Our “Women in the Bible” seminar has been profound. Together we’ve journeyed from Genesis to Judges to John to 1 Timothy. We’ve explored egalitarianism, complementarianism and like 5 other -isms. On Tuesday we went head to head with patriarchy. Our students are learning about roles, rules and the cultural misrepresentation of women. God has been present in the a-ha moments and in the tense times when nothing seems clear.
Through it all, there’s a sense that these are exactly the kind of conversations that the church desperately needs to have.
And so I’m grateful.
As a teacher/leader, I’ve been processing lots of things as well. My paradigms have been challenged. I’ve been asked questions for which I have no answers. And, let’s face it, a week of coming face to face with people’s pain, anger and fear will wear anyone out!
But one particular thing that God has had for me this week is something I’ve blogged about before:
For me this stuff is deeply personal.
Of course I mean that as I guy who is cares about these issues. But today I mean it more as a dad of three girls. Because for me to talk about how male privilege binds, inhibits and oppresses women is to look at my three girls and partially understand, and therefore grieve for, what lies ahead of them.
So all the more reason for seminars like this one. All the more reason for creating contexts to dialogue about the Bible. And all the more reason to have the hard conversations, face our fears and seek the Lord together for an end to privilege. Because, in the end:
We need a church where both men and women can flourish.
We need that as a church. I need that for my kids.
So if someday she’s been called by God to use her teaching gifts to draw a crowd of men and women into deeper, more reconciled fellowship with God and with one another, somebody remember to roll out this prophetic picture: