One of the most important discussions we are having in Churches of Christ is what are the biblical roles of women in the life and assembly of our churches. This cannot be a discussion about what men allow women to do in our churches. It must be a discussion about how God views women and what the Bible has to say about what women were and were not doing in the early church and how that maps over on our churches today.
Of all the topics we have put on the table for 2019, this is the one our writers have signed up for the least. I have not asked them why but I can understand why. What one says publicly on this issue can have an impact on their local ministry and the perceptions of them by people in our fellowship. We are quick to brand people, label people, often in unkind and less than generous ways. There is an illness that underlies how we view those who differ from us that also needs to be addressed.
My hope and prayer is that we can have an open discussion that doesn’t involve demonization for those we disagree with or those who disagree with us. I pray that we enter the conversation with generosity and goodwill toward each other and that we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. It has always puzzled me how people can try to expound biblical truths without exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. If you are right on an issue and wrong in your approach you stand in the wrong. I also pray that the way we discuss this, this month will be an example of how to have a difficult conversation in a Christ-like manner. We should know no other way to operate than that.
So let us seek grace and truth. Let us approach each other with goodwill and assume the best. Let us not rush to conclude that those who disagree with our position are automatically dismissive of the scriptures. And let us listen well as we discuss this “issue” (which is far more than an issue – it is about real people).