Thursday, 10 July 2008


In a previous post, which you can find at, I discussed the upcoming vote of the General Synod of the Church of England on women bishops.

Before I get to that, however, I want to talk about fudge. You know what fudge is - the soft toffee beloved of many children, that can be flavoured with many things, but at heart is basically the same in all its various forms. People like it, people hate it, I personally like a little but as I get older I can't eat as much as I may have been able to in the past.

Fudge has another meaning in the English language - to quote the Cambridge dictionary:-

to avoid making a decision or giving a clear answer about something:
The government continues to fudge the issue by refusing to give exact figures.

fudge noun [C usually singular]
She suspects that this compromise deal will be nothing more than a fudge.
It's a bit of a fudge but we could put the cost through on next year's budget.

The Synod, after an extremely long and by all accounts full-blooded debate, voted to allow the consecration of women bishops, but also to draw up guidelines for the way that they work that will, and I paraphrase, allow traditionalist priests who do not recognise women in positions of leadership to work with them.

In other words, a fudge.

It is sometimes a useful exercise, in situations like this, to think of that common phrase that kids wear on wristbands on their wrists "What would Jesus do?"

I think he would give a big sigh, stand up and remind them of a simple fact - it's not important who is in charge of your fellowship, so long as they are doing and teaching what he shared with us when he was here first time. He would remind us that there are people crying out to Him, and wanting our help as he helped us, but we're ignoring them to fight and argue over who is in charge. He'd then tell us to stop arguing and live the life He wants us to live, before turning and having a chat with the little old woman that no-one else sits with.

There is no argument - God is in charge. We're here to do his work, and if he says a woman should be in charge we chould not be arguing about it.

The Church today is like fudge - many flavours, but at heart it should be united in the same basis. More and more, I recognise that is not the case. Just as I can only tolerate so much of the sweet, so I get increasingly fed up with the continued arguments. I just want to shout "STOP!!" and point out the passage in I Corinthians 3

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each should be careful how he builds. For no-one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ

The other problem with fudge, by the way, is it satisfies for a little while, but doesn't stave off the real hunger for long. I think the General Synod, rather than solving a very real problem, has postponed their judgement day for a later date. The problem with that is the day is going to come far faster than they think.


Travis said...

Are your priests allowed to marry? Just trying to satisfy my curiosity.

Howard Bagby said...

Very well said. Too many churches tell you God is in charge, but they believe they can do it better.

Mike said...

Travis - yes, Anglican priests are allowed to marry. That's no tthe issue as such - the issue is it is a very wide and encompassign church, whcih runs the commit from almost Roman Catholic to Assembly fo God within the ranks. Hance the dillema

Travis said...

I got ya. Thanks for the info, Mike.