Thursday, June 26, 2008

Please address women’s role in the church and God’s kingdom...

...You could look at major female players in the Bible to bring encouragement to the women of High Pointe.

This is a subject in which individuals and denominations disagree vehemently...often to the point of showing great disdain and disrespect for each other. There are two basic groups. The first is known by the term complementarian. These people see a hierarchical order of man being the leader, and woman being his helper or follower. Complementarians believe that while women have a different and subservient functional role, they are created as God’s image bearers just as men are and they are not ontologically inferior to men. Although some would argue that this hierarchy applies in all of life, most would say this hierarchy applies mainly to the marital relationship and leadership roles in church.

The second group is known by the term egalitarian. This group sees men and women as God’s image bearers and as equal in both function and essence. This group would say that function should be dictated by talent, gifting, and passion, not by a hierarchy of man, then woman.

Both of these views appeal to scripture and make very compelling arguments.

This is not an essential issue—meaning that we can allow for disagreement within the church. If you think of this issue as a continuum with complementarians on the left and egalitarians on the right, each of the directors on staff at High Pointe fall along a place fairly close to the center. People that fall along the continuum very closely aligned with complementarians would not believe you can have any women on staff at a local church. Going the other way, we don’t have anyone of staff that would align themselves with secular feminists.

I have my own personal beliefs that I could share with anyone who would like to talk about it.

The second question you ask makes me feel sad. I wish our culture was one in which we could learn from both men and women, from people of different races, different cultures, and different socio-economic status without regard to what they look like and our preconceived ideas. I wish we could learn both biblical truth and from their experiences and grow to be richer both spiritually and culturally. I wish that all people, especially those that are Christ followers, would treat each other with the dignity and respect that is due for all made as God’s image bearers. I wish the people of God could learn and benefit from the “major players” in the Bible regardless of gender—that we could each learn and be encouraged by the great men, and women of scripture. Until we get to that point, I think your idea is a good one.

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