I am right with Adrian Warnock in saying I don’t want balance, I want it all! – although I might have chosen some different role models at the end.
But I also agree with Dave Warnock, no relation, that this all should be for everyone, “Not just white middle class men” like Adrian, Dave and me. So he criticises Adrian for implicitly restricting this by gender and sexuality. On the same basis I agree with Henry Neufeld on this. To be fair to Adrian, I don’t think he disagrees, for he wasn’t writing about leadership, but about matters in which we can all agree that men and women can play an equal part. Of course the entirely predictable responses to Dave’s comments on Adrian’s blog only served to stir up this side issue and detract from Adrian’s real vision, and Adrian doesn’t help by the patronising tone of his comments like
The ladies in our church I speak to feel fulfilled and are serving God in ways consistent with however they are called by God. They can minister, they can lead, they can speak to the church.
– but of course we know that they cannot preach or be elders, and there is no sign of them speaking for themselves on such matters.
But this is not Adrian’s main point. His point is that there is so much that the church is missing out on, because either congregations are going to one extreme at the expense of the others, or they are seeking some kind of balance which pleases nobody. Just as Jesus was not half man and half God, but fully man and fully God, so we should not be half charismatic and half doctrinally sound, or half evangelistic and half socially concerned, or any other half and half balance, but we should seek to be fully all of these things.
A commenter on Adrian’s blog mentioned Smith Wigglesworth’s 1947 prophecy, recently republished by Adrian. Here is part of it:
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world, has ever seen.
Whatever we may think of this as an actual predictive prophecy, surely we should take it as wise words for the church today. Those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit need to come together, to seek together the moving of the Holy Spirit that can bring revival to our nation and to the world. When we stop our public bickering and work together, we can expect to see something truly great happening.