It’s Complicated…


I met with a lady yesterday, Alison, a newly ordained Deacon in the Church of England. One of the things that were on my list of things to do was to find myself a ‘Spiritual Director’ or mentor.  We had an amazing couple of things in common, one of which was home education – she had home educated her children (what are the chances?!).

She was very encouraging, and talked about how long and hard she had needed to fight in order to get to ordination.

“Don’t let them discourage you”, she said.

When she asked me about my vocation, and why the Church of England, I was able to say immediately how and why I felt I had been called, and why I am in the CofE. She said that I articulated that very well, which rather tickled me, as I did rather make it up on the spot.

But when she asked me why the Priesthood, as opposed to any other kind of Christian ministry, I was a little bit stumped. I tend to believe quite strongly in the Priesthood of all believers, which we discussed, and we agreed that this is a good argument in favour of women leaders / ministers / Priests.

But I realised that I do need to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Priest.

And I also realised that I am fudging things a bit. I am still Messianic, I am still evangelical. In fact, in many ways, I am still conservative, and as much as I embrace the traditionally liberal qualities of love, tolerance and social justice, I don’t think that will change. I don’t think those ‘liberal’ qualities are at all inconsistent with a conservative view of scripture.

But can I be consistent as a conservative, Messianic Jewish, evangelical, (Salvationist?!) not-really-feminist, woman Priest in the Church of England?

I don’t know. I hear the call, but I don’t know where it’s leading me. No decisions need to be made at this point; I am on a journey, so I will just keep taking small steps forward, and trust that I am following the right path.

I didn’t discuss all of these things with Alison. I think that, although I am keen to meet with her again, I really need to find somebody else to be a real ‘mentor’, even if she is willing to fulfill the official role of ‘Spiritual Director’. But I really need somebody who is familiar with, or has grappled with the same issues as I have to deal with.

So if you know any other conservative, Messianic Jewish, evangelical, not-really-feminist, women Priests in the Church of England, do please send them my way! (The Salvationist element is optional) 🙂






2 thoughts on “It’s Complicated…

  1. Just had a quick read about your complicated life & this sprung to mind NOT as a hard criticism of your seeking path but a query as to how a priesthood position in CoE attracted you when you seem to have grasped the revelation of the Torah of Grace in Messiah.

    As believers we all directly pray to Yeshuah as individuals & corporately as brothers & sisters with evangelists, elders, prophets, teachers, etc each with a gift given by the Spirit for the edification of the body of Christ and no hint of Nicolatianism. The greatest & most knowledgeable was to have no man given or assumed title. The greater is a greater servant. What a person was in Christ was apparent by the gift given by the Spirit …..nothing else was a concern.

    Any person of the assembly was permitted to prophecy by the Spirit so that the burden & responsibility was shared amongst the assembly for its growth & direction according to the Spirit. This seems so the “laity” did not become a “laity” by being disconnected or disempowered from personal & corporate growth by an individual human leader. Each person was part & not spectator & the group of elders oversaw in each assembly to teach Scripture to lift up their brethren to the discernment of good & evil according to God’s Word so each person would be competent in testing for truth & living it.
    The guidelines for such were always mindful of order and self control & an inclusive process of discernment openly performed with the assembly. A great portion of the NT leans heavily on showing us this model.
    Even in evangelising most often the Apostles were sent out in pairs for church planting. Most travels refer to other brothers/sisters as well.

    As a C of E priest is it possible you have submitted yourself to an organisational hierarchy of man which seems to contradict or blur these models of building assemblies on a scriptural foundation?

    Perhaps you have been put in this strange position to witness the need of the Protestant church to look more closely into the doctrine of grace that distorts the simple truth of being grafted into the root of Torah truth as a wild branch. Perhaps to bring up the contrast between, obedience of Faith counted to Abraham as righteousness which is a light yoke instead of obedience being “seeking salvation through works” the heavy yoke of denying Christ’s forgiveness.

    As for the right path & the queries about traditional liberal love qualities etc & the fighting to be ordained. The agenda for our life is declared to those that love according to the truth of the Word….tribulation. John the Baptist lost his head for preaching a Torah instruction truth being broken by Herod willingly & knowingly in God’s sight. (The action of marrying his brother’s wife.)

    I have struggled myself to determine what is love too. (Perhaps with the unscrupulous aim of not losing my head at times or more hopefully discernment of pearls to swine)
    John did lay down his life for another. Although the other may never have come to repentance…….perhaps he did.

    Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman, did not condemn the woman’s multiple marriages & shacking up. Nor did he call her to repent. (Jesus’ ministry was only to the lost sheep of Israel & part of His flock that are not of this fold… not the nations but the town believed on Jesus anyway.)

    Discernment is of the Spirit & our judgments fail us miserably when we ourselves live in sin. Personal purity before the Father seems the only way for any of us not to judge in harshness whilst delivering the immutable message of the Eternal Truth of the Father’s only Way for Life.
    I believe that is why in most times that greatest acceptance or rejection of the Kingdom of Elohim comes from preaching His pure Word & that takes steps into the ethereal world of the Spirit (the greater reality) & unless we have taken the demands of Jesus of the cost of discipleship seriously & paid them daily so we are unable to talk ourselves into rationalisations(worldliness) & actually have the Faith that does move the mountain.

    My feeling is although many commands have been defiled for so long; going along with this “change” is not bringing eternal life to those whom may have God’s seed in them waiting to be watered with the truth of their condition for repentance. We may need to do nothing more than trust & be bearers of truth & wear the results whether we are a stench or a perfume…… He does know who are His.

    Be blessed & you may find something in natzarene Israel & 119 ministries. I think it is very important for those who follow Messiah to realise Revelations says we must follow in Spirit & Truth. Many have the Spirit but are rejecting His lead back into the Truth of Torah of the Path, Truth & Life that Jesus lived out as an example for us to follow. The syncretic worship practices that have been hangovers from Catholicism and the early church “fathers” not the Father’s of the Faith have denied many the Faith once delivered. The exodus generation is for our admonition simply because they did not exhibit the faith of obedience to enter the promise land. 2Peter3:15 (hope it is the correct reference for you) spoke clearly that Pauls teachings were apt to be misunderstood & twisted by those who were ignorant as they do the other Scriptures to their own destruction. All in relation to Lawlessness. Very strong words indeed.
    Hope I haven’t overdone it Life for Beginners. Be blessed & always keep knocking for Truth & He will answer You.
    Praise Elohim & Yahshua
    Love in Messiah’s Truth
    Fiona B


    • You’re right, it is certainly a very odd direction for a Torah-observant Messianic to head in. It is not one I would have chosen. But I was removed five years ago from a location with a Messianic congregation to a place with very few options. In Cornwall generally it is between Church of England and Methodist. In this town there is an additional option of a Pentecostal church, but in fact the CofE was the only one with solid teaching (as I have said previously, if the CofE would stick to its own founding documents it wouldn’t go far wrong, but of course in general it hasn’t. I have already had to change parishes because the new vicar was so bizarrely liberal that he couldn’t cope with an evangelical, let alone a Messianic!) Of course I don’t agree with everything but it is a matter of knowing where your line of acceptable compromise must be drawn. For me I felt that, for as long as I was able, I should be a voice for Israel and Torah. In a way, one of the beauties of the CofE is freedom – I could have liberty to speak out those things, but on the other hand of course it has compromised to the point of allowing all sorts of heresies, and putting myself under the authority of such extreme liberals does give me pause.


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