Skip to main content

Is Segregated Worship the Spirit's Desire?

OK maybe that title was a little too provocative, I am not talking about racial segregation but gender and age segregation. With regard to gender James Jordan of Biblical Horizons seems to think so,
The simple fact is that for 2000 years, the Holy Spirit moved the church to have men and women sitting separately during divine worship. This is because in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. There is neither male nor female, bond nor free, child nor parent. Hence, ascended worship, taking place seated in the heavenlies, involves an affirmation of God’s Family and a setting aside of the earthly family. As a matter of fact, if you want God to give you a healthy family, let Him take it apart and put it back together each week, for that is how God always glorifies and empowers His people .
But with regard to age he does not.  Jordan also argues that liturgy and singing psalms are the best way to include children and youth in the life of the church,
Obviously children belong in worship. That is why the church historically has had a fully sung liturgy that is the same every week. Even three-year olds can join in. They don’t have to read different prayers every week. 

Which reminds me of Thalia Kehoe Rowden's opinions on having all age services,
All-age services offer the kind of deep community that including everyone fosters and the regular exercise of generosity this level of inclusion requires, and both these benefits mean I get really good bang for my buck in leading this community.
While Jordan clearly has a phd in gross generalisations and pontificating I have a great deal of sympathy with his point.  Many churches spend a great deal of time energy and money developing curriculum for multiple age groups, and the staffing issues with a medium sized childrens program must be experienced to be believed.  However for most of us declaring a weekly liturgy and psalm singing to be the solution looks rather like an acute case of trying to shut the door after the horse bolted went out into the bush and sired three generations of wild ponies. 


What do you think?

Comments

  1. If you ever found Wild Pony Baptist Church (within a Sabbath's days drive from Pyes Pa) expect an application for transfer of membership!

    A regular theologically orthodox and deep liturgy, with all ages participating sound like heaven to me :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It does sound good, but how we get from here to there I don't know! That said "Wild Pony Baptist Church" has a lovely ring to it, I'll save that one for later.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.