Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Theologically off base?

Today i got the news that I'm back on the ministry job merry-go-round since my latest hopeful option fell through.

The reason? My responses to a theological Q&A didn't mesh with their church or leadership in regards to prayer, predestination and women in ministry.

Below is what i wrote... Am i so off base?

WARNING: Lenghty quote below. I've made the type smaller so it doesn't feel so much like an essay...

4. What is prayer?

Prayer is the dialogue between God and man. We are given the privilege to talk to our Father and, even greater, hear from Him. Prayer gives us the opportunity to offer up adoration, confession, petition and thanksgiving to God. Here we also get the chance to have our hearts meet with our Maker and develop a desire to share in the things which move his heart.

8. What’s your understanding of the role of women in ministry and specifically leadership?

I don't have a problem with women exercising the gifts God has given them. In fact, I think the church should be all for it. This is one of the things which I value about the Uniting Church.

If this means up front ministry, so be it. If they are good at it, even better. Just like any member of the church, male or female, this ministry area should be encouraged if the gifting and passion are evident.

I think the bible is pretty clear, when it speaks in Joel 2 about the Holy Spirit being poured out to both genders, and men and women ministering in the Spirit. This, along with the value Jesus gave women during his ministry and the role they played in the early church, particularly in the last chapter of Romans, paint a compelling picture.

Personally, I feel that you should start from the position that both genders should exercise ministry freely in a church, and you need to be theologically argued away from that position, not vise-versa (women are excluded until you are convinced otherwise).

Beyond this, logically, it's self defeatist to exclude women.

First of all, the majority of churchgoers are of the fairer gender. Why would you choose to exclude 2/3 of your congregation? When you want to equip and empower all people to have an active, purposefully ministry, why would you not give them an opportunity to have one? And, why would you not give them examples to follow and look up to?

12. What does predestination mean?

Predestination speaks, primarily, of the knowledge of God. Beyond the constraints of time, God can see all of history in a glimpse. Thus, he knows what will happen at all times, at the same time. This omniscience of God doesn’t eliminate our personal choice to receive the gift of salvation that God offers to all people, but God knows who will accept this gift of grace.

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