By David Virtue, Virtueonline

Women bishops debate is the aggressive face of intolerant liberalism, he says

While in London attending General Synod, VOL interviewed the Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of REFORM, leader of the Evangelical wing of the Church of England

The Rev. Rod Thomas believes that the debate on women bishops is very revealing because it shows the aggressive face of intolerant liberalism. He argues that if evangelicals don’t take warning from that, it is difficult to see how they could take warning from anything else. He believes this is a prophetic issue for the Church of England’s Evangelicals.

VOL: How serious is the situation for Evangelicals in the Church of England?

THOMAS: Everything hinges on the forthcoming votes on women bishops, because if we fail to get adequate provision, and eventual legislation is voted through in a couple of years time, then the game is up for evangelicals within the C of E.

VOL: What will happen then?

THOMAS: If that happens, then conservative evangelicals would stop putting ordinands forward for ministry training because they could not assure them of a long-term future in the C of E.  Existing conservative clergy would face the prospect of their churches being taken over by less conservative clergy once they moved on.

VOL: That sounds ominous and somewhat threatening.

THOMAS: In truth, it means the formal structures of the C of E would clearly no longer provide a home. The legislation guaranteeing no discrimination against conservative evangelicals who believe in male headship will be repealed and everything will depend on the good offices of a female bishop.

VOL: Are there any evangelical bishops you might be able to trust to give you a break?

THOMAS: I don’t know of any evangelical women bishops. There are evangelical women priests, but they would be of no help in this situation.

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