UKIP foster carers banned: could conservative evangelicals be next?
The news that two foster carers have had the children they lovingly cared for taken away by Rotherham Borough Council because they belong to UKIP raises a question: could conservative evangelicals be banned as foster carers because of their opposition to women bishops?
As was very clear in the exchange in the House of Commons following Tuesday's sinking of the women bishops' measure by the General Synod's House of Laity, the conviction that the pastoral leaders of local churches and of dioceses should be male is utterly despised by the politically correct establishment. UKIP's opposition to multi-culturalism was cited as the reason why the two foster carers in Rotherham were banned; why should not the opinion of conservative evangelicals about male headship in the family also fall foul of social workers?
That would be very sad indeed for children needing a loving home, because conservative evangelicals thinking about the complementarity of the sexes should in theory at least lend itself to good parenting. That does not mean that all conservative evangelicals are good parents - there is a variety of factors that make for good parenting, ranging from the moral to the relational to the psycho-emotional. But this is to argue that the conservative evangelical conviction that children need to grow up with the love of a married father and mother and that the man and the woman each bring their own distinctive God-given contribution to the nurture of children makes for excellent parenting.
The idea that fathers are the servant leaders of their wives and children also leads to a responsible, hands-on approach to family life by conservative evangelical men. In a society devastated by fatherlessness, who would complain about loving, leading fatherhood, unless they were motivated by socially Marxist dogma?
Conservative evangelical men and women should not be ashamed of their convictions in the teeth of the opprobrium now being poured on them for their biblical convictions. Male headship is clearly taught in the New Testament, and not just by the later epistles of St Paul. His first letter to the Corinthians is an early epistle, recognised by both conservative and liberal scholars to have been written in Ephesus in the early 50s AD, and that clearly teaches male headship.
God willing, more conservative evangelical married couples will become fosters carers and bring the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to vulnerable children.
Julian Mann is vicar Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire.