One of the myths in the debate on gender roles is the idea that the weight of the biblical record supports full egalitarianism, but two verses written by Paul have led churches to discriminate against women. That’s not the case at all.
Another debate which courses through our fellowship is the topic of instrumental music. In that case, instruments were clearly accepted in the Old Testament; the case must be made, therefore, as to why that changed (or didn’t) in the New Testament. [Another topic for another day]
That’s not how it is with gender roles. As we’ve discussed this week, the bulk of the biblical record argues for a difference between what men and women do. There are exceptions, few and easily counted. There’s been a furor this week about the ratio of women speakers to men speakers in Christian conferences. One blogger calculated that 19% of the speakers are women. The percentage of women in leadership roles in the Bible is far lower than that, even if we include ungodly women like Jezebel and Athaliah.
The burden of proof, so to speak, is on those that want to show a marked change in policy. The weight of the biblical record, not to mention church history, is against them. Don’t think that by dealing with Paul’s remarks, we’ve settled the issue. There’s much more to be looked at and studied.
Let me repeat what I said on Wednesday: I think women have often been mistreated, abused, and wrongfully treated as second-class citizens of the Kingdom. I think that the whats and hows of their participation in the Body need to be examined with an open mind.
I just don’t want to start the process with misconceptions.