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I’ve been a church kid since the day I was born, deeply steeped in the culture of this community of people who follow Jesus. My belt is well-notched with church services, church camps, retreats, alter calls, Bible studies, church volunteer roles and years of Christian education.
As I reflect on all those years and all the associated people who have shaped my life, I’m surprised at one thing. My life, as a Christian, has been shaped more than anything else by women.
Spite - Everything
Yes. In spite of everything.
It’s a surprise, I think, because of how often the language, policy and even doctrine of the church downplay the contribution of women. Those outside the church think of Christianity as a tribe that marginalizes women. They’re not wrong. While there are local congregations, even denominations, where women are invited to use their gifts and even participate at all levels of leadership, the sad truth is that in many, many churches, the opposite is true.
Churches - Women - Role - Children - Home
Many churches teach that women occupy their God-given role when they raise children, tend the home, and quietly submit to the wisdom of their husbands (and, of course, their male pastors). Even today.
There are arguments some Christians will make against women in leadership. They’ll quote the Apostle Paul’s words, “I forbid a woman to teach a man,” as if that statement has no precipitating context and is the end of the conversation.
Study - Bible - Women - Corners - Women
Careful and thoughtful study of the Bible finds women in the strangest corners. Women were judges, military leaders and prophets. They were ministry partners for the Apostle Paul and leaders of home churches. This blog isn’t the place for deep dives into theology, first-century culture and hermeneutics. That’s been done well in other places. So, here I will just make this observation.
For every man in a pulpit who has impacted me,...
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