A comparison

Adrian Warnock is rather pointedly recommending a book:

This book will help in addressing the wrong perception some have of the role of women in our churches

The book has possibly the longest title of any on Amazon and is currently available for pre-order:


I will pre-order this book. Of course I don't need convincing that women can achieve all that the very long title implies. I fact I celebrate that God calls all people. It is sad that a book is needed to justify what women can do within a Church that does not fully accept their calling to minister.

At the same time it is worth reading Newfrontiers – Why I'd never want to be an Elder (which I will probably respond to in more detail).

I invite you to compare and contrast this to several items of news from the Methodist Church Today:

What a joy it is to be part of a Church that is benefiting from God's calling and equipping people of great diversity to leadership throughout the Church. Thanks be to God!

8 thoughts on “A comparison

  1. Auntie Doris

    Oh that article on women has just made me angry… in particular this statement…
    “So for me, it is not a demeaning thing but a gracious act of God to appoint men with greater responsibility and to use their strength to protect, defend and honour ‘weaker vessels’ like myself. And when elders are men it releases me to be a woman – to serve as a woman and not to feel burdened with the roles that men have been charged to fulfil.”
    I mean could you really imagine them publishing an article from a woman who did struggle with male headship. It just wouldn’t happen because it would conflict with their viewpoint and they authoristy.

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  2. Rhea

    “The Proof is in the fruit” reasoning from the article “Why I’d never want to be an elder” would indicate then that at least in America, God wants women to be ‘in charge’ (or at least as ‘in charge’ as men can be). The SBC (which would be similar to Newfrontiers in their beliefs regarding male-headship) continues to decline (and has been for the past few years), while the Assemblies of God (which allows women to hold every office that a man can) continues to grow as a denomination (and has been the past few years). Perhaps it’s just British women that God doesn’t want in leadership roles then?

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  3. Blue, with a hint of amber

    The SBC (which would be similar to Newfrontiers in their beliefs regarding male-headship) continues to decline (and has been for the past few years), while the Assemblies of God (which allows women to hold every office that a man can) continues to grow as a denomination (and has been the past few years).
    I do take the point, but unfortunately that logic could also prove that the historical expansion of Mormon Church validates it! It would also validate Joel Osteen’s views on money.
    God blesses lots of different church groups who have all sorts of different theology.

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  4. Dave

    Bwahoa,
    I take your point and agree with it. We cannot simply use expansion to indicate God’s blessing.
    Sadly that argument has been used by people from New Frontiers in the past especially in relationship to Churches such as the CoE and Methodist.
    Hard to see how you can have it both ways.

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  5. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Hard to see how you can have it both ways.
    I don’t think anyone can.
    Newfrontiers is expanding because of (what I consider to be) anointed leadership, clear vision, faith and lots of people willing to move and plant new Churches.
    Not because they are perfect, get everything right or know everything.
    I think a clear thological position (to a point, almost whatever that position is within reason) helps people to know what they are joining, even if it puts you in the firing line from people who disagree.
    I was in a Vineyard Church for three years and I absolutely loved it, even though their theological position on everything from baptism in the Holy Spirit to church government to water baptism would be different to me. Where there is a clear vision, such as at Trent Vineyard in Nottingham, the results are there for all to see.
    Expansion does not validate theology. Decline does not invalidate theology. I would argue that decline does need to be addressed and reversed however.

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  6. Dave

    We agree that
    - theology is not validated by growth that.
    - clear theology is good
    ” I would argue that decline does need to be addressed and reversed however.”
    You and me both. That is why I am part of the Methodist Church and why I was delighted to be at our annual conference last week.

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  7. Rhea

    BWAHOA,
    I completely agree, and was simply trying to point on the problem in that reasoning from the original article. I think that we are treading on thin ice when we think that something is ‘right’ simply because of the growth that we see.

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  8. Bridget Jack Meyers

    That article was painful to read. The comments here have already addressed my immediate thoughts on that terribad “fruits” argument. I immediately thought, Mormonism & Assemblies of God. AoG is egalitarian and they’re growing; Mormonism is essentially complementarian but theologically heretical, yet they’re growing. If fruits = positive church growth, fruits prove nothing about the correctness of a denomination’s doctrine.
    The other awful argument concerns the “men are stronger” thing. What does physical strength have to do with being a church elder? I could just as easily argue that God wants women to lead the church and men to use their superior physiques performing masculine tasks such as shoveling the church sidewalk, opening jars and fearlessly smushing spiders. That’s how God made them so there’s no reason they should feel undervalued performing these traditional masculine roles while women lead the church. Let us free them to be men and develop their masculine identities.
    The author says she’s moved away from “a vague understanding and a dose of naïvety” on this matter some time ago; if this is where she’s arrived, I’d really hate to see what she was like back when she considered herself naïve.

    Reply

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