Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lie back and think of the Church of England - or - The ecclesiological rape that is the "reception" of Women's Ordination

The idea that the radical break from 19 centuries of uniform Christian practice, that is the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopacy, is in a process of "reception" presumes that it is being received, that it is being taken on board and tested to see if it is acceptable to the wider Communion. What is not articulated is how any unacceptability would be properly discerned or in turn "received" by this innovation's advocates. Given that there has been a marked departure of many Anglicans from the various provinces that have adopted this change and that such departures are rarely, if ever, held up as any kind of evidence of unacceptability by those promoting the idea of "reception", it seems an obvious conclusion that such reception as we are expected to undergo is that of gradually, and sometimes not so gradually, breaking down resistance, or waiting until all protesters have given up and left.

At the very best, this type of reception is little more than a democratic test of what can be forced upon the collective church. What is a change too far? This seems to be the operative question in the minds of our process oriented churchmen. Certainly the advancement of homosexual activity as tolerable within the Christian church, and especially within the clergy, is for many Anglicans a change too far. The vast majority of Anglicans worldwide reject the normalization of sodomy. But the rejection of WO has not been so strong. Therefore, argue many moderate evangelical and pseudo Anglo-catholics, WO is acceptable and not a communion breaker. But that is a democratic argument. Should we suppose that if the objection to the gay agenda were less strong that that also should be "received" by the church? Perhaps it is just a question of timing. The church is not now ready to receive this new understanding of sexuality.
Give the homosexualists a little more time.

Why not? Why should the church's No to homosexuality now be permanent when the 19 centuries of the church's No to women in orders was thrown over so easily?

This imposition of democratic processes to implement change within the church is nothing less than a spiritual rape of the body of Christ. It is the kind of rape that takes place subtly but all too commonly in the "dating" scene today where, absent hard and fast rules, boys and girls are left to fend for themselves and the desires of the males are too easily imposed upon the feeble resistance of the girls. Sure, it may take some coaxing and pressure, accusations that she doesn't really love you if she doesn't give in, but eventually the odds are she will submit herself more and more. Boys who pressure their girlfriends into giving up what virtue they have, merely because they want it and the girls don't have the strength of character to keep resisting, may not be the kind of rapists we should throw in prison, or in a shallow grave in the woods, but they are rapists of the sort who, in a more civilized society, were presented with an option to marry or bury.

So-called conservatives who support altering the universal priesthood of the church, merely because they want to or because they don't see what the problem is, may not be the same kind of defilers of the church as those who seek to rob any clear sense of sexual morality from the church by enshrining that which God repeatedly has condemned into the priesthood and episcopacy, but they are still guilty of raping the bride of Christ buy making her something to be altered to suit their desires. Rather than cherishing the church they have made her a harlot.

But only a little bit. Just like Bill Clinton didn't have sex with Monica because it was just oral.

No comments: