Repentance and the Journey
As I’m in my DMiss cave this week, I’ve been having my heart stirred by a number of insightful writers. One such writer, Rosalie de Rosset, put her finger on the importance of repentance in the journey toward gender equality.
So I invite you to join me in sitting with the following quote. It’s from de Rosset’s chapter in a 2002 book entitled Building Unity in the Church of the New Millennium, edited by Dwight Perry:
In the foreword to a recent book, Women as Risk-Takers for God, well-known author and speaker Evelyn Christenson goes so far as to say, “The greatest need on Planet Earth, especially among Christians, may not be racial—but gender—reconciliation.”
It is possible to suggest that such reconciliation has to begin with repentance in the body of Christ for the way in which the church has trivialized women. This has happened by seeing women’s interests and needs as unimportant or secondary, by confining them to narrowly appointed tasks, and by falling to educate them about their responsibility to develop their individual gifts as a part of their obedience to Christ. Women are also trivialized when they are kept voiceless and afraid through neglect and condescension, unbiblical attitudes supported by a misuse of the biblical text.
Change will involve a deliberate and concerted plan by the church and the Christian community to view women first as human beings, instead of simply in terms of their gender. Such vision will inevitably involve taking women seriously as valuable assets in the whole ministry of the Church.
Until this happens, women in leadership will continue to pay a high price; they will be, in Brent Staples’s words, “suspect” when not invisible.