Recently my darling husband sent me an encouraging email.
I was invited to share at a theological conference hosted by one of our Independent Christian Churches. Four speakers were asked to tackle the question, “What is the biblical view of a women’s role in church leadership?” from differing viewpoints.
I had been spending much time in biblical research committed to “rightly handling God’s word.” I found myself in quite a stir over what I should or should not say. The news of John MacArthur’s “Go home!” in reference to Beth Moore was trending on social media.
And I found myself filled with doubt – not with what I had to say – but with how it might be received by other men in attendance. Maybe I should just stay home!
I tend not to back away from conflict, but I do not relish being shamed for simply seeking a more suitable way to interpret and practically apply Biblical passages that are notorious for causing great pain in the lives of so many in our churches.
It breaks my heart to say that we do a better job of shaming than at cherishing the theological work of women in the church.
There are a few theological viewpoints that are in need of being re-theologized – and this is one of them – at least here in my neck of the woods. History shows how we – the church – have been in err in the past and we just may be in err again. Humility, as well as courage, is needed on all sides to sort this out.
But, I’m rambling.
This post is a tribute to my husband and co-ministry partner of 43 years and even longer (we began serving the local churches in Nebraska while attending Nebraska Christian College).
He had been watching a video clip from Paul, the Apostle of Christ in preparation for one of the classes he teaches at Central Christian College of the Bible.
I opened my email the day before the event and discovered he had shared a video clip from the movie with me. He included the following note:
“So here is a clip of Priscilla and Aquila that paints a beautiful picture of a marriage relationship. Halfway through it I realized, ‘that is our relationship!’ Thank you for sharing life with me under the headship of Christ our Lord!! But, remember, there will be wolves!
You can view the video clip here.
According to Luke, Jesus told his disciples, “Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves (Lk 10:3). And Matthew cautioned the disciples to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matt 10:16). Why did I think this would be easy?
The Theological Forum went better than I expected. I think we all disagreed agreeably and with respect for each other.
My husband’s words were encouraging and they reminded me that I am not alone – that he and I work in community, just as the church works in community.
Let us be encouraged as we go about doing the Lord’s work, but, let us also remember, there will be wolves!