I have a one-track mind. All the tracks in my mind lead to women’s equality, or the lack thereof. That makes me a narrow-minded person, but I believe that I can find justification for that in the scriptures. In fact, I believe that I can find justification for that in Jesus’ own words.
Today I met with the owner of a company that I do business with, but a man whom I had never sat down and talked with. I knew beforehand that he is of another denomination – one that does not teach that women are equal. The purpose of my meeting had to do with the CBE Houston conference in April, and I could easily have discussed this with one of his assistants. But when I called for an appointment, I asked specifically for him. He is a gracious, cordial man, an elder in his church and very committed to the words in the scriptures.
During the hour that we discussed what I came there to discuss, I heard several different sermons from this man. While I kept bringing the subject back to women’s equality, he kept getting away from it.
That is when I discovered that I am narrow-minded. I believe with all my heart that until we resolve the situation about women’s equality, that we cannot love God fully, nor can we serve him completely. Whether it is a preacher, an elder, a Sunday school teacher, or a person in the pew. When we deliberately choose scriptures that deny women equality, and then make our church by-laws uphold those denials for women, we have forgotten the words of our Savior.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40.
Did you see anything in that scripture about keeping the women silent, or placing a restriction on them, or demanding that they be in perpetual submission?
I gave this businessman a copy of “Half the Church” that I happened to have in my tote bag. I hadn’t intended to carry it into the meeting, but it was raining and I didn’t want my other papers to get wet, so I had my tote with me. He promised to read the book. He called in his wife and told her that I had given her a book to read. Then he said that they both would read this book.
Will you pray with me that the words of this book and the words that I spoke – together with the words of the Scriptures – will cause this man who loves the Lord, to consider that he might be wrong in what he always thought and taught about women serving during worship service?