Saturday, 14 May 2011

Unbelievable!

I listened to some of the debate/ discussion  about whether women as priests and bishops between John Richardson and Christina Rees on Unbelievable!, a discussion programme on Premier Christian Radio this afternoon. It was all rather civilised ( which is good) and they both put forward arguments from the bible. As I was listening, I thought again that scripture is so rich that it can be used to support so many different perspectives - otherwise why would we have so many denominations, let alone just different approaches?
I just can't help feeling that what it boils down to is that, whether we are liberal or conservative, we see and find in scripture our own particular preferences, prejudices, assumptions and world views. I really do feel that the roots of the views of those opposed to the ordination of women lie in ...well...their view of women and men and whether they see us as equal or not. And don't tell me that women are equal but different - or at least not if by "different" you mean unfit to be in authority over men in the church, or not called by God to a vocation of priestly ministry - because that is patently untrue, and it is unequal.

6 comments:

  1. You're very committed to this sort of thing! I would rather put shards of glass up my urethra than listen to Premier or Ugley JR for that matter.

    One of my claims to fame is that I once refused to appear on Premier as the Christian charity I represented want me to speak about the 'Christian witness' of the Christian charity - a well known (in the South East at least) provider of care for disabled people, They wanted me to talk about the Christian witness of the staff; I pointed out that most of the staff were non-Christian or nominal Christian and the charity charged the taxpayer £500 a week (more than the then going rate) - so where was the Christian witness? In the end the charity got a tame minister to say what I was supposed to say (lie). Hence be cautious what you believe when listening to the radio!

    I've never listened to Premier since!

    P.

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  2. Ouch, you have a vivid imagination:)

    I don't listen to Premier very often and only tuned in because I'd heard JR and CR were on there. He sounds just a bit younger than I thought he would...otherwise it was as expected and did get a bit dull.

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  3. In the end I think it's about God.

    A man is run over by a bus. As he lies dying a woman priest, who is passing, ministers the Last Rites to him. Minutes later he dies. So God says, 'tough on you, you were commended to me by a woman priest. Off you go, the Devil's waiting for you.' First, what sort of God requires Last Rites in order to welcome the soul of a sinner? Second, what sort of God, who does so require Last Rites, insists that they be administered by a clergyperson with a cock? It's a sterile debate and Jack Spong is quite right to refuse to engage in it any more than we should debate whether black person or an amputee can be a priest. Move on. (Not you, Sue, but the Church!)

    Toby

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  4. Thanks Toby. I think the church needs to move on a lot. Sometimes I think I need to move on about the church not moving on and just say "stop being daft" to anyone spouting nonsense!

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  5. Sue,
    Without going in to the actual issue, I would like to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with your statement that...

    "what it boils down to is that, whether we are liberal or conservative, we see and find in scripture our own particular preferences, prejudices, assumptions and world views."

    I am very uneasy with some of the things which the bible appears to present as true or right, for a start, it says that I am a wretched sinner deserving of eternal separation from God!

    I don't think the main problem is ordination of women, I think the problem is ordination in general, what people expect it to be, or to do, or to enable them to do which the 'unordained' cannot or should not.

    As for the idea that God demands 'Last rights' to welcome the soul of a sinner, it seems to me a concept which runs totally counter to the Gospel.

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  6. Hi Peter,
    Yes...I would expect you to disagree with that statement based on previous comments.

    What problems do you think ordination in general presents us with?

    I don't think God requires last rites either, but I do think such rituals can be helpful to people, - rituals are about our needs as much as anything.

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