Monthly Archives: April 2008

A great day

Sunday was a great day today. I guess a lot of this is a result of new energy and life having recently had a weeks holiday.

I have presided at two communion services (Thrapston and Ringstead), plus been at a Circuit Youth Service. Our circuit youth group (currently called JAM, which [obviously] stands for "Jesus And Meals"), prepared and led the service, providing their own band and everything else. All had a good time of worship, both thoughtful and joyful.

They are a good bunch, today I got to meet some of the parents for the first time – that is good as a larger bunch of us (including these parents) will be going to Greenbelt together this year (I suspect it will be well over 20).

Mike, one of the team of presbyters in the circuit who has a triple role (presbyter, evangelism enabler and supporter of the circuit youth work) however was not there being on holiday (I know, shouldn’t be allowed).

For the service I got the task of hanging the 8 foot dove that JAM has made on their recent Holy Spirit weekend. PJ thought it looked more like a Mark IV Spitfire (I thought more like a dive bomber myself). Peter told me it was hanging upside down as the wings were at the bottom rather than the top (I pointed out the requirement to have something to attach the string to as being the reason – but it could just as easily been Mike and I knowing nothing about zoology).

In accordance with official JAM policy we ended with cake and drinks, sadly I had to leave for my next service before the clearing up was complete (and after that one we had chocolate animal shaped biscuits!).

Then have had a gentle evening watching Dr Who, Scrapheap Challenge, and Bremner, Bird & Fortune with various members of the family.

Future of the Church

I have been wondering for a while on whether to contribute to the debate on some Methodist blogs about the future of the Church (see connexions » Efficiency, connexions » Responding to decline (again): Change and connexions » Gotta get a system – I’ll leave you to find the other side, it shouldn’t be too difficult from the comments on connexions).

I have wondered whether to write a response to those views which make me despair for the future of the Church, ones that seem to be full of aggression and vindictiveness.

In the end I have decided not to play that game.

You see my experience is quite different. Like many newish Methodist Ministers I have come into ordained ministry later in life after a career in other fields. I am not some naive, wet behind the ears graduate who has never touched the real world.

So I now work within a Church that has problems, that has at times in it’s history lost its way, one that does not have a reputation for rapid change.

What do I find here in this Church?

  • I find loving and competent people determined to know and serve Jesus.
  • I find dedicated people giving huge amounts of time to the Church, to their communities – all for the Kingdom of God.
  • I find an openness to change (by no means everywhere, but in more than enough places and people to give plenty of hope

But more than all these things, I find the Holy Spirit at work – changing lives, transforming situations. I see people experiencing the love of Christ who forgives, heals, restores. I see the creative energy of the generous Father in new opportunities, new lives, new ventures.

When I was young I was frustrated by the slowness of the Church in adopting skills, techniques, processes from business. Now, rather older, I rejoice in being part of a Church where God is at work creating, redeeming, giving life. A Church in which we can face death through the real hope that only comes from God dying for us and then bringing resurrection and new life. Now I rejoice in the diversity and generosity of his love.

For me the future of the Church rests in the hands of the God who loves me – despite my failings. What a wonderful thing that is. Hallelujah!

Adrian names and shames

Actually that title is completely unfair. In INTERVIEW – Wallace Benn on Handing Over to Hugh Palmer Adrian (maybe accidently) names the type of Christian he is. So know we know that Adrian is a:

conviction evangelical

This label (which currently has a very small number of hits according to google) seems to fit Adrian and the groups he supports pretty well. ie those that

  • believe penal substitution is the heart/cornerstone/keystone of the Gospel (and I like the pun between CONVICTion and Penal).
  • Stand for a particular view of gender which includes male headship in every aspect of life and would not accept LGBT

A key difference is Adrian sees "Conviction Evangelical" as a complement and I don’t.

How the West was warmed

This is interesting: WorldChanging: How the West was warmed.

The conclusion seems to be that per capita people in cities emit less CO2 than less populated areas.

Of course it can be very misleading to focus only on direct emissions. When we consume things then there are CO2 emissions throughout the items lifecycle and for people in the cities much of this will be elsewhere (eg electricity generation, production of cars, transportation of all we consume, …).

Still worth doing and reflecting on.

Complementarian falsehood

From the heart of the campaign for Male Headship (disguised as Complementarianism) we have this quote:

Just as the man, created directly by God is the image and glory of God, so the woman, created out of the man, has her glory through the man. (Male and Female Complementarity and the Image of God)

I believe this is totally false and completely against the meaning of scripture. I want to hear those who support male headship add their own denouncements of this total rubbish. Scripture should not be manipulated in this way to support an argument (in fact to create an argument from dust).

Let us remind ourselves of Genesis 1 (yes it is still in the Bible even if complementarians consistantly ignore it – see 42: What Driscoll really said about God and hate):

So God created human beings in his own image,
       in the image of God he created them;
       male and female he created them.

Hard to reconcile this with Bruce Ware’s view (based entirely on a mis-reading of  English translations of Genesis 2) where adam is assumed to be male from the beginning. The Hebrew does not support that, adam was a human being and only became male and female when one side was removed. adam included both male and female in the beginning and when adam was lonely these two parts were separated (to be come one again when we have sex) so that the two genders could complement each other (in the normal English meaning of the word complement rather than the twisted way it is used by the "complementarians".

Sorry for the rant but this trash makes me mad (and late, oop’s got to dash, bye)

hat tip Suzanne McCarthy: Bruce Ware on the constitutional inequality of women via her post: Better Bibles Blog: Double Jeopardy.