What Would Calvin say about our Bishops?

This morning I was reading sections 5-6 of Calvin’s prefatory address in the Institutes and couldn’t help thinking Calvin might have some strong things to say about the current squabbles surrounding CofE Bishops. Here’s a (very) rough paraphrase of the sorts of things he says regarding the established church of his own day:

“they who stubbornly reject the truth offered them by God’s goodness have nothing to plead as an excuse . . . Hilary notes that being occupied with foolish reverence for the episcopal dignity, men did not realize what a deadly hydra lurked under such a mask . . . Hilary again “It is wrong that a love of walls has seized you; wrong that you venerate the church of God in roofs and buildings; wrong that beneath these you introduce the name of peace. Is there any doubt that Antichrist will have his seat in them” . . . Yet the church does the same today in venerating horned bishops . . . vain pomp is dangerous . . . they are as appeased by a bishops miter as a barking dog by a morsel . . . those who hawk themselves to the world are a deadly plague upon the church . . . the whole business is a deadly butchery of souls, a fire-brand, a ruin, and a destruction of the church.

Mmm . . . indeed JC, indeed. Perhaps gender should for the moment be put to one side whilst the effects of heresy are dwelt upon.


One Reply to “What Would Calvin say about our Bishops?”

  1. Quite! Especially as the issue with gender is largely a result of heresy, i.e. the majority of argument (not all) for women’s ministry and women bishops in the CoE is not driven by submission to Scripture…

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