Vanguard (Lagos)

9 December 2012

Nigeria: Women Ordination - GKs Commends Church of England

GOD'S Kingdom Society (GKS), has commended the recent decision of the General Synod of the Church of England to reject draft legislation to allow ordination of women bishops.

Reacting to the victory by opponents of the proposal, the GKS said in a statement that it was consoling that there are those who have the courage to insist on Bible principles without following the prevailing wind.

"Those God has appointed to rule, to hold offices; to instruct and govern His Church, to officiate at assemblies for public worship, 'in the ordinary and regular acts of devotion' are the men", the Church said, adding that "God had always appointed only men to lead His people and to preach His word, from time of old to the Christian era".

Citing St. Paul's ruling on the ordination of women as priests, the statement referred to Barnes' Notes which stated: "The rule is positive and explicit and universal...on every consideration it was improper, and to be expressly prohibited, for women to conduct the devotions of the church.

No rule in the New Testament is more positive than this, and however plausible may be the reasons for disregarding it, and for suffering women to take part in conducting public worship, yet the authority of the Apostle Paul is positive, and his meaning cannot be mistaken."

The GKS rejected the belief by some that the vote against the ordination of women bishops meant that "the Church is dead", was "behind the times" and that it was evidence of blatant discrimination, stating that "Christianity is not about the popularity of a decision but the propriety of the position in the sense of its being in harmony with the Bible."

According to the GKS, even though the Church of England, had started ordaining female priests since 1994 such that they now make up a third of the church's 11,000 clergy including senior positions as archdeacons and deans of cathedrals, prevalence of a practice does not give validity to it, hence God Almighty warned His people thus: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment" (Exodus 23:2) and that "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God".

The GKS said it was highly unfortunate, that the Bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, who is the next Archbishop of Canterbury, reportedly stated that the vote marked a "grim day, most of all for women priests and supporters" while the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev. Rowan Williams spoke of his "deep personal sadness" believing that the Church of England had "lost a measure of credibility" and could be seen as "wilfully blind" to modern trends and priorities. "With such a position being canvassed by leaders of the Church it was not surprising that it was the outcome of the votes from the laity of the Church that made the proposal to be stood down," the statement said.

Stating that there are many things women can do in support of the work of God, including preaching to fellow women, the GKS agreed with the Rev. Prebendary Rod Thomas, chairman of the conservative evangelical grouping reform, who said that by the decision the Church had "avoided what could have been a disastrous mistake ..."

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