It seems of late that there are rows about what makes a good Bishop in the Church of England. Can a Bishop be a woman? Can we have gays as Bishops? If we do, should they be celibate? In this day and age when we seem to be obsessed with sex and sexuality it is hardly surprising that these are major issues that are presented before us
So it is that the Church of England is tackling this issue on Gay Bishops almost directly! The suggestion put forward will anger hardliners on both sides. The Liberals because there is a limit as to what is offered. In other words you can be Gay but celibate, and Evangelicals will hate it because they see it as a compromise and both sides will see it as a fudge and I can totally understand that because when struggling to see the Gospel presented well here in a way that shows Grace and Love it can seem sometimes like woolliness and I hate that!
But we do need to keep certain things in perspective here! The first is that a Bishop should be someone who not only adheres to the Gospel, and therefore most importantly that Christ died for our sins and rose again, but shows Love and Mercy, without which that Bishop will be a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13). I know of at least one Bishop who I found to be superior and patronising and whilst I likely misjudged him, it reminds me that God judges what is in the hearts of all and many can be found wanting.
The second is that what we have to ask ourselves is, Is there a difference between Homosexual orientation and practice? If so then Evangelicals need to tread very carefully here and not rush towards making judgements which could rebound against them and hurt and alienate many fellow Christians who struggle to maintain standards those said hardliners find far easier to follow.
I am purposely publicly not taking sides here in order to make some points and I will not be thanked for it, but I do so because I believe many on both sides are not looking at each other with Christian Love and concern. "Love your enemies!" Christ said, and a commandment I, and it seems, many of us who profess to be Christian find hard as we always want to add "Except for...", but then who said being a Christian would be easy!