It’s a bold statement, and comes with an odd background. I’ve been reading this article, and trying to find a sensible way to phrase my reaction.
The thing is, I do get the need for a lyrical and actual intimacy in modern worship. The point of a lot of Western Protestant Christian acts of worship is to celebrate and bring the congregation closer to the living God who made them. What I sometimes find difficult is the language which we choose to do it, and the article makes the point effectively that the line can be crossed in spectacular fashion.
However, I have some reservations about the male vs female character of church argument. In a similar vein is the book “Why Men hate going to Church” which explores the same apparent divide. Is this a real point of division or an imaginary one based on observations of the church demographic?
Is there an innate problem with women leading churches? I don’t believe so. There is, however, a big gap between what blokes can need socially and what the church we see around us is able to offer them. Generally, there isn’t much overlap there at all.
Add to this the growing secularist move against organised religion as an acceptable use of one’s time. Only last week I was told organised religion is a magnet for all kinds of undesirables. On the one hand, I want to have a church which isn’t afraid to offer community to those on the outskirts of society. On the other hand, it should be open to everyone, and be able to welcome anyone.
Doctor’s surgeries are full of sick people, football crowds tend to be mostly established fans and gyms tend to be full of fit people. Church will continue to attract those with a disposition toward it rather than those opposed, and I think the language and attitude we demonstrate in church services will shape the future congregation, but I remain unconvinced that the gender of the person up the front is necessarily important.
Justice for victims and the oppressed, that’s important. A community of service where we treat people on their own terms rather than as statistics, that’s important. An honest and accountable church which can demonstrate antipathy to corruption, that’s important.
Trying to sort out the future of the church… not important at all. Not really. At the end of the day, what’s the use in worrying about church? It’s only a bunch of people trying to follow the teachings and example of Jesus. If we’re not managing to do that first, the rest is fairly academic, isn’t it?
At the end of the day he’s not my boyfriend but he is my hero. Quite how we make any community of likeminded believers work can frankly be sorted out in due course.