Here's my take on the gender issue.
There is a body of scripture that seems to indicate that there is a difference between the roles that women and men have in the church (as well as in family, marriage, life.. but we'll stick to church). I agree that scripture teaches that there is a difference.
Now, what to do about that difference. Some churches interpret these passages to mean that women can do "nothing" in the church. These churches know their Bibles and their leaders have gone to Seminary, and somehow they have come to that conclusion.
At the other end of the continuum, some churches interpret these passages to mean that there is no difference at all. That women can have any role in a church, or even denominational leadership roles over 100s of churches. I believe that this is disregarding the Bible's teaching that there is a difference.
So, we are left with a decision. Where on that continuum do we choose to draw a line. Do we draw it down close to the fundamentalist churches who won't even let women ushers pass communion trays to men? Or do we draw it somewhere closer to those churches who say there is no difference at all?
My opinion (that's all it is), is that I would like to draw a line that gives women as much leadership and responsibility in the church as possible, that utilizes their gifts to the fullest possible extent, while still honoring the difference that scripture teaches.
So I choose to draw that line at Elder. I find no descriptions of women Elders in scripture, and I do find prescriptions that Elders be men. I believe drawing the line at Elder is the best way to give women as large a role as possible without thumbing our nose at the Bible.
My 2 cents.
Minister of Music & Administration
Our Place Christian Church
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