Here is an encouraging letter from a woman who dwells with gifts among the Plymouth Brethren. She wrote this, and with her permission, I think we all need to read it:
Here’s the question: What events or which persons have spurred you (women) on in the ministries that you sense you have been given by God? What has given you the courage to press on?
Warm regards, Mr. McKnight,
Your inbox is likely littered with scraps of thoughts from cyber travelers, so I shall make this brief.
I, like thousands of others, lurk at Jesus Creed. I am a woman, saved as a young person in the Plymouth Brethren, and worshiped in the silence of women for the last 17 years. Nearly 2 years ago, an elder of our assembly arrived on our doorstep one night with a position paper on the role of women in the church and a request from the Elders: might I review and dialogue with Elders in light of my response to their position. In fear and trepidation, I opened my Bible and began to study a subject matter that I had consciously decided to avoid in fear of what I may find (How would it feel to come face to face with God and know He was for the silence of women?)
I didn’t find God where I thought I would. Instead I found Him speaking to Phoebe and Junia, Huldah and Deborah. Instead I found God calling his sons and daughters to prophesy, I found that there was no male or female, master or slave. I found an undeniable body of evidence that spoke to women as equals, in every sense of the word. My world reeled.
Our Plymouth Brethren Elders, through great deliberation and prayer arrived at their own conclusions: God’s order required the silence of women.
I have lived the last 2 years in our Brethren community of faith, loving and honoring, with a sadness and heaviness I knew not as my own, until last night.
Yesterday was a day of prayer and fasting for me. There were (extraneous) issues in my life that had driven me to be Jacob, wrestling with God for a word, desperate to hear His will. And He spoke—not to those issues, but to this far weightier issue of my: my life as a Brethren woman.
Your post yesterday elucidated Plymouth Brethren scholar, F.F. Bruce’s, position on the role of women. The comments referenced his article at CBE. And the weight, (I knew not how heavy it truly was) fell off.
I am David dancing in the streets.
I still dance this morning.
I am an exile come home.
My profound gratitude for JesusCreed.org …. I am emancipated and the freedom is intoxicating.
He has used you, Mr. McKnight, to minister to me. May He bless you with the greatest reward of all. More of Himself.
All is grace,