Friday, August 30, 2013

Cannot Submission Mean Leadership?

After reading this post on the silencing of women in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, a woman in my church made an insightful comment which I've asked her to let me post here:
"One aspect of the discussion which has puzzled me for years is the tacit assumption that women in public ministry are not in submission to their husbands. How can that be assumed? With it [is also] the assumption that no husband would give permission for his wife to minister publicly. That also cannot be assumed."
Rev. Eunice Smith

1 comment:

Kevin Davis said...

Ah, very good. I'll have to remember this one.

It is a thorny issue in our church as well -- we have a female associate pastor. We are evangelical, with several members who read their Bible regularly and seriously, and some of these members have expressed to me, in private, that they do not know how to reconcile the Bible with our having a female pastor or having female elders (which we have as well, since we're Presbyterian). I understand where they are coming from -- and I especially sympathize because of the destructive consequences of feminism in both society and the church, but I think a responsible ordering of the sexes can be exhibited in ordained ministry as well, as long as a radical egalitarianism is not the foundation. That seems to be a missing assumption, which Rev Eunice Smith recognizes.

I will continue to study and prayerfully consider the issue. Unfortunately, those of us who do not fit comfortably in either of the predominant sides of this debate (either strict gender roles or radical feminism) -- we are in the small minority, but hopefully that is where God wants us.