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I'm having an extra cynical day, as all I can think is "how nice that they are letting a woman speak about how God loves women" while rolling my eyes.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2013 on Exciting progress at Bristol CU at 42
A few thoughts. Is it possible that they *tried* to get ministers from other denominations involved, but they all declined (perhaps their schedules simply wouldn't allow it)? Could it also be that this is something that they are specifically putting on, so they want to 'officially' only use their people in case there is a misstep? If they are solely putting on the conference perhaps they just wanted some control.
Toggle Commented Feb 28, 2013 on Great things from the Church of England. But at 42
I think that you hit the nail on the head about why it's important to start with gender equality first.
"Part of the problem is that CU's try to position themselves as "The" Christian Society." Ah, I wonder if this is the real issue then. If they just admitted that they are one of many options, and that you can love Jesus and follow Him and not necessarily be affiliated with them in any way, it probably wouldn't be as big an issue if they said "Oh yeah, women can speak at our meetings! I mean, we had that one pastor's wife speak 8 years ago!" ;)
Tim, I think that size *does* matter (ha!). It's not really an issue of what God thinks though, b/c it's not as if God Himself speaks audibly from heaven saying who is going to speak at what event/meeting. Rather it's the leadership at these individual CUs that are deciding who will be the speaker. If women are *only* allowed to speak at small gatherings that no one knows about, unless they are already involved with the CU...well...that looks kinda fishy, to be honest. It might not be the intention, but it certainly comes across as women are somehow 'second class' and are not good enough to speak at main events. Dave, I have a question: are CUs really the only option for a 'Christian group' on a university campus? Out of high school I attended a small university that had at least 7 different Christian organisations (those are just the ones that I could remember off the top of my head). If CUs are the only option on British university campuses, I wonder if that is part of the problem. From what I've been reading of this (here and elsewhere), it seems obvious that there are those in leadership within the UCCF and various CUs who are complementerians, who don't see it as a secondary issue. There are obviously others in leadership who are egalitarians. Perhaps, if nothing else, it would be best to have two groups. One for those who believe having a penis is a requirement for preaching/teaching, and one for those who don't.
BWAHOA, No, it doesn't surprise me that speakers at a UCCF CU are straight, mostly b/c the more that I've been watching all this unfold over the past few months, the more I'm seeing a lot of similarities between what these CUs seem to believe and what New Frontiers believes, and I'm sure that NF isn't a big fan of the homos either.
Good thoughts, Dave. In regards to the 'anytime will do' idea, I think that if you have a church or parachurch ministry that, 99% of the time, has the same person preaching/teaching, and that person is the pastor or leader of the group...then I could see that it might be quite infrequent when a woman would speak, unless the pastor/leader is a woman. But when you have a situation where the pulpit is generally used by an invited guest, it does make you wonder why all the guests end up being straight, white, men.
If I was part of UCCF and a student leader came to me after reading this post and wondered how to respond I would say 'forget about it, press on, spread the gospel, love men, love women, love students and love Jesus - No-one will be reading this blog post in 3 weeks and no one will be talking about Bristol CU next year - press on with the important things, this is a distraction and one mans poorly judged vendetta'" Wow. I'm sure that there are many people that don't want anyone to be talking about, or even remember, the fiasco with the Bristol CU next year...but I think that that is precisely the point that it needs to be investigated and still talked about. I was involved with a campus ministry in the US for many years, and overall it was a horrible experience (granted, it was for very different reasons than not allowing women speakers). That said, I could definitely see the leadership in the group that I was a part of saying something similar to what you suggested Tim, in an effort to ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug.
Toggle Commented Feb 21, 2013 on University CU's and women speakers (SW Region) at 42
Well, FWIW, I'm glad that Dave is doing this. It was something that I was wondering about about a week ago. As a woman who is also a Christian, I always like to know where I 'stand' with various local churches, parachurch ministries, and Christian organisations. Why? Because I have come to the place where I believe that equality is an integral part of the Christian faith. I just don't know that I really have the time in my life to deal with groups that think simply because I don't have a penis I'm unqualified to preach or teach.
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2013 on University CU's and women speakers (SW Region) at 42
I dont know that Dave is suggesting that they must meet some quota, but it does seem odd that if they really ARE okay with women, that they would have no women speakers (considering that approximately 50% of the population is female). I also dont understand why when people talk about 'agreeing to disagree' they almost always mean bowing down to the wishes of those who are more conservative/exclusive. If it really is a secondary issue, why wont those who oppose women preaching/speaking/teaching 'get over themselves' and just let women speak?
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2013 on University CU's and women speakers (SW Region) at 42
I was just thinking about this the other day, and wanted to ask you if anything had changed. I figured that this was the kind of thing that you would be interested in and be up-to-date on. I just don't understand it. If they believe that women can't teach men, then why not just come out and say that. Why not just be honest and upfront and say that they believe that men get to do things that women can't? It just seems like they want to have their cake and eat it too. They don't want to offend anyone by being honest about what they believe, so they make it seem like they are egalitarian, when their actions don't support that.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2013 on Actions speak louder than UCCF press releases at 42
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Feb 18, 2013