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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Race and Gender Discrimination in the Church

Margaret Mowczko, blogger at Newlife

If only people were accepted for what they are or could be, there would be no problem; but to know that something over which one has no control – namely, one’s biologically inherited appearance [or gender] – is forever a bar to the realization of an ideal, this is what hurts and hurts deeply.

via Race and Gender Discrimination in the Church.

It is so disheartening and contrary to love and compassion that those we love are excluded from leading us to God in worship, through their witness and feminine perspective on the Good News. It is our guess that those resisting women’s ordination might suggest that women’s perspective on the Gospel can be no different to that of men – and if they agreed that there was another perspective it presumably would be deemed inferior.

We guess it will take the retirement of the current President for this matter to be progressed. Meanwhile the Church fades.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in sociology, theology

 

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Saudi scholars say ‘no more virgins’ if women allowed to drive

Imagine if women were allowed to drive!  The thought is ridiculous.

Next they’ll want to talk in church.

Saudi scholars say ‘no more virgins’ if women allowed to drive.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in history, sociology, theology

 

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Nothing new under the sun

And so the process continues year after year.  This was the state of affairs at Sept 11th, 2010.

We hear that the committee of five was appointed in late 2011, more than two years after Synod directed Pastor Semmler to work towards consensus.   We would expect patience to be sorely tested at the 2013 Synod.

Expect Pastor Semmler to stand again for the presidency.  That’s the word in the corridors of ALC. It seems that 13 years is just not long enough.  No-one could possibly do the job like him.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in history, politics

 

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“Christianity has a male feel about it” – John Piper

John Piper

Look at the structure of our churches and you will agree that Christianity has a male feel about it.

John Piper, seen by some as a “pioneer” of the New Calvinism, suggests that this is the way it was meant to be. Pastors Semmler, Kleinig and Pfeiffer would concur.  They may be right in noticing the male domination within Christianity, but they are wrong in telling us that it should always be.

Here’s the language that Piper uses (reported by Shirley Taylor in bWe Baptist Women for Equality’s Blog)

It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.

Shirley Tayor responds in her post:

What nonsense.

What is the humble, Christ-exalting initiative that men take?  There is nothing humble about telling women that men are the big he-man leaders – like Christ, no less – while the women are their sideline helpers. That is humble? Admitting that women are equal would be humble leadership, but he is not willing to be that Christ-like.

Read more.

In referring to another exclusive ministry group, Shirley Taylor comments,

If they had been studying the Bible, and read what what on Jesus’ mind as we see in the New Testament, they would have seen that masculinity and femininity was not Jesus’ concerns.  His concern was how people mocked God by being overly pious when in their hearts they were doing something else, and how they treated their fellow man, and their fellow women.

Those who lead the resistance to women’s ministry, in their piety and devotion, have created a huge, castle-like graven image with theology that reflects nothing of Jesus’ embrace of the powerless, marginalised and oppressed, including women.  Wafting down from the castle we hear the new self-serving emphasis on ‘fatherhood’, ‘male God’, ‘Catholic unity’.

Such an approach does nothing to strengthen Lutheran unity. In fact, by Church leadership refusing a fair discussion towards women’s ordination, supporters are forced to consider other options.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in sociology, theology, women's ordination

 

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What’s basic to Christian theology?


How do we work through questions like that of women’s ordination?  Experience?  Reason?  Tradition?  Scripture?  Revelation?  Below are excerpts from An Introduction to Christian Theology, which suggest what’s absolutely basic.

Reference
McIntosh, Mark.  Divine Teaching: An Introduction to Christian Theology.  Blackwell: Oxford, 2008.

Chapter 3       Divine Teaching and Christian Beliefs, 31-54,
P46   … doctrines are not ends in themselves

P50  … if it is really God that theology is trying to understand, and it is really God who is inciting the search, then we  should be able to recognize something good and perhaps even something holy developing in the character of those who are being genuinely and authentically theological.  What I’m suggesting, then, is a test for theological legitimacy and integrity that does not predetermine the forms of thought in which theologians venture out, but rather examines the kind of persons their theological journeys make of them.

P51  … the chief critical measure of [Christian theology’s] health and legitimacy would be found, not first of all in the domain of rational argument, but in the domain of its moral and spiritual influence within the lives of believers.  … it is … possible to assess someone’s ideas at second hand, so to speak, by noticing what impact they have on the person’s life.

P52  We should expect that those whose beliefs carry them into encounters with the reality of God will manifest signs that they are animated by love and humility in their bearing:

Pp52,53  [John Henry Newman (1801-90) Fifteen Sermons preached before the University of Oxford (University Sermons), 3rd edn., Sermon XII. 27, pp.240-1. wrote]: “I say the principle of Love, acting not by way of inquiry or argument, but spontaneously and as an instinct will cause the mind to recoil from cruelty, impurity, and assumption of divine power” to itself.

Just as Newman sees positive signs by which to discern healthy faith, so he also develops negative criteria for identifying a form of faith that is not truly conducting one into a deeper relationship with the living God. We’ve already seen the implicit hints that a tendency towards cruelty and a mock-divine self-importance are lively marks of an unhealthy faith.  The central idea for Newman here is, again, relationship:  apart from the stretching, life-giving growth that authentic, faithful relationship with God makes possible, the human person hardens into a self-concerned caricature of itself, falling into an unattractive narrow-mindedness that insists on the conformity of all ideas to its own.

Submitted by Pichi

 
 

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