Women Should Be Quiet in Church (?)

 j0442246 Between Attending Q conference last week and an interesting email I got today, I’ve been deeply pondering the role of women in the Church.  I guess it actually started a few weeks ago while I was listening to a local Christian radio broadcast by a woman about women in the church.  Her view is that women should not teach men the Bible for any reason, ever.  If they do, they are disobeying God, and outside of His will.  Women like this should be asked to be quiet and not teach men.  I know that is  extreme view that many men and women do not hold, especially men and women who read my blog. But it got me to thinking…

The Q conference was heavily male dominated both on the presenter side and the participant side.  I’m not knocking the Q guys at all.  They brought an amazing array of presenters, some women that I never knew about, and so glad I was introduced to.

During one of the presentations, Phyllis Tickle, an older woman talking about the Spiritual Disciplines, said,

If you are a white, middle-class woman and are fasting from chocolate, don’t even tell me.  White middle-class women annoy me.  I look in the mirror every day, and that’s who I see, so what does that tell you? 

The rest of the room went on with listening and learning, but I was stuck there.  I am a middle class woman.  My friends are middle class women.  I annoy myself sometimes, and my friends annoy me, but I was angry that Phyllis would say that in front of a room full of mostly white, highly educated, middle class men who I want to be respected by.

I decided to go to her Q&A session later that day and ask her about it.   She was very kind, sensitive, and said she did not want to demean the sacrifices people make to draw near to Jesus.  What annoys her is the attitude of self righteousness and pride that seems to be more prevalent than fasting itself.

I completely agreed with her, and got real sad about it.  I wondered why more women weren’t in attendance at the conference, and why more weren’t presenting.  I wonder all the time why women hardly ever teach from the platform at our church.  I wondered why more women I know aren’t leading their friends to Jesus through Bible study, or praying for one another.

I was left wondering if we women just aren’t doing our jobs as followers of Jesus.  Wondering if that is why there aren’t more leaders in my own church who are women.  Wondered about the Church in the United States in general.

I left the conference ready to brush up on my own walk with God.  I’ve started praying the hours, a practice what Phyllis talked about (there’s even an iPhone app for it.  It’s called explorefaith).  I decided to pray more and try harder at growing my own girls up to be smart, educated, and articulate about their faith.  They need to know  what they believe and why.   They need to be able to be feminine and honoring to God in their speech, but be able to hold their own in conversations with their peers now and when they grow older.  They need to be able to lead women when no one else is leading them.

This is what my good friend Gene Ort had to say about the subject (and he’s a guy I really respect)

Without women in the church, only half of the story gets heard. Without women leading.. women and children often get leftovers and token ministry. To much testosterone leads to imbalance. I believe Christ taught equality of sexes. Not too say men and women are the same, but the differences in ministry create wholeness. All strengths in ministry and leadership should be promoted and celebrated, male and female. Gender prejudice is just dumb and biblically ignorant. Just sayin’

If you’re a woman,  do you have something to say that will help, encourage, or inspire others?  Is your life worth multiplying?

I’m not saying whether my thoughts are right or wrong or absolute. I’m just wondering.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.