How much are you worth?

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

This isn’t a suggestion on what to ask new church members when the coffers are running low, but rather the primary area of disagreement between me and the BBC reporter who interviewed me yesterday.

I enjoyed meeting Graham Satchell. I think his piece on the BBC Breakfast programme that looked at what we believe about the different roles of men and women at All Saints was very fair. What he didn’t include was the question I asked him after they’d stopped filming.

Graham was adamant that for women not to be able to be bishop’s meant that they were less valuable and had a lower status. That’s what our culture believes; that you are what you do. Or worse still you are valuable because of how much you earn. In the UK the second question we ask people is “What do you do?”. In the USA the third question they ask people is “What are you worth?”.

So I asked Graham who was more valuable, him or David Cameron. After being interviewed for half an hour I quite enjoyed his stumbling answer. When he mumbled something about salaries I said, “So you’re worth is established by how much you’re paid then?” He didn’t think that was right. But forced by his own logic, he graciously conceded that David Cameron was worth more than him because of his greater importance to our country.

I said I didn’t agree. I told him that I thought he was as valuable as David Cameron (in fact as valuable as all human beings) because the Bible says that we are all created in God’s image. Male and female.

What some of the proponents of Women bishops have unwittingly done is create a hierarchy of value based on your role in life. That’s the logical conclusion of claiming that unless women can have the same job as men they don’t have the same status as men. In other words: You are what you do.

I want to assure the single stay at home mothers struggling to get by on benefits at our church (or anywhere!) that they are as valuable to God as a bishop! And they are certainly worth as much to me.