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Looking for recommendations on theory to read re Christianity / LGBTQ / equality for women

(38 Posts)
angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 12:55:07

Hi, Im interested in christianity (COFE in particular) and LGBTQ and equality for women. I am fed up being bible quoted at by those who are against all forms of equality and rather tiredly wish to have some modern sources to respond with.

Im looking for some decent, reputable sources either online or book form. Whether they find them decent or reputable will be debatable no doubt but its got to be worth a try...!

angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 12:56:59

Sorry, forgot one question and someone may know an answer but why is the majority of Cofe presently seeming to only be Evangelical please? Our church used to be middle of the road, in fact I don't know how to describe it! Now, its moving towards one thread. Just wondering if theres more middle road areas I can look at and if anyone knows what they are called as Im struggling to even describe to google!

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jan-18 13:05:25

No help with sources but the only Bible quote I pay attention to are those spoken by Jesus, not those by Peter or Paul or any of those old misogynists.

I like to point out that Jesus was pretty much equal in all his dealings with women; had many followers who were women, including independently wealth widowed ones: refused to condemn a woman for adultery; was perfectly happy to teach women as well as men and was happy for a woman to stop running around doing the chores in order to just sit and learn like the men.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 11-Jan-18 13:08:17

Dave Tomlinson has written some really good books. Heavier stuff about women in the bible is "texts of terror".

imnotalpharius Thu 11-Jan-18 13:17:17

Have you looked at anything by Elaine Storkey?scars against humanity is heartbreaking but amazing. She's a theologian and Christian feminist and many other things. I follow god_loves_women on twitter, she does a good feminist blog and Cfemnet (UK Christian feminists)

There are lots of books on the old inclusive church website here:
https://inclusive-church.org.uk/resources/recommended-books

Try the mystery worshipper project at ship of fools or the website a church near you. The language can be a bit coded but anyone with a choir and advertising a Eucharist is likely to be middle of the road.

Scaredycat3000 Thu 11-Jan-18 14:46:41

why is the majority of Cofe presently seeming to only be Evangelical please?
First of all, all the abrahamic religions are evangelical, spreading the word is the very definition of evangelical. So I'll prosume you want to know why CofE is becoming more like the American evangelical churches. It's very simple, after the failed 80's stadium filling visits from the likes of Billy Graham they tried a more subtle approach and it's working. The CofE is run by an Evangelical. Welby is an evangelical Alpha course brethren at the founding church, the holy trinity in brompton. www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/20/justin-welby-powerful-evangelical-church Just google Welby Alpha course for various articals. The homophobic evangelical Alpha courses are run all over the country. There again is loads online about the Alpha course.

angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 14:58:24

Oooh! This is exciting!!! Lots of responses!!! Thank you all!!! Hadn’t expected that.

angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 15:00:05

Tinklylittlelaugh yes agree and that’s why I’m struggling as I felt he was inclusive but am being told forcefully I’m not reading it right. I say forcefully, it’s been a dripping tap over time and the noise is now making me twitch. Thank u

angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 15:00:54

Thank you very much to those who recommended books etc. I will have a look at all. Greatly appreciate your time. Thank you.

angelinwellies Thu 11-Jan-18 15:05:39

Yes my church is presently running an Alpha. My word it’s subtle. And we have some very new people that don’t realise how many stories that are being presented to them are being slanted as they didn’t know the place before.

I’ve done two Alpha myself. So long as they kept off anything vaguely political I found them quite ok. But anything diverse or equality based then yes my teeth itched.

My opinions are being asked for you see and I’m apparently not theologically correct enough. Ironic really when u think about it.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 11-Jan-18 16:08:33

Definitely Dave Tomlinson in that case. I read his early book The Post Evangelical at similar place that you appear to be in now.

The C of E is a very broad church as it is technically reformed catholic. Some churches are at the more reformed/Protestant end of the spectrum with an emphasis on longer sermons whilst others look like Roman Catholic services with incense, ornate vestments and (sometimes) only male priests. There is a big middle ground where there are open evangelical and modern Catholic style churches.

I'm not a fan of Alpha and we use Pilgrim which replaces Emmaus.

Jason118 Thu 11-Jan-18 17:49:31

It's all so very very complicated!!

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 11-Jan-18 19:34:32

Angel I know, I was talking to my aetheist and sceptical DD about the Mary and Martha story and how it illustrated that Jesus treated women as being intellectually equal to men, in defiance of the customs of his day, and she was amazed.

She pointed out she has been to C of E primary and high school, done GCSE RE and went to church until she was 13 and has never heard the Mary and Martha story given that interpretation. It's almost like the established church chose to ignore a whole facet of Jesus' teaching.

