Lately, we have been checking out different churches online and looking specifically at their statements of faith to see which ones might line up well with our beliefs. I have to admit, I am more than a little concerned with how few churches near us allow women to hold the leadership roles. One church’s statement actually included a disclaimer of sorts that said while they are not totally liberal in their stand, there are a lot of churches much more conservative. Is being lukewarm somehow supposed to comfort me? Are they somehow better because they put up all sorts of red tape around women limiting where and when and to whom they can minister and teach, but at least they allow it sometimes? And since when is it liberal to simply include both genders as Jesus (and Scripture) models?
Although we do not have children yet, it breaks my heart to think that I could be raising a daughter (or a son, for that matter) in this world where some people interpret Scripture in a way that diminishes half the human race and says they’re not as important. It’s a stark reminder that Satan still tells lies, and he still has a lot of control here on earth.
Carolyn Custis James, one of my favorite authors, has plenty to challenge us with on this topic. James has not only written several books that tease out these misconceptions, but also started Synergy, an organization that is promoting correct relationships between men and women in the church. How can we be so far off on this topic? And why are so many Christian women content with this unbiblical treatment? When will the church claim the other half of humankind? When will we teach our daughters that they are equals in God’s kingdom? When will we teach our sons their desperate need for their sisters in Christ? When will women be able to fully live out their God-given callings, despite not having the “proper equipment?”
And, really, it’s so much bigger than our area – it’s global. When will girls all over the world be equally prized as people made in God’s image? When will they be treated as whole humans instead of sex toys? When will they be allowed to live instead of being aborted simply because they’re girls? When will they be seen as people instead of possessions?
I feel the burden to affirm and validate women all over the world – to lift them up as deeply loved, fully valued, and equally capable, to proclaim that neither gender should be subordinate to the other, and to draw our attention to this deep evil that still pulses throughout the world.