A Mistake to Assume, Rather than Seek to Understand
By Jen Isaac, Morweena, Man.
I recognize the frustration of those who feel held back by EMC policies in regards to women in pastoral roles. However, I am saddened and disappointed by how quickly we assume the worst of our brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with us.
I have heard it said that in the discussion of women in leadership we need to keep two things in mind. Egalitarians don’t have their beliefs because they are throwing out Scripture, and complementarians don’t have their beliefs because they want to “keep women down.”
If you believe women shouldn’t be pastors because you believe the Scriptures say this, that is not sexism. You just interpret Scripture differently than egalitarians. If you have this belief because you feel women are inferior, that is sexism. It’s about the heart. We damage the church when we attack each other instead of trying to understand each other’s hearts. Continue reading Letters September 2021
Women, we need your voice
By Jeremy Zehr, Winnipeg, Man.
My wife, Teresa Enns Zehr, has proven herself to be a great pastor. She was called into pastoral ministry by the Holy Spirit from a very young age. This calling was confirmed by our congregation (Aberdeen EMC) and they continue to fully affirm her four years into her time as our pastor. However, she continues to be told by the Conference that she is not fully capable as a pastor because she is a woman. She is not allowed to be ordained or have her vote count at Ministerial meetings. Continue reading Letters August 2021
We Need to Seek the Best Way to Address Climate Change
By Delmer Plett, Arborg, Man.
Climate change is a topic we bump into regularly in the news that can lead us to fear and guilt. I applaud The Messenger (March 2021 issue) for taking on a relevant, controversial, political topic like this.
I would like to recommend viewing Bjorn Lomborg’s video, “Don’t waste trillions on BAD Climate Policy” on YouTube. While I don’t totally agree with everything he says, he bases what he says on recorded scientific data, on climate data, quoting other qualified sources. Continue reading Letters May 2021
According to September 2020 Issue, Are We Evangelical?
by Gordon Dyck, Steinbach, Man.
Do I see people, including myself, as part of a group, or as an individual needing Christ as Saviour?
Do I take the sins of many as mine, or ask for my own forgiveness?
Do I blame the sins of others on one of their group, or do I look in the eyes of my neighbour? Continue reading Letters January-March 2021
‘Privilege’ Tells Too Small a Story
by Nathan Plett, Landmark, Man.
The article, “Examining My Privilege,” asks the question, “How do we love our neighbours—all our neighbours—in a way that elevates their dignity as image-bearers of God? Great question. Continue reading Letters December 2020
Complaining About Restrictions?
by Bethany Matejka. Birch River, Man.
I have heard quite a few people, many of whom are Christians, complaining about the restrictions being put on us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am not here to discuss the necessity or effectiveness of any of those measures. I am also not here to draw a comparison between the Manitoban or Canadian government and the Roman government of New Testament times. Continue reading Letters June 2020
So, Who Are We?
by Agatha Rempel, Steinbach, Man.
I am replying to Mervin Dueck’s article about being a Conscientious Objector in our world (Jan. 2020). I, too, have concerns about how our people will be able to use the 1873 document. Continue reading Letters April 2020
Concerned About Gender Stereotyping
Heidi Dirks, Winnipeg, Man.
Thank you to Terry Smith for his reporting on this year’s EMC Ministerial Day [July]. I am, however, concerned about the content presented on this day. I am concerned about the gender stereotypes apparently presented as fact, and how these stereotypes limit both men and women. I am also concerned that a supposed “feminization” of the church is blamed for declining attendance for men. Most churches have a group of women who have faithfully served God for many years, often in roles behind the scenes. Some women have felt called to leadership positions but were limited in their service due to their gender. It is not helpful to blame women currently in the church for the men who do not attend, or to measure “success” by male/female ratios. Churches should be places where all people feel welcome and can hear the good news of Jesus, and where they can serve God with the gifts He has given them.
Who is the Church?
by Tim Sawatzky, MacGregor, Man.
Thank you, Layton Friesen, for your May 2019 article “Without the Church, You’re on Your Own.” Many years ago I asked myself, “What is the church?” and the nagging question was, “Who is the church?” What is the church generally refers to a building, denomination or organization. Are we as individuals not the church, if we believe Jesus is the Son of God, died for us, forgiving our sins and rose back to life?
Continue reading Letters August 2019
Church Unattractive if Disharmony is Obvious
by Ron Penner, Winnipeg, Man.
The latest edition of The Messenger included a fine article written by the Board of Church Ministries regarding the importance of conference unity in spite of differences of perspective on some church practices [A Note About a Note, May]. What was useful was their reminder to us that “some groups and individuals have not felt welcome” when churches are preoccupied with disputes and disagreements under the guise of Christian orthodoxy. The significant decline in church attendance in North America is attributed by many as a sign that the church is unattractive if disharmony is obvious. Thank you, BCM, for your insights. I am looking forward to your further contributions.