On Sunday Karlene and I ministered in and with Wesley Chapel FM in the morning, and then with our Japanese FM in the afternoon. These churches are pastored by Pastors Sabrina and Misa respectively. You might think that this would be an opportunity for me to remind us all about our (FMCIC) Biblical understanding of women in ministry…
Let me begin by writing that Wesley Chapel and our Japanese fellowship both have very gifted, effective, loving lead pastors! Gender is not an issue for us, because of what we see and have carefully studied in Scripture.
Maybe you heard or read John Piper’s very recent article (January 22, 2018) where he argued that women should not be seminary professors. I actually respect his effort to be hermeneutically consistent: if one believes that a woman cannot pastor then one should also believe that a woman should not teach one to pastor – after all doesn’t the verse say “clearly” that Paul does not permit a woman to teach? “Women should learn quietly and submissively. I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly (1 Timothy 2:11-12)”. One might argue that since it is Paul writing this, then the “teaching” he is referring to is spiritual teaching; however, it does not say that explicitly, so to be true to the Word should we not then believe that this applies to any teacher, any woman, any man? Should this mean that no college or university or training ministry should have a woman teacher for men just in case the man is called to be a pastor? In fact, if a boy becomes a man at his bar mitzvah (12-13 years), then is he not allowed to have a woman teacher thereafter – no women youth leaders or Sunday School teachers. Are the women in Mr. Piper’s church not allowed to ask questions, because questioning requires breaking silence? Can they ask in the foyer, as if the church is less “church” in the foyer? Do they have to wait until they are home? “Quietly” means what to him? Are moms, grandmas, aunts exempt?
“Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says (1 Corinthians 14:34)”. What did Paul mean by “church” – any gathering of believers? Can women not speak at annual general meetings? What “law” Paul? Old Testament? Local? And does that law require complete silence? A very consistent Biblical hermeneutic must address all these concerns and more.
Obviously, we have also done careful Bible study and we land in a very different place than John Piper. Most large reputable seminaries, and a very large portion of the Church in the world have and are landing differently Biblically than Piper.
I am not trying to be polemical or flippant in my response to this article or the corresponding doctrines. In the end, I would ask Mr. Piper to acknowledge that within Christendom there are many who LEGITIMATELY interpret these passages differently, and are “orthodox” believers. I would ask him to do better than respect and actually allow his views to be challenged (as we do the same). It seems this is what the Breather-of-Scripture would want for us: love each other by listening and talking and loving and praying and talking, being humble, focus on our mission, listen and talk… and this is how they will know that we are His children!
The Church has essential work to do, and our movement forward is hurt when one part of the body takes a shot at another part of the same Body!
A missionary-church-planter from India told me that a “great number” of Dalit people are coming to know Jesus specifically because of Biblical teaching on women! Women [and men] have been oppressed traditionally in India under the caste system, so any religion that perpetuates gender oppression is not attractive to them. When Christian evangelists teach about Jesus’ response and invitation to women, there is great interest! Jesus is the freedom bringer! The Saviour who has redemptive conversation with women and men quite naturally. Who inspired a woman that He met at a well to be [arguably] the first missionary! We could go on…
Much more could be written about the FMCIC’s stand that God equally calls all people, but allow me to simply refer you to our excellent resources from SCOD on the FMCIC website
Pastor Jim is on the WCFM staff and his passion for evangelism is challenging WCFM to consider what efforts they need to make in their neighbourhood. Pastor Sabrina once compared their newly renovated sanctuary to a work-out gym and reminded WCFM that once they leave the building they need to put their evangelistic muscle to work (she said it more eloquently).
The Japanese church family though small acknowledged God’s love for them and God’s calling on their lives. Thank you my new friends for the very warm greeting. I look forward to what God has for you next.
I used chopsticks and ate homemade sushi – sushi is so pretty!
ANNUAL REPORT 2017
Please submit your Annual Report and Network Leader Evaluation on or before February 20, 2018.
