Who would have thought it, Anglican Women Bishops. It’s only taken approximately 1,500 years since St Augustine became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, (albeit a papal appointment)but time moves slowly, and mysteriously in such circles, so why not just be thankful, if, as a christian, you wish to be thankful, that such times are here.
Why so, because, in my humble opinion, about time too!
My apologies to any visitor to this blog who is against the ordination of women Bishops, but I really cannot understand what all the fuss is about, and what follows will explain why
To begin with, let’s go back a couple of thousand years, to the holy land, to be precise, and see what was going on then. Without dwelling to much on ancient history it is fair to say that when Christianity arose from the rootstock of Judaism the situation in that part of the world was fairly volatile. The Romans were trying to control the local population, and the local population were doing all they could to avoid such control. Not only that the local population were fighting amongst themselves as regards religious matters, and various splinter faith groups were all around. One of these groups was of course the Christian group, so it is interesting to contemplate how such a group might have been formed.
Now I could be wrong as, to the best of my knowledge I wasn’t around at that time, and I appreciate that some Christians might say that I’m playing the Devil’s Advocate, but it seems to me that the following sequence of events might, and I repeat, might have occurred. The prevailing social structural hierarchy at the time was more than likely to be patriarchal. In essence power within the community was held by men, and women, though powerful within the home, were expected to offer all due allegiances. Under such circumstances any new group wishing to get a slice of that power would logically follow such a rule, after all, if you are a guy, and the system works in your favour, why change something that is working very well?
Now let’s suppose that this group wanted to “acquire ” a slice of the cake by the creation of a divine deity. In this case they are lucky, as, through the roots of Judaism, half of this work has already been done, but they have a problem, they wish to be a little different. So it is they, create a go-between let us say, between them and a well established deity, so as to heighten their claim to power. That go-between must be a man of course, and his earthbound helpers must be men as well. They have a problem though, as when they go into their homes, the women folk, not unnaturally say,
“what about us, what do we get out of all of this?”
The answer is simple enough, reinforce the perceived idea of womanhood, but put them up on a pedestal, make one of them very special, and bob’s your uncle, the job is done. They are made to feel special, but you, as a bunch of guys, still remain in control
Now some names. The deity is God, the go-between is his son Jesus Christ, his helpers are the disciples, and the essence of womanhood is of course the Virgin Mary, ably supported by a redeemed woman on the side.
The rest as they say, is history, and from such humble beginnings The Christian faith may have been born, and over subsequent generation and millenia, with or withour diveine direction and intervention, the patriarchal system has grown
Up until now that is, so is it any wonder that the some of the male “administrators” of the faith are reluctant to hand over power? Why so, well how about because of the oldest battle of them all
The Battle of the Sexes
I’ve always maintained that if push comes to shove a man may have his will, but, if she wants it, a woman will always have her way. Sexist, no, just a pragmatic realisation of the eternal battle of the sexes that has been going on for all time
Is it any wonder that such battle is still going on now, albeit with a brand new twist in the tale. For all it’s profound insights into the hearts and souls of it’s worshipers, is the church not akin to a gentleman’s club, where for centuries, ladies have been tolerated and partially welcomed to assist in the running of such a club, so long as they don’t enter or disturb it’s higher corridors of power.
Well, within the UK Anglican church anyway, the doors to such corridors have now been opened, so what might happen if women, at long last, have their say?
Where to now
If you, as an individual or a group have something you want to sell or give to someone else, you have a product. One formed that product has a life cycle, and if left to it’s own devices, that product, will and must die. All is not lost though, as any product can be reinvented through reinvigoration or adaptation, and if you are smart enough to get away with it, such a product can carry on, in a modified way, for years.
What has this got to do with the church, and/or any religion?Try everything. The church has a message it wishes to sell, and to maintain it’s structure, sales must reach a certain level for it to survive. How is the church doing in this respect, is it doing well? Are church attendance figures on the rise, are we still a Christian rather than secular or an alternative faith society, are church pews packed for every service, and the church doors open all the time?
Look around you, and the truth is all to obvious to see. It is true that the ordained servants of the Church still offer the customary hatch, match, and dispatch service, as well as regular top up’s with seasonal specials, but overall, church attendance is down, and, outside of other faiths, secularism, materialism, and greed are on the rise.
With this in mind might not the introduction of women bishops be just the reinvention that the church needs? Is it guaranteed that a fresher Church will come out smelling of roses, I’ve got no idea, but on the other hand, why not give it a go?
So thee you go, my amateurish but personal thoughts on Women Bishops and the potential for a reinvigorated Anglican Church. God Bless all Bishops I say, so long as they can help others around them. We all need a bit of help in these gloomy times, wherever that might come from, so, in real terms, does it really matter is such help comes from a woman or a man?
As is my custom though I would like to leave you with a video which I believe is pertinent to this. If nothing else this video show the coming together of all people of all ages. You may not like the music, but I hope you can feel the joy that this video bring. So
Is this step forward for the Anglican Church, or the first step on a downward spiral; you decide, but I’d love to hear your views.
Categories: Just a thought