Wednesday, April 05, 2017

On Female Bishops

I know I will get blasted for this one.

My opposition to female bishops goes back to Titus 1:5-9,

"The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.  An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.  Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."
I also look to Jesus' non-inclusive and less than diverse choices for his twelve closest followers.

In order to be in favor of female bishops in the Church, I believe that one must decide to keep the two examples cited above locked into their historical eras. In so doing, these facts become irrelevant to any discussion about how the present day Church is structured. This way of reading the Bible inevitably leads to one becoming free to discard any part of scripture with which one is uncomfortable. The "authority of scripture" thus becomes the "authority of me".

What else did Paul write that can be ignored? Romans 1: 26-27 is a favorite one,
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."
I am not aware of any female bishops in the Episcopal organization who believe that either Titus 1:5-9 or Romans 1:26-27 have any applicability to today's Church.

To put it bluntly, in order to be a female bishop, you first must have a revisionist mindset.

And I am not in favor of revisionist bishops.

I hope the logical side of my brain can silence the emotional side which is screaming its lobes out in a visceral reaction to the new female bishop of the Diocese of Spokane. Spokane is an "inclusive diocese", and she should fit right in.

Spokane is also a dying diocese having lost 28% of average Sunday attendance between 2005-2015.

Don't look for a major turnaround anytime soon.


  1. I will go further. The clergy person who led the search committee is a woman. How, if women are ordained to the priesthood, can they reasonably be denied bishoprics? A very large amount of the trouble we're in these days relates directly to closing our eyes to the scientific differences between men and women, and to the scriptural references which recognize those differences.

    1. The world is doing everything it can to blind us (especially our children) to those differences.

  2. I hope the ACNA has the courage to decide on men only for the priesthood. There will be those who leave if this is what is decided but if they allow women priests they cannot deny them becoming bishops also.If this is direction they go it will be TEC all over again and another fracture. We have suffered too much to return.

  3. Dale Matson, I don't have inside information, but people I know think the ACNA study committee will "kick the can down the road," since, while most ACNA-affiliated dioceses do not ordain women, the largest ones do. This includes South Carolina. The breaking point would be reached when a woman becomes a bishop.

  4. W.O. is the fly in the ointment and this has been predicted from the get go.

  5. No matter what is decided, people will leave. I prefer decisions which will draw us closer to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches.

  6. pewster,
    It isn't only the preeminence of Scripture that argues against W/O. Anglicans also use Tradition and it too was ignored by TEC when they unilaterally and arbitrarily ordained women. They then went from there to making someone like Elizabeth Cady Stanton a "holy woman" who was a professed atheist because she was a womens' rights activist.