Thoughtful readers of the Courier, as well as many churchgoers, will have been interested lately in the Church of England’s controversy over having women bishops.
This issue has divided the national church a long time. It has unfortunately taken the place of more important work of extending the Kingdom of God. The Church of England is a small part of the universal church consisting of all Christian believers. Its influence on world-wide concerns such as poverty, disease, justice and peace is only marginally effective. it is important, therefore, to use that influence following the teaching of Jesus. The Bible records little that Jesus said about the organisation of the church. It records a lot he said about the Kingdom of God. Most of His parables taught His followers to witness to God’s Kingdom by lives devoted, through Him, to ways of love and justice, truth and peace. Traditional doctrine centred on the Church has its place, but the priority in days of sadly widespread apathy and ignorance must be doctrine, “Kingdom” centred rather than “Church” centred. The reign of God declared supreme. Jesus taught His followers to pray “Thy Kingdom Come”.
Reverend Frank Carless