thus united in partnership we walk in the path of freedom and fulfillment. Other paths may seem attractive and promise much but in the end they prove deceptive and full of contention.
Though this article refers to the situation specifically within the Church of England, it does offer a brief, biblical, and classically Anglican response to trangenderism and why the Church cannot (if it is to be truly loving) accept it.
UK: A failure to take sex seriously: A response to General Synod Misc. 1178
REFLECTIONS OF AN ANGLICAN THEOLOGIAN
By Martin Davie
Jan. 25, 2018
In July last year the Church of England’s General Synod passed a motion brought forward by the Blackburn Diocesan Synod. This motion declared ‘…that this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.’
In advance of this February’s General Synod the House of Bishops has responded to this motion in GS Misc 1178, An update on ‘Welcoming Transgender People.’
The three key paragraphs in this paper are paragraphs 3, 6 and 4.
In response to the call in the July Synod debate for the Church of England to welcome and affirm transgender people, paragraph 3 declares:
‘The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that one body, into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit.’
The problem with this paragraph is its use of the term the term ‘unconditional affirmation.’
It is unquestionable that all people should be regarded as having infinite value because they have been created by God in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27) and because Christ died and rose for them in order that they might have eternal life (Romans 5:1-21). It is also unquestionable that in obedience to the Great Commission (Mathew 28:18-20) the Church is called to welcome everyone in order that they may have the opportunity to become disciples of Jesus Christ.
However, this does not mean that is right to offer anyone ‘unconditional affirmation.’ We live in a world in which ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) and this means that there are many aspects of everyone’s lives which it is not right to affirm because they are contrary to God’s will. For example, it would certainly not be right to affirm the ‘works of the flesh’ listed by St. Paul in Galatians 5:19-21.
As a result what we need to offer to everyone is ‘conditional affirmation.’ We need to
O God, by whose command the order of time runs its course: Forgive, we pray thee, the impatience of our hearts; make perfect that which is lacking in our faith; and, while we tarry the fulfillment of thy promises, grant us to have a good hope because of thy word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Yesterday was Christ the King Sunday. Here is a reflection on what that means.
Among other things, it means that one day King (which is what “Christ” means, the “anointed one” from a land where typically only kings were anointed) Jesus will renew all of this world and restore Israel to its center.
You’re in the spotlight and you’ve just been asked about a controversial issue. What do you do?
Martin Luther, the Christian reformer who challenged the sale of indulgences five hundred years ago, is often credited with this stirring quotation:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him.”
Okay, well maybe Martin Luther didn’t actually say that. Nor did Abraham Lincoln say, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” But just because a quotation is mis-attributed doesn’t mean it’s an inaccurate summary of what the purported author believed. As a matter of fact, this passage not only closely mirrors something Luther wrote in a personal letter, but it’s consistent with the life he lived.
More importantly, this quote is true. The temptation is strong to faithfully proclaim every aspect of God’s Word except the one most controversial in our time.
We saw that recently when well-known pastor Carl Lentz appeared on ABC’s “The View.” Lentz spoke boldly and in no uncertain moral terms about the issue of racism. As well he should. Christians should condemn racism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.
But when asked directly about abortion, and whether or not he considers it a sin, Lentz couldn’t give a straight answer. Instead, he spoke of having a “conversation,” of finding out a person’s “story,” where they’re from and what they believe. “I mean, God’s the judge,” he concluded. “People have to live by their own convictions.”
Predictably, the progressive studio audience heard this as an affirmation of the so-called “right to choose,” and rewarded Lentz with thunderous applause. Continue reading From the Colson Center: Costly Views on “The View”
Last year the Lord raised an(other) issue for us that I never would have anticipated writing about: the Bible passage that requires men to pray with heads uncovered and women with heads covered. I know, I know, “We don’t have to do that anymore.” But does the passage itself give us that “out,” or is that our secularist culture talking?
As I studied and taught about the passage, I discovered that 1 Corinthians 11 offers insight into what it means to be Christian men and women, insights our culture is sorely lacking. The passage also gives us perspective on the matter of women in ministry. These are challenging issues for an American culture in which even many Christians have abandoned the ancient and scriptural practices and understandings that keep families and churches grounded in the truth.
The matter of head covering is not an Anglo-catholic or Roman Catholic issue. It is not a matter of personal preference or devotion. It is a matter of obedience to the Word of God and submission to our right callings in grace. I cringed when the issue first came up in my heart and then within the parish: what will folks think if I start teaching the words of Saint Paul on this issue? Now I rejoice in the power of this passage of God’s Word to liberate us from the gender confusion our culture is mired in.
Click on the image to order your copy of Because of the Angels, the fruit of my study and a call to biblical manhood and womanhood in divine worship.
[In our age of shopping for “cool church” – and losing depth and holiness in the process – this is good reassurance of a better way forward. – Fr. Paul]
For those in the 21st century searching for meaning and purpose in life, Reformation Anglicanism’s commitment to the timeless wisdom of apostolic teaching gives them a solid rock on which to stand.
For those searching for a sense of historical continuity, Reformation Anglicanism offers a community close ties to the ancient church as expressed in its faithfulness to Scripture, the Creeds, and the first four Councils.
For those who make the needs of others a top priority, Reformation Anglicanism’s focus on mission encourages what God has already put on their hearts.
For those looking to be sustained by inspiring, systematic, Scripture-shaped worship, Reformation Anglicanism’s liturgical heritage offers perhaps the best model for proclaiming the gospel of grace and gratitude with ancient beauty and contemporary sensitivity.