After my post a couple of days ago on the vote on women bishops within the Church of England, it’s been unsurprising to read much of the response to the no vote within the liberal British media and establishment today. Most of it has hardly been edifying, but I’ve found some good points made in the three articles below.
The first is from a US Baptist, Trevin Wax, who comments on the intolerance on show from so called progressive, tolerant, liberals.
The second article is from The Good Book Company’s, Carl Laferton, who helpfully debunks some of the myths liberals are circulating regarding what evangelical conservatives actually believe about female roles within the church.
And the third article is from The Telegraph columnist, Tim Stanley on the Church of England’s vain attempts to appear relevant to a God-rejecting society. He comments
The great irony is that they want to make relevant something that is actually devalued by the attempt to make it relevant. God doesn’t do “relevance.” He just is – and, for most religious consumers, that’s what makes him so appealing.
It’s God who sets the agenda and our business is to make sure our life and ministry is relevant to what He desires. This has been up until relevantly recently what the church, built upon the foundation of the teaching of the apostles and prophets, has always believed. Trevin ends his article with a great quote from Chesterton in this regard.
The hallmark of many of these denominational debates is narrow-minded thinking that masquerades as openness and tolerance. It is the “chronological snobbery” referred to by a famous Anglican from the last century – C.S. Lewis. It is the failure of many to give tradition and history the weight it deserves, as another Anglican (actually Catholic Trevin) (G.K. Chesterton) once wrote:
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father. I, at any rate, cannot separate the two ideas of democracy and tradition; it seems evident to me that they are the same idea. We will have the dead at our councils. The ancient Greeks voted by stones; these shall vote by tombstones. It is all quite regular and official, for most tombstones, like most ballot papers, are marked with a cross.