An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Yet more confusion in the sex camp of Anglicanism

In today's Times (25 Sept) the Archbishop says that gay clergy can become Bishops as long as they are celibate. What must all this seem like to the ordinary public? It must seem as if the church is obsessed with sex-either the act itself or in the gender sense. Does it infuriate you? It does me. The church is about so much more than this but the church cannot move forward until the issue of gay clergy and women Bishops is settled. The ordination of women Bishops may be closer than ever but an 18 month consultation is still underway and there is always a chance that that may be scuppered.
These problems are human rights arguments. Human rights isn't a secular issue. There are numerous gospel messages which support this proposition, one being Galatians 3:27 to 29. If we set apart the church from the 'outside' world then the message we are sending out is one of anachronistic behaviour. Christianity is about conscience. Equality is a conscience issue. It is imperative that the church demonstrates that it can respond to changing societal landscapes and needs. Slavery is a much touted example of how the church eventually relented and gave away to secular pressure. The outcome, the abolition of slavery, was completely the right one to take.
The soul of Anglicanism must surely be about inclusion and not being prescriptive about how far women in the church can go or what our gay clergy can or cannot do in the privacy of their homes.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Are Third World people third rate?

The remark made by Cardinal Walter Kasper, a member of the Pope's inner circle, on how upon arriving in Britain "you sometimes think you've landed in a third world country" is really quite insulting because there is a Catholic faith stronghold in third world countries. Poverty is rife in large parts of Africa and Asia but people living well below the poverty line hang on to their faith through thick and thin because it is the only beacon of hope in their lives. The Pope seeks to elicit a level of unquestioning faith among Catholics in Western countries but, ironically, it is precisely that type of faith which exists in third world countries. People don't practice birth control or question the wisdom of using condoms because 'the church says it is wrong'. Does this make these people inferior? I don't think so.These people may not be spiritual or academic intellectuals but they have a love of God that is touching in its' simplicity. Immigrants from these parts of the world into Britain bring this faith trait with them and the CoE benefits greatly from their church attendance. It has changed the demographic of our church congretation in a positive way. I see this as being part of the Inclusive agenda.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Twelve Men

I am immersed in reading about the theological, philosophical and ideological reasons for and against the ordination of women clergy as Bishops. Much of the argument for not changing the status quo stems from the fact that Jesus chose 12 men as apostles and not a single woman. I read Law at university and enjoy deconstructing an argument.
The '12 men' theory is akin to the number allowed to sit on British jury service. The purpose of a jury is to act as arbiters of a person's alleged offence. The jury decides whether or not a person is guilty as charged but, ultimately, the jury members don't have individual power. They are merely representative of the English judicial system which has decreed that a person should be judged by their peers.
Tranferring this analogy laterally across to theology, the apostles were then ambassadors of Jesus. They didn't in themselves individually represent anything. They must have stood for the values that Jesus preached otherwise he would not have chosen them. In much the same way members of the jury represent the values of British Justice which are fairness and truth. However, the individual is immaterial as regards their gender, skin colour or background.
Does it matter then that the apostles were all men? I don't think so.