A tweet this morning caught my attention. “The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence,” Todd Adkins, Director of Leadership at LifeWay Resources (a Southern Baptist entity) tweeted.
When church leaders get hungry enough to feed the gospel to the world, they will shuck corn on Sunday and let women preach in their church.
“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests. Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless?” (Matt. 12:1-5 NRSV)
I have every reason to believe that Todd is a man of God, that he loves the Lord and that he cares for the people who do not know Jesus. But he is not hungry enough yet for a famished world to be saved.
He also hasn’t received my letter yet since it was mailed on Thursday last week (2nd time I’ve written Todd), but when he does, this is what he will read.
The climate is changing. Sexual harassment and abuse is now in the news. Christians can either get on board with the changing climate or they can continue to cling to the old ways of male headship.
Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Eric Bolling, and Bill Clinton are the public faces of sexual abuse, but women who are standing up against such atrocities are now becoming the public voice of this climate change.
Baptists, and fundamental and evangelical Christians, continue to teach and laud female submission to husbands and to all males. The church will not make the change, but things hinge on different things. In this particular case, since the church has held vehemently and vocally, on to male privilege and headship, the secular world will make the call.
You can’t stop cultural change. The Amish hunkered down and wear their strange clothes and skirt around modern-day inventions, but they could not stop it either.
Culture is constantly changing, and churches must adapt to that culture. We see that God spoke through each culture, not proclaiming that any one culture was the perfect one.
We live in the 21st century. God is here. He is with us. The problem is, that we are not with Him.
Until women are encouraged to preach the gospel, to lead out in churches, and to live as modern women in this century, we are doomed to self-destruct.
When we as Christians refuse to give women real equality in their church, we are perpetuating the abuse of women. What is taught in churches bleeds out into society and people who do not even go to church, see women as the church does – submissive to all males.
Look around you, Todd. Be a part of the change. Help women live out their Grand Design as fully equal in the church as you yourself recognize they are in the kingdom of God.
Shirley Taylor, street evangelist for women’s equality
It is time to shuck corn on Sunday. You are walking through the cornfield. The world is hungry. What will you do?