Yesterday evening I began to have cultural insights that have previously been lost to me - and these are regarding the way many black ministers see women in ministry. Unfortunately, I still don't know what they think. I can just see that they think something . . . and it's not in line with the official Methodist view of equality.
We had a speaker from the KZN Council of Churches who was passionately feminist. I tried to go along with it, to understand, but I must admit that later when I was thinking about it I just couldn't agree with her. She puts it that Syro-Phoenician women told Jesus just where to get off. Starting with, "Listen, Christ!" I do believe in equality for women, but I know what people mean when they talk about 'rabid feminists'. Not me.
I think I might be going to be very politically incorrect here - in fact some people might even see it as blasphemous (after all, pc is the new god, right?).
We've heard some bad theology at seminary. From a black man: when Jesus was on his way to Calvary everyone deserted him. There was no one there. But there was a black man who was willing to carry the cross for him.
From a woman: on the cross, Jesus was alone. The disciples deserted him. No one cared. Only the women were there.
The trick is the 'onlies'. Those passages are important because they do highlight the roles played by currently marginalised people - but we don't lift people by trashing others.
** politically incorrect bit removed. I'm a coward! **
But the real bottom line is that this is all nonsense and we should be talking about people. Human beings. Not black or white or male or female. The Bible is pretty clear that those distinctions are not important in God's kingdom.