HEADSHIP AND UNDERBELLY
On Thursday 10 June, Julia Baird convened a discussion on domestic violence in the Anglican Church on The Drum.
The underbelly of the domestic life of church families was on display. The National Anglican Family Violence Research Report revealed evidence of widespread subjection of women and girls must alert all Anglicans to the consequences of a doctrine of the headship of the male.
What does the Bible say about marriage? a shared birth experience? Dad getting up in the night to baby? pushing the shopping trolley? Nothing obviously. But it does say a lot about God as Creator and God as Love.
And while modern men do push the trolley, it seems that many of them are willing to absorb the doctrine of male headship and women’s submission.
We bear the name Christian in honour of Jesus Christ, who shocked and appalled his followers with his submission. Jesus eschewed headship and called his followers friends.
His life is the model around which Christianity has wobbled its way through two millennia, changing, adapting in love.
Any other leaning is towards the underbelly of our human needs – to rule, to put down those who make us feel inadequate, to boost our failing ego. Justifying such inadequacies through an interpretation of Scripture is reprehensible. Making God in your own image is naïve to say the least, and to be fixed on the idea of God as Male is to be ignorant of the use and adaption of language.
Bravo, Julia! Thank you for your persistence, skill and loving care. Thank you to those who did the National Anglican Family Violence Research Report
The Rev’d Dr Lesley McLean, President of the National Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW): MOW was formed in 1985 and continues its mission of encouragement and education to both men and women in the Anglican Church.