I’ve been encouraged lately to read a lot of blogs with different views on the role of women within church leadership. I am encouraged because usually theological topics are considered boring and mundane, but this topic has sparked a smooth discussion from all sides (at least from what I’ve seen).
Interestingly, my last paper of the year for my theology class was on women in church leadership. The question my professor wanted me to answer in the paper: should women be ordained as elders or lead pastors of a church? As I finish the school year this week, I’ll dive into some of the topics I covered in my paper.
To start off check out some of these blogs that cover the topic of Biblical feminism and church leadership.
- A funny post on 10 reasons why men shouldn’t be ordained.
- A heartfelt post on one woman’s experience and struggle with this.
- Our focus should be on giftedness for a role.
- The theme of equality permeates the whole Bible.
- A post by Crystal Renaud at Anne Jackson’s blog that created a large discussion. A must read.
Here is my introduction to the topic:
Though it might not be a life or death decision for some, there is no way to sit in the gray area of whether women should be ordained as senior pastors or elders. This is essentially asking: should women be allowed to be key leaders and decision makers for a church body? I have found that a person’s answer usually depends on how much they let culture influence them. John Piper says, “A large number (of pastors) assume that gender distinctions are not of vital importance; consequently, their congregations follow the culture rather than the Bible.” Since the 1960s it is common for women to be associated as equals with men in our society. For many people this is something that should be reflected within the local church body. Essentially, what we must discuss is whether this societal change is reflected in the Scriptures or whether church bodies must transcend today’s culture on this issue.
To some, the idea of women being subordinate to men and commissioned to be child raising moms is demeaning and traditionalist thinking. To others, the idea of a woman leading a church or having a dad raise the children at home is preposterous. The ability to bridge these two ways of thinking is certainly not easy, but not impossible either. As I come to a conclusion, it is a fresh reminder that the Bible tells us that both men and women are bearers of God’s image, equals in relationship to God, and also that men and women perform different roles within the body of Christ. Because I see culture changing with the wind, the importance of being rooted within the context of what Scripture has to say is vital.
I’ll start with some of the main passages in Scripture tomorrow and share my conclusions after that.