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.