I just published the following post on my blog
and thought that I might as well share it here... a little background is that my husband and I have been praying very hard about becoming a part of the "core launch team" for a church plant in our area. We completely share the vision of mission and outreach that the others involved have, but I found out a couple of days ago that the plant will not allow women to be elders.
I titled the post- It's My Blog And I Will Post It If I Want To... (not trying to stir up trouble, just saying what has been on my heart, as well as acknowledging that I most definitely do NOT have all the answers!)
. Here it is:Over the past couple of days I have really had the debate about the place of women in ministry on my heart and mind... I have always had my own personal opinion on this, which I have felt in my heart was correct. I have done some research on scripture dealing with this subject in the past, but I will fully admit that I never really made a serious effort to take the time needed to be sure that there is solid material to back up what I believe in my heart to be true. I am now feeling this push that it is time to take my view, which I believe in my heart and mind is supported by the God I have a close personal relationship with, and make sure that I have solid biblical material to back it up in conversation. One thing that I am realizing is that it is all about interpretation and this is a debate that will continue forever. I am enjoying reading some thoughts on different interpretations of various verses, but if for right now we simply focus on taking the various usual verses that are cited during this debate and reading them in there most literal sense... their are most definitely verses that when read very literally directly oppose the place of women as leaders, but there are definitely other verses that when read literally do support the role of women in positions of importance and authority. (Please excuse the fact that I am not taking the time to include the scripture, but if you have an interest or opinion on this you most likely know what the usual verses are.) I as a woman who was raised to believe that I could do or be anything that I wanted (an artist... an art teacher... or even a stay-home-mom), choose to acknowledge that their is scripture that literally seems to go in both directions of this debate, but in a day when a woman and an African American man can run for president, I believe that the logical way to go is in the direction where women are not restricted from ministry on any level. A friend had introduced me to Eugene Cho's blog awhile ago and it is great!! This morning I came across a post from back in May on "Supporting Women in All Level's of Leadership" It is a great post and many of the comments are extremely interesting and thought provoking also!I had really thought that this was the ministry that God has been preparing my husband and I to be a part of and has been leading us toward over the past couple of years, but was taken aback at the idea of women not being allowed as elders. I am awaiting confirmation that women would not be limited in any other areas of service, because if they are that would be a complete deal-breaker for me. I guess what I am most struggling with is if I am told that this limitation on women really is only a limitation as far as belonging to a board of elders... does the fact that there is this limitation at all automatically mean that no matter what is said women have a different level of standing than men within this church plant? The pastor that is heading this up said that he did not want this to be a divisive issue and I was given the impression that it was something that is almost wanted to be kept "hush hush," which makes me feel that there would be this unspoken understanding amongst the people who are aware... that the women involved are of a lesser value. I am just unsure that I can or should compromise my views even though there are many, many reasons that I have felt a pull to this particular ministry.
Any thoughts, suggestions, similar stories?
Labels: gender equality, Gender Issues, Women in Ministry