Thursday, November 24, 2011

A thought on evangelical feminism and the struggle for the offices

My wife and I are investigating becoming members of a church we've been attending, and one of the things mentioned was the perceived need to give women a meaningful place to serve without violating Scripture's prohibition of female deacons and elders. 

And thinking about that, it occurred to me that what needs to be done is not to provide male roles to women--whether under the aegis of an official church title or otherwise--but rather to provide an environment in which women's natural roles can be allowed to flourish.

To draw a picture, about a decade ago, I was a deacon at a little church in Boulder, and my responsibility included the nurseries.  I'd put together a scheme to reduce the chances that pedophiles would be able to approach the children, but was dreading the difficulty of getting people to work the nurseries, clean up toys,and such.

Enter two women who said "we'd like to coordinate scheduling and clean-up".  What had happened?  The major role was that the pastor had created a place where women were not afraid to be women--it was OK to keep at home, love one's children, and such.  Combine that with a basic structure where it was "safe" to help in the nurseries, and given that opportunity, these ladies took care of everything but the background checks.  Fully 2/3 of the adults served in the nurseries, allowing the rotation to go to once every six weeks.  The church of sixty or so families had a baby boom of six babies that year, and all this while.....the church gained elderly members, too.  There was no generation gap.

I would suggest that if you told these ladies they were somehow less worthy or important because they did not hold a title, they would have laughed at you.   So would I.   The way out of the "gender wars" is, as Elisabeth Eliot would tell you, is to listen when women tell us "Let me be a woman."


Gino said...

evangelical feminism has been around for millenia.
they are called religious orders, and generally live comunally in convents.
their lives are dedicated to ministry: teaching, orphanages, hospitals, the poor...

tough, strong women who dont let the world push them around.

Bike Bubba said...

Gino, the picture with a convent, though, is a group of women firmly in submission to the church. They're not telling the world (mostly) that they need to be the priests and bishops. In short, I'd argue it's the very kind of thing that the church needs--well, apart from the obvious differences I have with certain doctrines of Catholicism.

Notice as well how the convents are withering under the onslaught of feminism. Not a good thing!

Gino said...

no, its not.

as a nun, a women can rise quite high professionally as well as spiritually. who do you think are the CEOs of all those catholic hospitals?
these women are educated beyond what the feminists think they are.

Bike Bubba said...

Gino; just like Lydia the seller of purple. No problem with education here; it's simply an issue of church offices here.