“’Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD” (Isa. 1:18 TNIV).
How many of us long for critical thought and open discussion when exploring the gender issue in the church? Yet, how often do we hear radio shows, sermons, and lectures (even at a graduate level) where only one perspective is explored? Here is an example.
A friend of mine attends a seminary that admits women, though the faculty aggressively promotes male authority in the church and home. As my friend said, “In nearly every class, regardless of the focus, the instructor manages to incorporate a theology of pink and blue—men are told they must be leaders in the church and the home (whether or not they’ve been gifted by God as leaders) and women are told they must submit to male authority (even if they are gifted as leaders and decision makers).” According to my friend, graduate students are not encouraged to think critically, or hear other perspectives. Why?
Why not engage the thoughts of those who, like you, hold a high view of Scripture. Why not listen to those who, like you, have devoted their lives (at great personal risk) to preaching the gospel? Would you omit the voices of reputable individuals in any other area of life?
What if you had a serious illness? Would you not consult many experts, if you could? What about your finances or your business or career? Would you not consult a variety of leaders in making an important decision? What could be more important than considering the biblical message that involves half of the human race? Do women not represent a valuable and considerable resource to God’s kingdom? Do we not owe it to our students, our churches and denominations, and to God to engage all biblical perspectives (even those we disagree with) on an issue of such magnitude?
If you have not yet considered the egalitarian perspective—that Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, teaches gift-based rather than gender-based ministry—join CBE this summer in beautiful Toronto, July 18-20. Together with leaders in fields like missions, biblical studies, history, and social service, we will consider how liberating women to use their God-given gifts is not only biblical but brings greater health and wholeness to the church! God through Scripture calls to each of us, “Come, let us reason together!” Bring your questions, your concerns, and your mind to CBE’s next conference, where together we will reason, as God intended.