The article I posted on Sunday, feminization of the church has been receiving more than the normal amount of comments, and I have been exchanging more than a number of emails, and the topic is being posted quite a lot around the blogosphere. So I’m going to sit on this another night before I post another long article (whether it is on this or something else).
But what is fascinating to me is that the issue isn’t necessarily dividing “complementarians” and “egalatarians” in regards to way it usually does with the issue of women in ministry. I thought that there might be more of a point of contention. But people on both sides of the fence can agree that the diagnosis and treatment of this issue might be going in the wrong direction, i.e. inserting military language; making things more adventerous; stereotyping roles.
My position of women in ministry and women in life in general is “egalatarian” so I understand that I might have a different opinion than others. But my main concern as I stated before is the hard and fast stereotyping. And though stereotypes are sometimes indicative of behavior, I think we do a disservice to people when we feel that we have to peg them into a role based upon their gender. I am also concerned that to simply look at more women in church as evidence of men being bored in church, etc., is not really taking into consideration a wholistic view of theology, ecclesiology, sexuality, etc, etc. More women in church can be indicative of many other things. I am also concered that we do not honor the imago Dei in our churches if we do not equally honor both men and women in ministry and in the life of the church. If we exclude one over the other or feel that one gender is being favored, then I think we exclude both the maternal and paternal image of God in the Bible, as well as Paul’s words in Galatians regarding neither male nor female.
This is a tough issue, I agree. But I don’t think it is to be solved by men getting together in kilts and with swords drawn; nor by adding more adventerous, risk taking mission trips, or by speaking a more warrior like language. That in itself would exclude many men who are not cut from that mold or who are not comfortable with that imagery.
I think that when we honor both the gifting of male and female in ministry and in the life of the church, then we honor God and the image He has created us in. This pairing of male and female will always make way for an exciting, tension filled relationship, and the church will be better served with both present in its life.