The eschatological imperative (Reason)
Many advocates of women bishops speak of the living God who reveals his ways to his people through the power of his spirit. If opponents believe that the Bible prohibits women bishops, advocates might argue that 'growth and development are possible...in ethical requirements beyond the explicit letter of the scriptural revelation'. By employing this redemptive-movement hermeneutical reading of scripture, advocates understand the Church to be participating in the work of God to lessen the effects of the curse, which at our fall brought trouble into the relationship between women and men.
Those who prohibit women to the episcopate might argue that revelation finished with the Bible, which is sufficient. The Holy Spirit acts in accordance with scripture and key texts are often interpreted as silencing women and asserting male headship. The Anglican Church's decision to appoint women to the episcopate is thought to be a consequence of it giving in to the prevailing culture.
To counteract this, advocates of women bishops appeal to a St Paul who calls on Christians to comply with the institutions which govern them and live for Jesus within them. If our institutions have liberated women, advocates warn that by prohibiting women to the episcopate, we might inhibit the gospel. Galatians 3:28 becomes a key text for the freedom it describes for gender, political and racial groups in Christ. Eschatologically, this freedom will be more fully realised as we move towards the consummation.
Tradition (and more recent history)
Christians supporting women bishops consider how the Church had once used the Bible to justify slavery and believe, as a consequence, that scripture should be cited with caution. Christians should seek out what the whole of the Bible has to say on an issue.... [continues]
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