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BINGHAMTON, NY: CANA Bishop Says No to Women Priests at Diocesan Convention

BINGHAMTON, NY: CANA Bishop Says No to Women Priests at Diocesan Convention
Complementarian view upholds women as vocational deacons. Only men may serve as presbyters or priests, says Bishop Julian Dobbs at Reformation 500 Synod
The Episcopal Church is not true Anglicanism," said ACNA archbishop Foley Beach

By David W. Virtue in Binghamton, NY
May 8, 2017

The Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of CANA East told some 250 delegates to his Synod 2017 that he will never ordain a woman to the priesthood based on his complementarian views regarding ordination.

"I believe that the concept of male-female complementarity can be seen from Genesis through Revelation, and describes someone who ascribes to the historic, biblical position that male and female are equal but different," said Bishop Julian Dobbs.

He said the bishops of the Anglican Church in North America are still wrestling with Scripture regarding Holy Orders and women in the presbyterate, but his diocese, which is also linked jurisdictionally with the Anglican Province of Nigeria, will only recognize women as vocational deacons.

"Let me tell you what complementarianism does not mean:
It does not mean that women are inferior to men
It does not mean that women are prohibited from ministry in the local church
It does not mean that women must never teach the Bible
It does not mean that men are to bark orders at women like a sergeant on a parade ground."

"Complementarianism does mean that the extraordinary gifts and ministry of women must be called forth, commissioned and valued in this diocese and in each of our 36 congregations, but not as ordained presbyters. I believe complementarianism is the most accurate and simple reading of the Bible surrounding this issue," he said.

"This diocese has some very gifted women offering exemplary leadership in the local church. The God given gifts and ministries of women in this diocese are highly valued by both your bishops. Bishop David Bena and I observe first-hand the phenomenal and outstanding ministry, leadership and service of so many remarkable women in CANA East."

Dobbs said Jesus himself confronted social taboos by mingling with tax collectors, ate without washing his hands, redefined the Sabbath, reinterpreted the Temple, condemned the Pharisees and even honored women. The fact is that while he overturned some Jewish interpretations (e.g., about divorce, lust, retribution, etc.), Jesus honored women in a countercultural way without rejecting everything He inherited from his Jewish-Old Testament background concerning the complementary roles of men and women.

Dobbs said that Jesus' approach to women was nothing less than revolutionary! "Out of a cultural background that maintained the dignity of women and even depersonalized them, Jesus boldly affirmed their worth and gladly benefited from their vital ministry. He made the unusual practice of speaking freely to women, and in public no less. He also frequently ministered to the needs of hurting women, like Peter's mother-in-law, the woman bent over for 18 years, the bleeding woman and the Syrophoenician woman. Jesus not only ministered to women, he allowed women to minister to him. Women anointed Jesus and he warmly received their service. Some women helped Jesus' ministry financially while others offered hospitality. A number of women--Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, Mary the mother of James and Joses, Salome, Mary and Martha--are mentioned by name in the Gospels, indicating their important place in Jesus's ministry. Many women were among Jesus's band of disciples. Significantly, women were the first witnesses to the resurrection. Jesus's revolutionary treatment of women was, nevertheless, consistent with God's original design for role distinctions. The most obvious example is his selection of an all-male apostolic leadership. After all the revolutionary ways Jesus interacted with women, our Lord's revolutionary attitude toward them stopped short of including women in all forms of leadership."


Dobbs noted that the Reformers went to the flames for their faithfulness to the gospel and today many Christians are being slaughtered in countries like Nigeria. "More people have been killed by the Islamic terrorist terror regime Boko Haran than died in the entire Ebola epidemic."

He said the Anglican Diocese of Kafanchan in Nigeria has been subjected to numerous horrific outbreaks of religious violence and acts of terrorism. "Many hundreds of Christians have been killed, numerous churches, associated buildings and Christian businesses have been destroyed."


Dobbs pointed to the Holy Scriptures as the theological foundation of the diocese with its roots in reformational Anglicanism which, he said, provided confidence to embrace the mission entrusted to us by God. The gospel itself gives us this confidence, he said.

Dobbs said confidence to believe the Bible which leads to confidently being impacted by the message of the Bible along with a confidence to challenge and be challenged by the Bible is key. "Having confidence in the Bible and the impact of the gospel on our neighborhoods is the foundation that drives our CANA East church planters."


Featured guest speaker ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach told the assembled delegates that the Anglican Church in North America is thriving, while The Episcopal Church can no longer be considered "true Anglicanism."

Archbishop Beach said the ACNA was adding one new parish every week in North America. The ACNA now has over 1,000 churches, 1,700 clergy, over 110,000 members, 30 dioceses and 51 bishops, he said. The recent addition of the Diocese of South Carolina, now the largest diocese in ACNA gave the province a tremendous moral and psychological boost.

On his outlook for the future of the ACNA, Beach said he was witnessing "creative ministries reaching invisible peoples. I have seen a healing clinic outside a prison as well as the planting of a parish outside a college campus."

The ACNA is clearly on an upswing with well over 100,00 active members. By contrast the Episcopal Church can boast only 600,411 average Sunday attendance (ASA). The two churches are going in exactly opposite directions.

Beach said that while the Archbishop of Canterbury did not recognize the ACNA, it's orders are recognized by the Church of England and therfore historically valid.

"We are in the midst of a reformation and it is going to be messy for a while," he said.


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