I see messages from the Spirit in The Christian Century, November 21, 2016 on Theology through Prayer.
Page 21 Samuel Kabue, blind at age 16, director of advocacy (including work for economic justice, peace and reconciliation, and youth) for the National Council of Churches in Kenya and ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa says, “I am what I am because people gave me a chance to prove myself … You cannot give people a chance unless they are included and you can discover their potential.” Although recommended by his local church, the church body next in command did not recommend him for theological study. More than a decade later the World Council of Churches gave him a scholarship to study in England.
Pages 28 to 31 “United Methodists and Unity” is a discussion of the United Methodist world organization’s efforts to remain an effective force for good despite the disagreements over whether Christian LGBT persons can be full United Methodist members with all the responsibilities and privileges that heterosexual members have. Some local congregations have said “yes.” Not all higher church bodies have recognized the potential of these brothers and sisters in the faith.
What shall we say to Jesus who wanted God’s kingdom in heaven to come on earth and who said there is neither male nor female in heaven? What shall we say to the Apostle Paul who understood this and said there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free in Christ? What shall we say to the Apostle Peter who saw the great sheet let down from heaven and heard a voice saying, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” This happened three times–perhaps once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the Holy Spirit?
Pages 24 through 27, the article “Theology through prayer” explores Sarah Coakley’s method of theological thinking and her writings on sexuality and the quest for God. Perhaps conflicted churches need to study her writings.
Perhaps we need to go back to the early church and make decisions through prayerful conference and compromise as Peter, Paul and James did when they decided that Christian Gentiles did not need to follow all of the rules in their Jewish scriptures which we now call our Old Testament?
And the people said, “Amen!” ?