Tag Archives: women

Another (similar) Kerfuffle…

Not wishing to diminish the impact of my announcement of The Great Crash of January 2008, but just something for those with some time on their hands to consider and wrap up neatly for those of us who take much longer to form an opinion…? 

At a friend’s house for dinner the other night, she drew to my attention a Kerfuffle within the Presbyterian Church which the Belfast Telegraph have been reporting on over the past few weeks.

The crux of it is that one minister (male) refused to let another (female) preach in ‘his’ pulpit at a joint Christmas service.  The event of a joint service between these two churches in the same town has been happening for years and years, but only recently has the female minister been installed at the church.

Some interesting questions raised by both journalists and citizens who wrote in.  The following are in date order.

pci.png

The earliest article I could find (kind of ugly, but later articles paint a different picture of the lady’s reaction).

Regrets expressed over inability to find compromise.

The ‘unholy row’ – call for consistency within Presbyterian Church policy.

Some comments from the Moderator

Letter of support

Journalist (and choir member) opinon – quite random, done in context of the new Irish Presby hymn book!christinab_262288d.jpg

“I will not back down”

Letter of disappointment with how the situation has been handled. 

More general article on the challenge facing the Church in secular society.

… 

You see, randomly enough – this stuff makes me think about the should-have-been post on the blame-claim culture RE The Great Crash of January 2008 (my neck’s doing well, thanks)…

Larger questions about the assertion of ‘rights’ by Christians.  Jesus gave up his rights to defend himself and was pretty selective in the battles he fought, right?  So how do we know when to stand up and fight and when to make sacrifices or put up with losing face?

Much wisdom, grace and love required methinks.  Especially in current politically correct culture.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under church, freedom, grace, modern life, questions

Second Rate – Two things to remember…

This is all a little overwhelming for me, all this discussion.  Never in a million years did I expect such traffic through my small corner!  I’m glad it has come up (kind of) and I’m glad its given others a chance to ruminate, illuminate and elucidate!  Most of all I’m glad that this is bigger than me.  Permit me, however, to share where I’m at in it all since it all began…

I think there are two reasons to proceed with caution here…

Firstly, its so helpful to have input from people who have had time to think through this stuff and are further down that road in general.  I’m aware that I’m not quite ready to do all the reading myself.  Not because I enjoy the torment of not really knowing, but rather that I’m still relatively new to this whole issue, as are – and no doubt will be – a lot of women out there.  To have spent my life so far eking out what it really means to be feminine from all the messages bombarding me only to come face to face with people who believe that my worst fears of not being what I should be are confirmed ‘clearly’ by God in the Bible – that is pretty damn difficult.

I’m in mourning. I don’t mean that I spend every waking moment thinking about this stuff, so sorry if that sounds pretentious, but it’s the best way I can describe it – mourning.  I could discover a whole list of convincing arguments, but the fact remains that there are people (not just men!) within the church of Christ who exclude and judge not only me but everyone of my gender: they have done so and will continue to do so for years.

Ouch…

It is good to know, though, that I’m not alone on the road much less travelled.

Secondly, the problem with having lots of convincing reasons as to why my instincts are right, is that the temptation to clamber up on a high horse is immense.  For whilst clever reasoning shows that Jesus’ ministry displays much counter-cultural grace and acceptance of women, doesn’t it also model the rejection of judgementalism and self-righteousness…?

I wrote about a friend who told me I was thinking too deeply; but in his defence, I hadn’t thought it worth much consideration either.  I don’t think I realised that it would ever really affect me until very recently.  Naïve, I know – especially for a woman.  But if I have been ignorant, then can I really condemn men for not considering the issue at length when they’re even further from the equation?

I nearly walked away from a conversation in church this morning about this ‘kerfuffle’, because my feelings around the debate are still red raw and more often than not, tears spring unbidden (as in, more so than usual!) – not so much because I know what ‘side’ the person in front of me is on, but more because I don’t know how I’ll handle it if they disagree with my gut instincts.

The hijacking of ‘feminism’ which gives the term a very negative, militant connotation is deeply regrettable and is not something I want to be associated with.  Especially not in the name of the gospel.  I don’t want to react in a way that makes men everywhere to feel guilty over the way this has all panned out.  Okay, let’s be honest here – part of me wants them to feel the crapness of it all and to wallow at length in the mire that has been perpetuated ever since the Fall.  But is that the gospel?  Nope.  Not as I understand it.

How then…?  What do I do with all this?  Where do I go from here?  Am I ready to move on?

I’m still not sure.

In the end, I had that conversation over coffee in church.  It was good – it was just a young man and a young woman discussing the fact that their thoughts on the matter are inconclusive. And you know what?  If a conversation like that helps just one person to open up to thinking about the role of women in church, then I’m going to try not to walk away from that.  Even if it means being in a public place, a snivelling wreck covered in snot.

Leave a comment

Filed under church, fear, freedom, gospel, grace, questions, women

Modern Life: Blogging Peril

When this young bright-eyed, bushy-tailed blogger began a timorous voyage into the previously uncharted waters of the blogosphere, she started out with innocuous dreams of ruling the world and rhymes about teddy bears.  This ‘self-confessed un-intellectual’ soon struck out for deeper waters: tremulously sharing thoughts verging on philosophical about the perils of modern life and the moral codes of blogging.

Confidence in her place within the community began to build as she found herself at home on the green, green grass of blog; the stats rarely being too high or low to stir too much pride or too much insecurity.  It was perhaps this heady cocktail of peaks and troughs mixed with refreshing banter on the proverbial lawn that led to our timid heroine’s (!) demise…

Being somewhat impartial to a slice of healthy optimism with lashings of heart-on-your-sleeve, her innocent paddling became a full-on skinny-dipping adventure (metaphorically speaking, of course) as she plunged into 365ing and then la goutte d’eau qui fait deborder le vase…

Second Rate.

She wrote the post late one lazy Sunday afternoon, little knowing the effect it would have on the blog world at large.  Tears shed; friendships broken; families at odds – and that was just over Voxo’s addiction to stroking his Leopard.

Many things can be learnt from Modern Life, not least the fact that we should never take it all too seriously!

2 Comments

Filed under blogging, modern life, story

Second Rate

A sharp, wavering intake of breath as I stumble across a blog post about the role of women in the church.  I barely dare to read on for fear of hearing someone say that, yes – God does think I’m second rate.  That He’s made me the way I am just as a cruel joke: to hurt me, to frustrate me, to play with me, to trample me into submission and teach me – by hook or by crook – a lesson about humility.

All around the issue I see inconsistencies and ignorance (“I’ve never really thought about it, but my dad says this…”), inverted pride and nonchalance (“It doesn’t really affect me…”), tradition and stubbornness.  I live in fear of judgement, exclusion and hurt; I live in fear of being labelled too independent, disobedient to God, a feminist

But mostly I live in fear of finding out they’re right.

I once tried to share with a male friend just exactly how much heartbreak these thoughts inflict only to be told that I “think too deeply about things”.  My attempt was obviously horrificly inadequate. 

Even my book of Big Words cannot help me.

A degree of comfort is found in the fact that there is at least one of my male contemporaries who is willing to give more than a passing thought to these things. 

I hope its not as lonely a journey for him.

14 Comments

Filed under church, fear, heart, questions, women