Slaves of all races needed and still need free people to fight with them to defeat slavery.
Blacks needed whites to stand in solidarity in order to roll back Apartheid and the Jim Crow laws.
The GLBTQI community needs members of the heterosexual community to come along side them to find acceptance.
Jews needed Gentiles to stop the madness of Auschwitz and defeat the Third Reich.
Women need men to achieve equality in the church, in the home, in government and in the workforce.
The minority always needs at least a few members of the majority to stand in their corner and advocate on their behalf for the status quo to be challenged and for things to change.
The persecuted, the excluded, the oppressed, the enslaved, the unclean, the deformed and the sinners needed someone to tear down the wall that separated. (That is all of us)
The women, the men, the Jews, the Gentiles, the slaves, the free needed someone to tear down the dividing wall that separated them from each other.
Jesus is the obliterator of all that separated and separates us still. He came to rip it in half and to tear it down.
Today an amazing blog from J. R. Daniel Kirk a Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary came to my attention. It is called A Time to Speak. It is specifically about the issue of women in the church however the truths in it can be applied to more than just this issue.
Dear men, it is not enough to be supportive in your hearts. If your church is excluding women from service, you need to be creating opportunities to overturn that practice.
You need to speak. You need to ask.
Dear pastor, it is not enough to huddle with your buddies over beer or in your internet discussion room and talk about what a bunch of sexist bastards your fellow pastors are in your denomination.
If you are not working to change what women can do, you are promoting and sustaining the sexism that you deride in private.
If you are not opening up space in your church for women to preach and teach, you are promoting and sustaining the sexism that denies the truth of your women’s identity in Christ.
Dear seminary professor, your job is to be a change agent. Your job is to transform the way that your students, and their churches, think about and act on issues of gender.
It’s not enough to “know” that women should be able to do anything. You need to show your students, from your scripture study or theology, that this is God’s intention for the church.
This applies to all of us. If there is something you believe in, if there is an area where you know you should be speaking on behalf of the oppressed or excluded and you keep silent you are in effect promoting and sustaining that which you know is wrong. If you fail to speak up when your friend calls something or someone “gay” or you don’t come to the defense of a female coworker when she is called a bitch for being a strong leader, if you stand by when girls and women are silenced and discounted in the name of Jesus you participate and condone the very thing you disagree with in your heart. I believe this is what the Scriptures are talking about when they say a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways. When we will not stand up for our convictions we waver in our faith and become double minded.
He wraps up the post with this call to action:
We must create the kind of church that will receive not just our sons but our daughters, not just our brothers but our sisters, in the fullness of who God is making them to be, in Christ, by the Spirit.
If you believe in women’s equality, your calling is to act it out. If you’re not, don’t convince yourself that you’re being “wise” in biding your time while your sisters suffer. Wisdom is a convenient cover for fear, but not all silence is golden.
I for one have decided not to remain silent anymore. This blog is my attempt to speak into the world a message of love and acceptance, freedom and hope. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and the gates have been flung wide
- The True Magic Kingdom
- Torn Veils 1 & 2
- The Land of Hope, Dreams & Misfit Toys
- 10 reasons why i’m an advocate for women’s liberation (wordofawoman.com)
- Dear John Piper, Would You Like a Ride on my Toboggan? (wordofawoman.com)
- I don’t like the word slut and you can’t make me use it. (wordofawoman.com)