This week I had a conversation with a young man, which ranged over many topics, but one topic is something that I have taken for granted for many years, the role of women in the church. This young man attends a church in which women are not allowed to hold leadership roles in the church. Though he and his wife feel called to that congregation, they do not agree with their church’s stance on the role of women in the church and beyond. I, on the other hand, have been in churches, from the time I was saved until the present, that embrace women in ministry, even women pastors. This is not only my personal heritage, but that of the Foursquare Church as well. This is why I have taken it for granted. It is normative within the circles I engage. But this is not the norm for a large portion of the Christian church in America and around the world. And, though this saddens me, I still have hope. I have hope, because this is a current conversation in both social and theological circles. I have hope, because there are denominations and movements, like the Foursquare Church, that license and ordain women in roles of ministry and leadership. I have hope, because I know that my daughters are and will continue to be raised in a home and church that will embrace them as equals, gifted by God, to serve as God’s Spirit leads in the capacities that they choose to aspire to. My hope, conviction, passion, and experience are founded on this passage of Scripture (one among many).
“There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Herein lies the universality of the atoning work of Christ, and if we are unified in his one salvation as equally saved, then we are also unified in his one Spirit as equally equipped to minister his love and grace to a world that desperately needs to be touched by his love through his people, both male and female.
Grace and peace,