As I reached adulthood, I recognized that inherent in the structure of Korean society was gender discrimination. I also recognized that gender discrimination extended even into the Korean churches. When I felt called to attend seminary to train to be a full-time minister, my gender stood as an obstacle.
We’re learning how to communicate biblical equality in plain English. In the next several issues of Mutuality we’ll take a look at the different methods of “diffusing” the truths of biblical equality to the broadest possible audience.
I first met Sheryl about 3 years ago. She is the co-pastor of Christ Community Church. My father, Richard New, is the “other” co-pastor. I asked Sheryl to tell her story because I think it is one of hope, joy, and perseverance.
When I was growing up in small towns in East Texas, I heard many a minister refer to some older man as his “father in the ministry.” It was only as I neared my own retirement that I realized that I had been blessed by a “mother in the ministry.” If you can have a father, you can certainly have a mother!
The gender “light bulb” clicked on for me the first time when I attended one of Leanne Payne’s Pastoral Care Schools and heard her specific teaching on “Misogyny in the Church.” I was disheartened to learn of different ways the church has supported this injustice and sin
Now that we are a totally egalitarian fellowship, the deacon meeting is held in a sunlit, open-doored room, where men and women talk, pray, explore, guide, listen and above all laugh. Joyous laughter can be heard at every meeting, for “there is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.”
There is another apologetic mission that egalitarians are in a unique and opportune position to fulfill. This involves presenting the message of biblical equality to the unbelieving world in a persuasive manner, thus winning to Christ people who might never be touched by traditionalist approaches.