This Listening to God from Jarel is very encouraging.
I can't help but feel that the next year will be a good one for Methodism
I particularly loved this bit:
Sitting down and listening to Rev Alison Tomlin's Presidential address to Methodist Conference was more inspiring than I had expected. I was waiting for the usual. You know, those speeches about caring for creation, or revitalising mission or something to that effect but this year the President's speech went to a whole new level! Clearly, she is a woman of extreme experience and her anointing is definately the kind of anointing that reaches through your PC screen and slaps you in the face! lol
I do hope Alison reads that, she will love it.
I have read many really encouraging reports from people at the Methodist Conference about the worship, our President and Vice President. Plus of course there is already a lot of good business that has been done. All very encouraging indeed, especially to find that the conference feeds are being watched by young Methodists like Jarel who are getting so excited about what God is doing in the Methodist Church even as they work out their own calling.
I have said it many times before, but this is a wonderful time to be in the Methodist Church as we see God shaping a new future for us.
Contrast Jarel's view (remember from a committed young man in a Church with women as President and Vice President) with the sad position of the men wanting to do anything to avoid God's blessing through all the people called to be ministers, deacons, elders, leaders, bishops, archbishops, equals, preachers, prophets, teaches, apostles, …
As an example look at Adrian Warnock's recent post New John Piper sermon: The Gospel and Racial Harmony. Fantastic, I do celebrate that the gospel is about equal opportunities for all people, from all ethnicities, cultures, nations, … But oh how sad that in the celebration both Adrian Warnock and John Piper go and carefully and deliberately ignore approximately 50% of the world's population. The gospel is for all, includes all – only not if you are a woman. Aaaaggghhhhh!!!!!
It puzzles me how you can work out all that stuff about God breaking down prejudice and barriers to get the Church to welcome those it previously excluded while at exactly the same time you are building ever stronger barriers to exclude other people.
I still can't make up my mind whether this is deliberate and conscious (in which case it is clearly evil), or if they are just stupid, unaware and incapable of reflection about what they are doing.
To add to the dilemma I received another book to review today. "Woman this is war: Gender, Slavery & the Evangelical Caste System" by Jocelyn Andersen. Even as I start the first introductory pages (engaging, funny, powerful) I am thinking: Gulp, this is not Christianity as I have ever known it, this is not Evangelicalism as I know it.
Then I go back and think about Adrian Warnock, New Frontiers and it scares me. These are British Christians trying to introduce these hateful American views of women into Britain.
I have at times been accused of being aggressive and of picking on certain Churches and Individuals over gender issues, but it looks like this book might well take me a lot further. Heads down if you want a quiet life while we ignore those marketing hatred, exclusion & slavery under fancy names (Complementarianism, Male Headship)and pretending it is scriptural/Christian.
Oh and friends in the Church of England, don't think we won't notice if you give in to a noisy minority and don't implement full and equal women Bishops. We are watching and waiting, I for one will not be willing to compromise on this.
I for one am tempted to say Methodists should not consider any more steps implementing the Covenant with the Church of England (such as Bishops ourselves) until a women is installed as the Archbishop of Canterbury.