The Church: Irreverent Towards Women?
I just completed a Culture Watchin’ assignment with my friend, Ellen, in my Fuller MAGL cohort. I figured it was spicy enough to share a splice of it with you. Our assignment was to “partner up” with someone in our cohort, and follow the news , tracing a theme in culture, and analyzing it according to the changing post-modern landscape, and the implications it may have for the Church. (I appreciate Fuller because they’ve always taught us to pray with the Bible in one hand, the newspaper in the other.)
Our paper was entitled “The Post-Modern Working Woman in Positions of Power: A Clarion Call to the Church.”
Here are a couple of the recent articles we analyzed:
Washington Post Online Blog Discussion (generating +200 comments!):
Have Women Fared Well or Badly in the World’s Religions Down Through the Ages? Why?
(And the one that makes me want to either scream or cry…)
Dallas Morning News: Baptists at Odds Over Removal of Female Professor
To spare you all the bloody details, here is our conclusion:
In the shifting landscape of twenty-first century America, it is clear that our culture is now desirous of women having some part in the systems of power. The emerging independency and power-inclusion of women is evidenced through the political campaigning of Hillary Rodham Clinton, the unabashed motherly persona of Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as well as Sam Rodgers’ NY Times report that the majority of U.S. women are now living without a spouse. It seems we are living in changing times in the attitudes of women, and in the acceptance of women into leadership roles. However, when it comes to the question of gender equality in church leadership, articles such as that of The Dallas Morning News and the Washington Post’s online blog question on women and religion reveal a growing chasm between Church and Culture. In the present shift to a post-modern world, where partnerships, egalitarianism, and many-layered voices are valued, the American Church must be prepared to reexamine and reform her theology of women in leadership, and the cultural biases that often underscore these theologies. Without such a pointed reformation, the Church risks growing increasingly more irreverent towards women as human beings, as well as being irrelevant to a culture which demands much more equality.
It was especially fun working with Ellen, because she works in a Vineyard church where they freely call her “pastor”!
“This is a historic moment – for the Congress, and for the women of this country. It is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. Never losing faith, we waited through the many years of struggle to achieve our rights. But women weren’t just waiting; women were working. Never losing faith, we worked to redeem the promise of America, that all men and women are created equal. For our daughters and granddaughters, today, we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters, the sky is the limit, anything is possible for them.”
-Nancy Pelosi’s words from her 2006 acceptance speech
(Betcha didn’t know Nancy P. used to be a D’Alesandro! We might be related. Thanks to Wiki for the Pelosi picki.)