Kruse, an uberblogger who comments here in such a way that at times he keeps the conversation rolling, wrote this on the blog last Saturday and I want to pick it up today and then ask his question in a slightly different manner. Michael’s comment is in italics:
I’m sorry to come in so late on this post with such a simplistic comment but I’m wondering why we focus so much on this one issue [women in ministry]? Why is it such a significant, divisive issue?
We do so many things in “Evangelicalism” that have not a stitch of Biblical support – or if it does it is certainly not taught by Scripture – often only mentioned in passing. As examples I could suggest church buildings (meeting in them, constructing them, their very existence), deacon boards, orders of service, congregational business meetings, sole pastor/elder, voting in the pastor, worship teams, organs, Sunday gatherings, Christian Education, youth groups, youth pastors (age segregation in general) to say nothing of celebrating Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. This seems to be an example of swallowing camels and straining at gnats.
Some denominations have been ordaining women for a hundred years (or more?) We certainly have sufficient biblical justification to include women in leadership and teaching roles (much more than some of the practices mentioned above) and enough questions about the passages like 1 Timothy 2 not to prohibit women from doing these things.
The question still stands: Why is it such a significant, divisive issue? I’m not really sure I know why but I’m fairly convinced that it’s not because we have such a high view of Scripture – otherwise we wouldn’t be doing some of those other things mentioned above.
SMcK: Many often say the reason for this issue today is because some are trying to be “biblical”. But that raises this question: Why pick this biblical issue and not some other? Like the poor (more are awaking on this one I’m happy to say) or the reality of miracles or tongue-speaking (clearly taught and practiced) or the presence of prophesying? Here’s the question as I see it:
Why are some choosing to be “biblical” on this issue and not others in the Western world? And, in light of our lengthy series on women in ministry, why are they choosing to be “narrowly” biblical? That is, why are they focused on 1 Tim 2:11-15 or 1 Cor 14:34-35 and not on “what women did do and making sure that they still can do those things”?
I’ve got some of my own ideas of why some are choosing to be “biblical” on this issue, but I’ll save those for another post. For now, it is your turn.