I grew up with parents who loved God in a truly relational way. Church was important, I spent most days of the week there from infancy onward, but what they wanted the most for my sister and me was to have a personal, transforming relationship with Jesus. My world growing up was also female-centric. I […]
A culture is built around the stories it tells. After telling my story of spiritual abuse and marginalization as a woman leader in the church, a man who attended a different church dismissed my story since it was not his own faith community experience.
You’re in for a treat today as Junia Project blogger Meredith and her husband Curtis share the story of how he came to hold his egalitarian perspective.
Fierce and feminine. Despite widespread perception, deeply embedded associations and centuries of conditioning, these two words are not mutually exclusive. Rather, they are but two sides of the same coin.
“The church has not been kind to women.” That is perhaps the most profound understatement I have ever made about any subject in my life. Jesus liked women. More than that, He loved them. He treated them with dignity and respect. The same could not be said, I thought, for the religious leaders of his day.
I was a complementarian for more than 20 years. I believed that women should not serve as church elders or senior pastors, that the primary vocation of Christian wives was to submit to the leadership of their husbands, and that husbands should lay claim to that leadership. Because I came to faith when I was 19 years old and immediately joined a complementarian church, I thought this was the only approach to gender roles that took the Bible’s authority seriously.
I now believe that Galatians 3:28 applies to more than just our legal status before God; rather, this passage (and others like it) provides the church with a redemptive vision for community life.
I recently turned 43, and the 40s bring a sense of clarity that eludes us in our 20s and 30s (I’ll probably say something like this in my 50s as well). Lately, I’m realizing the impact of the debate about the full inclusion of women in the church on my own journey. Growing up as […]
Now is not the time to blame women or consistently accuse us of complaining, ranting and raving and hating men. For many of us that is not the case at all. It’s just that it takes a consistent movement of change in language, systems, traditions etc. to reverse a culture of patriarchy.
There was a time I tried to keep both a hierarchical view of authority in the church and a freedom for women to use their Spirit-given gifts as they felt called by God. I had started wrestling through the issues of a woman’s place in the church. But I got caught in the middle where I was undecided about how far I would go along the spectrum of beliefs. I was certainly moving away from complementarian theology (women can only teach and lead other women; husbands lead, wives submit) which took shape during Bible college and was reinforced in my church.
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.
What he had always been told he deserved
What he expected from me, with nothing in return
But it was not mine to give, not in the way he asked for it
Because I had already given that kind to someone else
To the One who had died for me on a cross