Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Proof-text of the Pudding

Revd Paul Williamson writes on the First Things blog about why he objected to the consecration of Libby Lane.

Now, liturgically I do feel a certain sympathy for him - after all, he was at that part of the service where the congregation is asked if they approve. And he didn't. So I guess he was within his liturgical rites. Albeit he's not somebody you'd want to see at the back of the church at your wedding.

That said, I'm not convinced of his logic. He tells us:
"In 1 Timothy 3.1,2 we are told that “the bishop is the husband of one wife.” To be a bishop was to be a man."

So firstly I look forward to Revd Paul Williamson turning up at the ordination of the next unmarried male bishop with the same objection. I believe there will be one along shortly.

But also, I'm confused. If Revd Paul Williamson is the kind of thorough chap I expect, to have read 1 Timothy he must have read through 1 Corinthians 6 on the way there. And there we find:

"If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!  Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers!  The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. "

But Revd Paul Williamson has brought so many legal cases against the bishops of the Church of England, that he has been declared a vexatious litigant, who has to get permission to sue anybody else.

So it seems to me that the literalness of the Bible depends upon the verse he's reading. You know, I can't read anybody's mind. But anyone would think there was something else behind the protest than just the Bible?

1 comment :

  1. He was ahead of me in the queue and we chatted for three hours before the service.

    He's extremely unhappy. I can't read minds either, but that much was clear. I don't think the Bible really comes into it. I would really not like to live in his head.


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