Responding to attempts to distract from gender equality

In comments on my post 42: Basic mis-understandings around Women as speakers two people are trying to distract us from gender equality in a variety of ways.

BWAHOA attempts to distract me by diverting the discussion onto sexuality and then allegations that Methodist Ministers don't believe in God and that I don't say anything about that.

Anon makes a horrible comparison between gender equality which they seem to believe means we should allow people to talk about pornography. This is just so outrageous that I am not going to respond to it.

At best I see these as mischevious attempts to divert attention away from the content of the post. Still I am not going to ignore them. So some quick answers (because of time and as most of these have been answered many times over on this blog over the years).

Do I believe in equality in areas other than gender.

Absolutely yes. All human beings are created in the image of God and God does not recognise all the human made distinctions of gender, age, ethnicity, colour, height, sexuality, disability, hair length, freedom etc etc.

Do I believe any of these distinctions (gender, age, sexuality) should have any connection to Church Leadership.

Absolutely not.

The only qualification for Church leadership that matters at the end is to be called and equipped by God through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course the way that Churches and individuals discern, explore, affirm and celebrate such a call and equipping varies and can be complicated.

Once a person and the Church has recognised a call by God and the equipping of the Holy Spirit then it is important for that person to remain faithful to the call, to the faith and to the Church that recognised that call.

Why do a I focus on Gender issues more than other areas of equality such as sexuality?

Simply it is quite impossible to focus on all the issues of equality that I am passionate about. Both the depth and breadth of the field is too great. So I narrow down to focus on just some areas. Gender because a) in most cases it needs to come before people will consider other areas. b) it directly effects more people (approx 50% of the world's population) c) I have seen some of the terrible effects connected to gender discrimination in people I have journied alongside.

Why don't I say anything about Methodist Ministers who apparently don't believe in Jesus is divine?

BWAHOA has made this vague accusation before and I have never ignored it.

I have never met a Methodist Minister who claims not to believe in the divinity of Jesus. If a Minister claimed to not believe in Jesus then it seems to me that this would be a disciplinary issue for the Church to handle and I would support doing that properly. If there is evidence then I support and encourage BWAHOA to use the complaints process of the Methodist Church. I cannot, however, start a complaint myself based purely on hearsay.

I am also influenced by the number of times that I have been told by various people that I am not a Christian or not an Evangelical Christian. Given that I know that is untrue I am tempted to assume that the same is true for these vague accusations of other Methodists.

Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God? That He is divine?

Yes, absolutely. My faith is pretty orthodox evangelical (entirely consistent with Bebbington quadrilateral).

6 thoughts on “Responding to attempts to distract from gender equality

  1. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Thanks Dave, that is really helpful.
    A specific Methodist minister I am thinking of is probably retired by now due to his age at the time I came into contact with him.
    Anyhow, I hope Messy Church went well.

  2. Farida

    I accidently came acrsos your blog and was very happy. It was perfect timing. I am in an industry where women are my audience but I do a man’s labor (I’m a shepherdess). I love our gender and have always believed that we are sisters and should support one another. Today, I was struck by some very cruel and mean spirited posts that women had to say about what I did and how I did it (shearing sheep 2X my weight). I was so shocked because I truly believed that we are in this together and it is not a net zero sum world. You are trying to remind us to be supportive, objective, but most of all, be good humans.


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