When I was looking at the worship life of the American church, I noticed that lament, and something like the book of Lamentations, was absent in so much of our worship life…Why is it that in our typical American churches we don’t want to engage in a very important spiritual practice that we find throughout […]
Something I’ve come to understand is that singleness is a high price to ask of people.
I was single for a long time before my girlfriend said yes to my awkward proposal (thankfully), and so I have some realization of what it means to be single in a sub-culture within a larger and highly sexualized American culture. To constantly be fed a steady stream of images and products designed to inflame and provoke and yet maintain sexual celibacy is not easy.
And when Christian culture prioritizes marriage over singleness, we make things even more difficult by unwittingly illustrating that our single brothers and sisters are unwanted, or worse, unneeded.
So how can the church integrate and empower our single brothers and sisters? I offer three suggestions, though many more could and probably should be added.
Just over a year ago, I interviewed thirteen Christian women about their understandings of faith, gender, and feminism for my senior thesis sociology research.
Although the research was a requirement for my undergraduate degree, it was a perfect opportunity for me to explore my own tensions surrounding faith, gender identity, and social norms through the experiences of others.
To be completely honest, I began this research wanting to further reaffirm my own beliefs about women’s full inclusion in church life and leadership. My formative years at Scripps College had forged a strong feminist identity in me, and my coursework in sociology gave me a foundational knowledge of gender construction and practice.
Although I was (and continue to be) committed to conducting my interviews in ways that limit the influence of my personal bias as much as possible, I was afraid to possibly hear women agree with traditional narratives about gender and women’s roles. What would I do if they voluntarily embraced a worldview I thought was limited and damaging? How would I interpret their stories?
With the Church of England’s recent vote to begin ordaining women as bishops, the issue of women’s ordination has once again been in the news.
Unsurprisingly, much of the rhetoric in the blogosphere and social media has been polarized between complementarians who condemn this decision and egalitarians who applaud it. One complementarian blogger characterized the decision as evidence that the Church of England is “spiraling down the burning sewer of apostasy.”
Unfortunately, many complementarians fail to recognize the fact that there are two distinct paths people may take to an egalitarian view of gender. Failure to understand these paths leads to all sorts of misunderstandings, accusations, and pronouncements of heresy. Although the boundary between these two paths can be blurry at times, distinguishing them from each other in broad brush terms can potentially help deescalate the rhetoric and contribute toward more virtue laden conversations.
The first I call “the path of rights.”
I recently saw the movie Catching Fire (released last November), which is based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games¹ trilogy, and it sparked the idea for this post.
Some frame the debate about women sharing authority in the church and in the home as a “secondary issue”. But it’s a mistake to assume that our theology of women is a minor issue.
We are excited to have been mentioned in this blog on Monday, by The Millenial Pastor, about the Mainline view of Evangelicalism. He humorously sets up the debate about women in ministry as a high school drama. Continue reading to find out which part the author sees The Junia Project playing… These days, Evangelicalism makes me feel […]
Perhaps in this middle time between Eden and Eternity, God the Father is growing humanity toward maturity so that the systems, cultural dynamics, and patterns of the past are not what write our script but only Christ and his Kingdom.
I was raised by egalitarian parents and my first meeting with gender division in the Church was when I was studying theology at Bible College. All throughout the year there were little digs at it – women can‘t preach, they shouldn’t even teach our classes, people saying they would not go to lecture if there was a female lecturer (this never became an issue, I was always taught by men), even refusing to take communion if it was administered by a woman. Then it culminated in a special seminar where all the female students were gathered and explained what their role was in the Christian Church – or that is, what their role was not.