“We have… undoubtedly lost a measure of credibility.” Dr. Rowan Williams, outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury.
“Very grim day.” Bishop Justin Welby, incoming Archbishop of canterbury.
“You do have to respect the individual institutions and the way they work, while giving them a sharp prod.” David Cameron, Prime Minister.
These are responses to the Church of Englands decision not to allow women bishops – which failed by the slimmest of margins. The worry seems to be that this will make the church irrelevant and unable to function in today’s world. The thought is that somehow the church is more able to be the church with women bishops than without.
But are these people at all aware of the church throughout the world? Worldwide, and for the most part also individually in specific countries, those churches are growing that do not have women priests (to say nothing of bishops), and that do take seriously the historic church position on many of these major issues.
The most “openminded” and “liberal” of churches, the Episcopal Church, is really the “Incredible Shrinking Episcopal Church.” The liberal Lutherans in America are shrinking by leaps and bounds. The churches of Europe are not passing into irrelevance, they have long since passed that point, and are now empty monuments to a faith that once was.
Worldwide the Roman church is growing (no women priests), Lutheran churches are growing in Africa (no women priests), the Conservative baptist churches are growing in America (no women priests), Anglican Churches, almost totally gone in the the US and England, are seeing membership explode in Africa (no women priests). It’s not even the Christian churches that are seeing this. Islam is growing everywhere (no women priests), Mormonism is growing (no women priests). The one thing that growing religions seem to have in common is a lack of female clergy.
The idea that placing women in positions of leadership in the church will make it grow faster is perhaps the most obvious case of “I have my opinion, I don’t need facts” in the world today. The secularists accuse Christians of clinging to their faith in spite of facts. The ones who are really doing it are those secularists that are pushing the church to be something the church can not be.