Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian is Professor emeritus at Wheaton College. Co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church—an integrated gift-based congregation. Mentors pastors and churches in transition. Author of Beyond Sex Roles and Community 101.
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Endorsement by Gilbert Bilezikian
The motivation behind our quest for gender equality in the church is not primarily the pursuit of justice or of fair treatment for women. Something infinitely more important is at stake: the integrity of the church of Jesus Christ. Unless the church lives as community of oneness, it degenerates into a pathetic masquerade of the divine intention.
While practicing gender discrimination, some churches may appear to be successful. They may push programs, promote evangelism, move people in and out, sometimes in great numbers, and build impressive facilities. But, whenever they exploit a few verses out of their historical context in order to devalue half of their constituency by subordinating them to the other half, they violate their calling to oneness and they reject the power of the cross "which reconciles us to God into one body." There cannot be community oneness where gender and racial stratification's prevail.
Individuals and congregations who have been delivered from such obsessions with power owe it to their brothers and sisters who are still in bondage to make every sacrifice, underwrite every ministry that proclaims that the church is the one community in this fallen world where we can be freed up to become one.