taking the words of Jesus seriously

UPDATE: Church of England Votes Not to Introduce Female Bishops – My Thoughts Below

The vote fo

r women Bishops in the Church of England has to pass now!

Debate on the issue began this morning with the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, current Bishop of Durham, saying it is “time to finish the job” started with appointing women priests. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, whose tenure ends at the end of the year, is also strongly in favor of the legislation, saying failure to pass would be a “disaster” for the Church and would be “publicly embarrassing, internally draining and could throw the church into a period of intense internal conflict.” Further, if the measure does not pass it could not come back before the synod again for another five years.

I not only believe women should become bishops but I think I can make a biblical case for it. Conservatives are saying, if you read 1 & 2 Timothy you’ll get a clear admonition that women should not be leaders in the Church, that they should remain silent in the Church.

That’s the one side.

May I point out, on this issue you can make a solid biblical case on the other side. If women are supposed to be silent please explain to me why in the book of Acts, “daughters of Philip” become evangelists, become preachers, become prophets? It’s there very clearly. Also, in the book of Romans you find reference to Junia, deemed a fellow apostle by Paul. So the arguments can be made on both sides.

I go with the side that women should be bishops. The reason why this is so important is it not only affects the United Kingdom, it also affects Africa. The African Bishops have been very conservative on this issue. I think the new Archbishop of Canterbury is a good compromise because on the one hand he is opposed to gay marriage, which would please those in the southern hemisphere, but on the other hand he is for the ordination of women bishops which would in fact please those up north. Give each side half of what they want.

My hope is that today will be a historic day for the Church of England and for the Church as a whole across the world!



Church of England votes NOT to introduce female bishops

I am very disappointed by the Church of England’s vote not to introduce female bishops. I find it strangely inconsistent that the Church is willing to ordain women to become priests but not to become bishops.

Within the Church of England, today’s vote will probably serve to keep traditional, elderly people in the church. The laity have spoken and the laity are largely comprised of people over the age of 55. On the opposite side, the problem is that young people will not come into the Church in the numbers they have hoped for because young people are more sensitive to the concerns of women.

In short, today’s vote satisfies the establishment but will stiffen growth in the Anglican community. The church in the southern hemisphere will probably be satisfied with this decision but the Anglicans in the northern hemisphere will be greatly discouraged, especially those in the Episcopal Church in the United States.


In favor of female bishops

Bishops: 44
Clergy: 148
Laity: 132


Bishops: 3
Clergy: 45
Laity: 74


Bishops: 2
Clergy: 0
Laity: 0

Source: The Guardian

The legislation needed a two-third majority in all three houses of the General Synod to pass.

It was carried in house of bishops and clergy and lost in house of laity.

Tony Campolo is the Founder and President of EAPE and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. Look for Tony in your area and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Mark William Penny / Shutterstock.com

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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