A couple of months ago, I was having coffee and eating a bagel before class, when my phone buzzed. It was a Twitter notification saying that someone had sent me a direct, or private message. I opened it, and saw that it was from someone who followed me, but that I haven’t met in person.
Jonathan, does your church REALLY have women in leadership?
The question really took me by surprise. The answer is, yes, our church really does have women in leadership. Our church has four female pastors, who are four of the strongest, most powerful women I have ever met.
Since that morning, I’ve read tons and tons of literature about the role of women in the church. What should they do? What should they not do? For the past year, every time I read somewhere online or on another person’s blog about how a women was told to shut up in church, I get angry. Over the past year, I’ve read in detail about just how pro-women Jesus was when He was on Earth.
And, I’ve begun to ask myself what the consequences are of silencing women. The answer is that the consequences are huge.
Last summer, I asked a friend of the church, who I consider to be one of the wisest people I have ever met about women’s role in the church. I remember asking him specifically about God’s gender. “Jonathan, God is not a man or a woman. God is all gender. Everything feminine and everything masculine can be found in the person of God.”
That went hand-in-hand with something I remember Kris Vallotton talking about during my time at Bethel. I remember him saying that God created both man and women in His image. This means that it is both man and woman who reveal who God is. Silencing women effectively says, “I’m okay with just knowing half of who God is.”
A couple months ago, I got into my first “Twitter war” with Tony Miano, an “open-air” preacher who has been arrested on multiple accounts for harassment, and who firmly believes that women should be silent in the church, that women should never assert a teaching role over men, and that men who read women’s blogs are sinning. The argument was about how “un-masculine” and “unjust” it was for a Christian man to defend feminism.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be guilty of shutting God’s children up. I believe everyone can and does hear from Him, and I don’t want to be guilty of eliminating 50% of people that I can learn from and see God in.
Here are some links to people who capture my thought on Feminism more eloquently that I ever could. Enjoy!