Monday, December 03, 2007
Christian Gender Stuff
It just keeps coming up, like a disease that won't be cured. The subordination of women in the Church and in the family. I was surfing the website of a cool church that I've admired from afar for awhile. Neat church, involved with wonderful ministries, has great ideas about how to do church. And then I took a look at their leadership. All male elders, all male pastors. A female administrator and a female children's worker (not pastor).
A similarly cool church just recently posted their official position on women, in which they try to give women lots of opportunities, but are careful to make sure a woman is always under a man's authority. I appreciate that they are gracious to those who don't agree with their position, but I find their reasoning to be very flawed and their use of scripture inconsistent.
Josh and I have a traditionalist friend at school. Being a Foursquare pastor, he affirms women in pastoral ministry, but is adamant about hierarchy in marriage. He made the statement in class today that men and women are "100% different." (!!!!) He thinks that us egalitarians believe men and women are 100% same. But we don't, and the seemingly deliberate choice to misunderstand our position gets frustrating after awhile.
Some friends were just sharing the other day how they left a big church in town because of the consistent message of women's subordination. They didn't want their children growing up in a church where they would experience the demeaning of women in the name of being biblical.
Josh and I are starting up a church plant and we haven't spent much energy on this gender business. We've got ministry on our minds and this just isn't our issue. We are co-pastors and it just seems natural for us to work as a team. The full equality of women and men is a basic assumption that we share. But sometimes we almost forget that this isn't the way it works in lots of other churches. And I forget too, that lots of people have never heard a biblical case for gender equality. Maybe it's time to revisit this issue.
(credits: I stole this fun cartoon from deconversion dot com)