Scaredycat3000 Thu 11-Jan-18 21:38:47

My opinions are being asked for you see and I’m apparently not theologically correct enough.
Thay are not interested in your answer, they want to know why you haven't after two rounds of the Alpha course become a good christian just like them.
It's really not confusing, unless you believe any of it, then you have to explain all the contradictions within the bible and against current social morals.

angelinwellies Fri 12-Jan-18 12:21:36

Scardeycat3000 I think this is the problem. I’m not confirming to their preference. And they don’t like my questions. As I do ask, but I’ve begun to stop. On world women’s day we went to a local church for a day of speakers. All women who then spent 4hrs telling us why as women they shouldn’t be speaking as that’s not really in the bible. In our own church all women speakers have ceased bar the children’s minister whose a woman as it’s ok for a woman to look after the kids I suppose as that’s not important work or guiding troubled souls.

Thing is once u notice this you cannot un notice it.

And I’m forever being told how their college is the best and anyone who didn’t go basically is un theological and doesn’t really believe in god.

There are days it’s a darn site easier to believe when one is not in the church. So I hoped reading on the side might help. So if I felt I had a penneth to add then at least it might be a useful one. At the moment it feels like I’m apologising all the time for thinking differently.

Itscurtainsforyou Fri 12-Jan-18 12:58:31

OP - I would run for the hills and find yourself a less misogynistic church. Where are you based?

Itscurtainsforyou Fri 12-Jan-18 13:00:15

Fwiw we were once asked to leave a church as we were always questioning/disagreeing with the "right answer" and "being disruptive" by not toeing the party line.

Best thing to happen to us!

It does sound as if the OPs church is moving into the conservative end of the spectrum. It may be time to find another church. There really is no arguing with them and believe me I've given it a good try as I'm one of those allegedly unbiblical women in leadership.

imnotalpharius Fri 12-Jan-18 14:15:41

Hmmm which college, if you don't mind saying?

Scaredycat3000 Fri 12-Jan-18 14:53:41

Angel I completely agree Thing is once u notice this you cannot un notice it. I see everything. My dc are at the only local school, CofE, it's horrific. Infants end up having nightmares.
I clearly remember after yet another particularly unpleasant incident my DF telling the vicar "If you're a christian I don't want to be one". It had started with the new vicar, he's now a Bishop, I must have been about 4. I've never seen my DM cry as much over anything, from all the bullying from the new vicar and his cronies. After the vicar had cleansed the church of all the wrong type including my Headteacher, he sent letters banning them all from all the churches in that parish. They had mostly moved to another church in that parish, and no he couldn't do that, DM attends to this day. The new church got one of the very first new female vicars. DM laughed as she said it was intended as a punishment for all the trouble they had caused.

I think it is very easy to believe when you don't attend church, you have no reason to have to do mental gymnastics to justify the contradictions experienced in church.

As I grew up, I reflected on the past and tried to make some sense of it. It was scary when I first started to follow the thought process of questioning. Even more scary when I ended with the final question of was there really a deity. I found peace. Faith left my life, and I was happy. Other's would occasionally push their faith in my life, mostly negative experiences, presumed privilege.

DC has brought a whole new way for faith to be pushed into our lives on a daily basis and be judged. DS1 was told he wouldn't get xmas presents if he didn't believe by his teacher.

It has really come home how christianity is about judging. But not so much about christians judging non-xtians, that's all in the bible, it's denomination against denomination, cliques against others. Flippant comments, dropped in conversations, "not a real christian, snigger, snigger" . Having dc means I have been forced to explain myself many many times in recent years to christians thinking they would then leave me alone and without fail each and everyone has appeared to listen and then said " but that's not real christianity, we're different we're real christians".

All I want to be is left alone, but instead I find myself reading about Welby's attempts to save a, by their on reports, dying institution. Christianity has never been so active in parliament or so aggressive. The Alpha course is just the tip of an iceberg.

On the plus side I have discovered that the history of the abrahamic religions is fascinating, particularly christianity. I will always be amused that a pope in the 4/5th century sent out an order to convert the masses by making up festivals to take over local festivals. That's the real reason xmas is when it is.

lookout Fri 12-Jan-18 23:10:15

Anything by this lady SHe's a feminist theologian, and the one all the lecturers at my Bible college recommend. Good luck in your research!

purpleangel17 Sat 13-Jan-18 13:17:47

I can't recommend a book but I would agree I tend to take with a pinch of salt anything in the NT outside of the gospels. In my CofE church we have a woman vicar, woman curate and woman lay minister. They also run the Alpha Course which I am about to go on so I will reserve judgement. If they start expecting me to speak in tongues, I will be out the door!

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