Reading Katie Stock’s excellent article (‘Wonder Women’, September) reminds us of the fundamental schism, across a wide range of churches, over gender issues. Each group tries to claim a biblical stance, but is unable to resolve apparent conflicts in our versions of the Bible, over this subject.
The interpretation underlying current versions of the Bible derives from times where it was utterly impossible to think of any role for women in Church hierarchies. So, not surprisingly, the traditional interpretations reflect that historic mindset.
Modern linguistics offers a more secure understanding of the ancient languages which would enable a reinterpretation, offering some resolution of the ambiguities, obscurities and conflicts which distort our modern translations. But such an enterprise requires a passion for unity, respect for the original text, confidence in the work of the Holy Spirit and the humility to think outside the box of our traditional conditioning.
I was thrilled to see the front cover: “Wonder Women – Celebrating 100 years of female ordination”.
The celebrations of Constance Coltman are being celebrated by both the United Reformed Church and Congregational Federation. But on page 35 the article completely misses us out of history “…she applied to Mansfield College, Oxford to study alongside those training towards ordained ministry in the Congregational Union of England and Wales (later to become the United Reformed Church).”
This is incorrect. The Congregational Union of England and Wales formed the Congregational Federation. Some Congregational Churches along with Presbyterian Churches formed the United Reformed Church.
Yvonne Campbell, general secretary, Congregational Federation
JESUS PEOPLE NOSTALGIA
Andrew Whitman’s article on the Jesus People Movement (September) was excellent. I was deeply impacted by Bob Dylan’s track ‘Gotta serve somebody’ from his album Slow Train Coming. The impact of this song was powerfully used by God in my own conversion in 1981. It was this song that laid the foundation for Cross Rhythms’ ministry by encouraging me to use CCM in a radio programme, which at the time in the UK was pretty non-existent.
Chris Cole, founder, Cross Rhythms media ministry
The Jesus People Revolution was influential in the development of my teenage years as a young Christian during the 70s. I too went to see Lonesome Stone and I clearly remember that night when I was witnessed to by a cast member. It was the following day when I gave my life to the Lord and found myself embracing the culture that the Jesus People bought to these shores!
Many of our youth fellowship embraced the ‘new’ Christian culture at the time – listening to Barry McGuire, Larry Norman, Malcolm & Alwyn, The Sheep and The Mighty Flyers. We even followed the antics of Arthur Blessitt, copying his evangelistic techniques. We lapped up the stuff written by Hal Lindsey. The new worship styles were adopted and I was an avid reader of Buzz magazine.
It changed the way we worshipped in church and I agreed with Peter Meadows’ comments: “It lifted the morale and enthusiasm of the younger generation in the UK churches”. It was a radical culture and provided a grounding for my own spiritual growth.
Regarding Andrew Buttress’ article on Jeremy Corbyn (Culture, September), I fully agree that politicians of all parties, and a large sector of the Church, has not addressed young people adequately.
That said, in our society today, there is a sense of ‘entitlement’. Students treated what Corbyn said about tuition fees as, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Jesus does ultimately reward his faithful disciples, but his message is not, ‘What can I get?’ but rather, ‘What can I give?’
Secondly, Jesus never made a promise which he could not keep. At the time, I saw Corbyn’s free tuition offer as a bribe, and subsequently facts and figures have shown that his promise was unaffordable! The challenge of commitment and cost should not be overlooked. There are young people who welcome a challenge and do not want a feather-bed faith!
Hooray for ‘The Forgotten Generation’ (September) by Rev Steve Morris. His ‘memory café’ was educational for him as well as being a lifeline for many senior citizens.
I’m over 70 and fortunate that where I live there are excellent clubs and provision for the older population. Church-based venues are popular with believers and nonbelievers alike. Also, as Rev Morris discovered, we’re not all hopelessly dependant or deeply confused!
So three cheers for all those whose work means an end to loneliness in later years, making sure we aren’t the forgotten generation.
Mrs K Tindall
I want to thank you for all your hard work in producing Premier Christianity magazine.
My son, Tim, who has written two pieces for the magazine, introduced me to this valuable resource twelve months ago and it has proved to be such a blessing. The news items and articles are informative, challenging, thought-provoking and refreshing. They bolster my faith, broaden my knowledge and challenge me to give my all to Christ. I recognise the hard work and effort needed to produce such a high quality and professional publication month in and month out, and I want to send my sincere thanks to yourself and your hard-working team.
@gustafbjorkman When all the other kids in the neighbourhood like movie stars and bands and stuff, I have always been team Hauerwas.
@johannarbaldwin Been thinking a lot about @samhailes piece in @Christianitymag Is the Church too middle class? Very interested to hear people’s thoughts.
@katyhirst Tucking into the latest @ Christianitymag with probably the most heartening front cover statement so far.
@RevDavidMilford Finally catching up with August edition of @Christianitymag – I’m gonna stick the Centre Brain guidelines over my desk for weekly reference!
There are times in church when the word ‘shock’ is simply not sufficient, and we need to take a stand against terrifying intrusions into our church life. The time, for example, when they attempted to remove the church organ springs to mind. I did the only reasonable thing and chained myself to it in order to prevent this disgrace against the Lord’s chosen musical instrument taking place. The fact that there was no longer anybody in the church who could play the organ was neither here nor there. It also no longer worked and was structurally unsound, but this is also beside the point.
I similarly felt a sense of shock when reading your recent article on the ‘Jesus People Revolution’ (September). If you ask me (and you probably should a little more often), this sounds like a horror show that we should be advising our young people to avoid at all costs. Long hair, amplified guitars, and a Christian rock musical…I ask you! It wouldn’t surprise me if our youth leader organised a trip immediately. A fortnight ago I pointed out to him that his denim trousers seemed to be damaged due to some unsightly rips in them, and then last week he was wearing them again. Is the man blind?
I had decided to make a stand about this ‘Jesus People Revolution’ and had started working on a letter of protest (shorter than the organ letter; this one stops short at 14 pages) when I noticed that the events in question occurred in 1967. This may explain a lot.
Rev Roger D Votional