Movements begin when a tipping point is reached–when enough people change both their thinking and practices. Currently there is a groundswell of interest in the role of women in the church.
In some churches, women are not even allowed to read the Bible from behind the pulpit, allegedly because the pulpit is a sign of male authority in the church. Do these churches realize that there were no “pulpits” in the New Testament, and that “church” often took place in women’s homes?
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.