National MEGaP Meeting
Church Health Thursdays -The New Normal: 9 Realities And Trends In Bi-vocational Ministry :https://www.fmcic.ca/the-new-normal-9-realities-and-trends-in-bi-vocational-ministry/ New
News & Stories Blog – A Church with Mission in mind – Interview with Greg Elford :https://www.fmcic.ca/a-church-with-mission-in-mind-interview-with-greg-elford/
the conneXion – a Free Methodist theology blog: 3 Minute Theology 2.5: Knowing the Bible Inside Out: http://www.fmcic.ca/3-minute-theology-2-5-knowing-the-bible-inside-out/
New Leaf Podcast: Anna Spray -Table Church: https://www.newleafnetwork.ca/podcast/ep-51-anna-spray-table-church/ New
Faith and Finances Website: http://faithandfinances.ca
Do you know someone who would like to receive CliffsNotes? They can now sign up through the website at:https://www.fmcic.ca/cliffsnotes-signup/
Dr. K. K. Leung – released as Pastor at Richmond Hill Free Methodist Church, effective January 26, 2018
Ordination and Commissioning Services Schedule
The next deadline is February 15, 2018 to apply for the Leadership Scholarship Plan (LSP) for the winter semester of 2018. More information is available at this link:http://www.fmcic.ca/scholarships/
Heart of Canadian Free Methodism:
June 1-3, 2018 in Western Canada (location TBA*)
June 1-3, 2018 in Ontario (location TBA*)
(also available online through FMC-USA: http://fmcusa.org/leadership/courses/)
Personal and Church Stewardship
6-week online course – begins January 29, 2018
6-week online course (FRENCH) – begins April 9, 2018
Culture and the Missional Church:
Next course date and location TBA*
(*these locations will be selected based on where the majority of the participants reside – so please register early!)
Registration is online for all courses at this link: http://www.fmcic.ca/foundational-courses/. Those tracking for credentialed ministry should take the Heart course first and then Wesleyan Theology if possible.
CHURCHES IN TRANSITION
Sault Ste Marie FMC, Sault Ste Marie, ON
Church Profiles available
Contact Susan DePlanché in the Leadership Development Office to request a church profile – [email protected] or 289-228-1225.
Melfort FMC, Melfort, SK (deadline February 20)
(If you are interested in seeing the profile for any of these churches, please contact Susan in the Leadership Development Office [[email protected] or 289-228-1225] and the profile will be emailed to you as soon as it becomes available.)
Athens FMC, Athens, ON (Angel Valentin-Transition Pastor)
Asbury FMC, Perth, ON (Hanford Branscombe-Interim Pastor)
Caistor Centre FMC, Caistor Centre, ON
Centennial Chapel FMC, Kamloops, BC (Vern Frudd-retiring May 31, 2018)
Dunnville FMC, Dunnville, ON
Grapeview FMC, St. Catharines, ON (Dan Sheffield – Transition Pastor)
Madoc Free Methodist/ Wesleyan Church
Marmora FMC, Marmora, ON (Adam Kline- Interim Pastor)
Odessa FMC, Odessa, ON
Richmond Hill FMC (English & Chinese), Richmond Hill, ON
Tabernacle de la Grace, Montreal QC
Thunder Bay FMC, Thunder Bay, ON (Andre Korstanje retiring July 2018)
Warkworth FMC, Warkworth, ON
West Springs FMC, Calgary, AB
Weyburn FMC, Weyburn, SK
Functioning with approved local arrangements
Avonlea FMC, Avonlea SK
Campbell’s Bay FMC, Campbell’s Bay, QC (Orville White)
Church On The Hill, Orillia ON
Cordova Mines FM Fellowship, Cordova Mines, ON
Dryden FMC, Dryden, ON
Eglise Chrétienne Méthodiste Libre de Le Gardeur, QC (Duplan Auguste Lython)
Enterprise FMC, Enterprise, ON
Harrowsmith FMC, Harrowsmith, ON (Robert Boutilier)
Killarney FMC, Killarney, MB (Raymond Riglin)
Markham FMC, ON (K.K. Leung)
Roblin FMC, Roblin, MB (Heath Butler)
Surrey FMC, Surrey BC (Nathaniel Prakash)
theStory, Sarnia, ON
Timmins FMC, Timmins, ON (Lewis Byer)
Wesley Chapel Japanese FM Church, Toronto, ON (Misa Mochinaga)
Yarker FMC, Yarker, ON (Ken Babcock)
PASTORS IN TRANSITION