Why does the church so often lag behind rather than lead change?

6th February 2018
Chalke Talk 15 - 100 years after women get the vote, the church still lags on social change

100 years on from the Representation of the People Act, which heralded the first concrete steps in the long process towards women’s suffrage in the UK, the Church has failed to learn the lessons of its historic, and doctrinally driven, social conservatism.

Steve suggests that Church denominations, particularly the Church of England, were on the wrong side of suffrage history, clinging to theological justifications for continuing inequality. And 100 years on, whilst our understanding and interpretation of the Bible is evolving and developing, too often we place our primary emphasis on defending old doctrinal positions – rather than finding the courage to lead contemporary social and moral change.

Chalke 15 Final from Open Church network on Vimeo.

In the video, Steve parallels the slow, and still incomplete, process of women’s emancipation with other aspects of social justice ordained by God in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. He asks:

  • While so many individual Christians place themselves on the frontier of social inclusion and justice, why are our Church institutions all too often wrong footed around moral progress?
  • Why does the church so often lag behind rather than lead change?

What do you think?  Why not discuss with your church small group or with friends and family.

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