Happy International Women’s Day!
The church that I attend has been going through a series entitled “Her Story” which details why it is so important to have women in leadership in the church.
The sessions are really worth watching (or listening to if that is your preference). Here is what we have covered so far:
1. Seeing the Big Picture: We discuss why it is so important to have gender equality in church leadership.
2. Jesus and the New Covenant: Karmyn Bokma teaches on how patriarchy in the Old Covenant was God’s accommodation for a season, yet Jesus restores the relationships between men and women in the New Covenant.
3. Marriages that Preach: Leanne Friesen teaches from Ephesians 5 on the New Covenant design for marriage.
4. Learning from Prohibitive Passages: We walk through 1 Timothy 2, the passage most commonly used to argue against women leading in the Church.
5. A Few Good Ezers: Jo Saxton teaches us how to empower women and explores the true meaning of the word helper in Genesis 2:18.
There was one element in the teaching that particularly struck me as something I disagreed with, and it came up in a conversation with a friend. Our teaching Pastor, Bruxy Cavey, said, and I am am paraphrasing here, “that we should be tolerant of those who hold different views to ourselves as they are also trying to follow the Bible as they understand it.”
My friend agreed with Bruxy. I asked my friend (who happened to be female), “So you think we should be tolerant of those who discriminate against women in leadership?”
“Yes”, she responded.
Something suddenly dawned on me, and I asked a followup question: “Do you think that we should be tolerant of those who discriminate on the basis of Race?”
“No”, she responded.
At that moment we both realized we had a problem. Why would we think it is acceptable to tolerate one and not the other?
For centuries, and even within the past century, Christians have not had an issue tolerating those who discriminated against those of a different race. They even practiced it themselves.
We can look at slavery in the Western Hemisphere, or Apartheid in South Africa (which Klasie will be discussing in a future post) to see Christians actively discriminating against those of a different race. (Apartheid had huge theological underpinnings.)
We have no problem now looking at those situations and calling out: “That was wrong. That was sin.”
Yet somehow those who discriminate against women using similar types of arguments are to be tolerated as misguided brothers and sisters?
I say “No!” We need to start calling out these attitudes as sin, and until we do so we will not have much of a witness to the world around us.
Next week I will cover what some well known church leaders have said historically about women. Trust me, it won’t be pretty.
As usual, your thoughts and comments are welcome.