Today, two high profile church news stories have become somehow linked in my mind, and as usual I have no answers and only questions and concerns as a result.
It was re-assuring as our little “Values Team” in St. Peter’s struggle with their use of language, and debate how much we should overtly identify within those values what it is that makes our faith unique, to find that the CofE still want us to “share the Gospel of Salvation” and make “Christ the centrepiece” of what we do.
But, then I found myself wondering how this might link with the proposed amendment by our Archbishops to the Women Bishop’s legislation to be debated at General Synod soon. In particular I found myself focusing on this statement in the first item:
…the fear of getting it wrong should never obscure the Christian’s commitment to the good of all and to making Christ the centrepiece of that good. Too much reticence is as untrue to our history and our vocation as too much stridency.
and wondering what it says about the debate on Women Bishops?
Is the proposed amendment by the Archbishops (both of whom I admire from the distance of not having met them, and not being their intellectual equal) an example of reticence that will “obscure the Christian’s commitment to the good of all”?
Is trying to give everyone a continued home within a CofE that has women bishops (which I guess is what the Archbishops are trying to do) going to be “good” in a way that makes Christ visible, or does it only succeed in fudging the issue and risk undermining their leadership of our historically rooted church if the vote on the amendment goes against them?
Does it not also mean that the ABs of C and Y aren’t trusting the Revision Committee’s debate and discernment on the issue to have come up with the way forward that God wants us as Christian’s to make happen, so that we can be released from this friction to get on with simply “sharing the Gospel”?
Bringing the whole thing closer to home, I then found myself wondering:
What sort of example of “trust” is this giving to ordinary parishes like ours that are struggling with their own debates, and asking their wider fellowship to trust leadership teams to have debated and discerned God’s will accurately, in an effort to inspire values, behaviours and actions that will help us share the Gospel of love rather than ‘sell another lifestyle choice’?