I was out to coffee with a friend and we were discussing gender equality in the church, or the lack there of. Recently, I went through the membership process at my own church. It’s a newer establishment still finding its bearings, and rooted within the Evangelical Church. I grew up nondenominational and find it ironic that I wound up at a church that identifies with a denomination notorious for its lack of gender equality. In the membership course, what is referred to as “secondary theology” was briefly discussed (albeit with a 10-foot pole mentality) specifically, the theology of gender roles. The short and skinny of it: I attend a church that believes there are certain roles meant solely for men; teaching, eldership, the usual culprits. But men and women are still equal, even though, you know, they can’t do the same things. So my friend asked, “Why are you at a church that doesn’t support the equality of both men and women?” She was hinting, fearfully, that I was okay with it, or worse, passive. My answer? It’s complicated. But here are a few of my reasons:
These days there is more emphasis on marriage and family than ever. My social media feeds are full of articles and posts about gay marriage, sex in couple relationships, the struggles and joys around creating a healthy Christian marriage, the sadness of miscarriage, the intricacies of parenting, the wars around household chores. I could […]
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.
Today’s post by Sarah Hyde is part of a synchro-blog called “We Are The Other” over at SheLovesMagazine.com. There are some powerful stories posted already, so be sure to wander over there in the next few days!
The moment won’t soon leave my memory.
I was sitting in the audience of my church, which I adore, listening to the announcements. The male pastor began explaining a new discipleship and leadership program designed to train believers to go into ministry. I shared a look with my roommate, whispering to her, “Wow, I would love to do this!” She smiled and nodded excitedly… and that’s when I heard just one sentence that removed any possibility of my participation.
I looked around, scanning the reactions of other churchgoers, but I was the only one who seemed to feel shattered in that one word: men.
God points to our role and relationship in the Church being defined through a spiritual identity, not a biological one.