There are two sides to the equality issue – those who believe women can and those who believe women can’t. Both sides are passionate, equally so, I assume. But the message and its delivery is very different.
For instance, when men and women argue for equality of men and women based on their gifts rather than their gender, they are not seeking to hurt or harm anyone. But when men and women argue against women having equality in the church and home, they are seeking to oppress women.
It completely astounds me how pastors can say that they never even think of this. Women will say that they never thought that their church is practicing bigotry and discrimination against them. When they enter the cocoon of the church building, the warm and fuzzy inside draws them in and they ignore the hard shell around them.
The hard shell says that just because they are women, the little boy fighting with his brother in the next pew is better than women are, and that little boy is better than his mother is, because he has the potential someday to be a deacon or to be a pastor. That position has to be better, because it is a denied to women. If it weren’t better, it wouldn’t be denied to anybody based upon their gender alone. It would be based on their calling and spiritual gifts.
“But it doesn’t mean that men are better than women, it just means that we have different roles.”
Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands! What ignorance! What arrogance! Different roles, for Pete’s sake!
Of course we have different roles because we are all different! BUT we do not have spiritual roles assigned to us in the Bible because one is a man and one is a woman. Ok. Women have babies and men father babies. That is not a role. That is a biological fact. It is also not a spiritual role.
Role becomes a dirty word only when it is used to limit what women can do in the church and in the home. Unfortunately, that is the only meaning ‘role’ has today in the Christian realm.
A role entails acting a part because you are better suited than the other person to do something outside of nature. Nature is not a role. Nature is real.
A role is an assignment given to you by someone. The church has this little cluster of roles. And look who they dish out the roles to. Men get to be a deacon and preach and pastor. Women get to be children’s director or minister. Nothing wrong with a woman being a children’s minister or director, if she could ever get to be a deacon or pastor, or be ordained into the ministry, it would be ok. But she can’t. She can’t.
The pastors and the church members don’t even think about it. Walk into church. Safe and warm in the fuzzy cocoon. When you emerge, you will not be changed. You have a role to play, and no matter what your spiritual gifts are, your role has already been determined, not by God, but by the members of your church.
If you are tired of the warm and fuzzy role you are limited to, then you must speak out. You must break out of the cocoon. You must speak out. Join us in speaking out for women’s equality in the church.