Samuel Johnson once made an acid remark about women preachers, and on another occasion declared what a fearful thing it was to contradict a bishop. He would not have been happy at the Lambeth Conference that concluded last month in London, for the world’s Anglican bishops were found to be contradicting one another over the ordination of women.
The topic brought into rare alliance two men from the same country who are normally found on opposite sides. “If the ministry of the church is opened to women,” said Archbishop Marcus Loane of Sydney, Australia, “it would sound the death knell for the church in its appeal to men.” He saw deep theological reasons against the proposal, which, he declared, conflicted with the doctrine of the headship of Christ.
Supporting his evangelical colleague was a high churchman, Bishop Ian Shevill of North Queensland. He pointed out that ordination of women was unknown among Roman Catholic and Orthodox, who make up the majority of Christendom, and he called rather for “creative dialogue with these historic churches.”
Pentecostal Social Credo
The 200-member policy board of the Assemblies of God, biggest U. S. Pentecostal group, last month passed a precedent-setting statement balancing sin and social concern. Noting “grave crises” in American life, the board said “devised confrontations” and “revolution” do not heal alienation. “Community-betterment projects and legislative actions on social improvement … should be prominent” but are inadequate. The Church’s “most significant social contribution,” the statement said, is in meeting man’s greatest need—personal salvation through Jesus Christ: “It is only as men become right with God that they can truly become right with one another.… In these matters the ...1
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