Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Melbourne Anglican, Andrew McGowan has a different perspective to Sydney Anglicans about...Spouses, Slaves and Submission: Reading Ephesians in the 21st Century


Andrew McGowan, who is the President of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, and a Canon of St Paul's Cathedral Melbourne writes... a marriage service in which wives would promise to "submit" to their husbands, runs counter to the current liturgy authorised in most of the Anglican Church of Australia, where identical vows are offered by both bride and groom...

 Although Archbishop Peter Jensen is reported as saying egalitarianism is a phenomenon of the last 3-4 decades, the "obey" provision was being eased out of Anglican liturgy as long ago as 1928, when a revised Prayer Book was then proposed for the hardly-radical Church of England.

This proposal then illustrates not the real meaning of scripture, but the idiosyncrasies of one part of Anglicanism. Many will perceive dangers for women in these proposals. But there are dangers for the Churches too. If the Bible is seen as the preserve of a fundamentalism not so much genuinely conservative as creatively reactionary, the capacity of Christians to use scripture as a basis for seeking social relations characterised by mutuality, justice and love is compromised for all, not only for the fundamentalists

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