My goodness, have I stepped on tender little toes by saying that women who teach and preach to men dishonor God's Word! One friend even requested that I have the "humility" to preface my remark with the phrase, "In my opinion..." But if I offer merely my opinion on any Scriptural principle, do I not elevate my subjective opinion over the Bible's clear teaching?
Admittedly, an increasing number of evangelicals argue that the Bible's teaching on women in leadership roles lacks clarity, citing Ruth, Miriam, Huldah, Deborah (whose name I bear with much emotional conflict), Esther, the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, Lydia and Priscilla. Put on the defensive, I assume my critics expect me to answer for these ladies. I will consider doing so, though certainly not in one blog post.
In the first place, an average blog post of five or six paragraphs takes me about two hours to type...if I don't include Scripture passages, links, photos or artwork and if I'm properly positioned in my wheelchair. Otherwise, a post could take even longer. Please don't misconstrue this statement as a plea for sympathy; I love blogging, and take great joy in fashioning each post. I merely want readers to understand my physical limitations. Writing about Deborah alone, if I wanted to do her justice, would be a major time investment. Don't fancy, then, that I could cover all these women in one fell swoop. I can't.
More importantly, I'm afraid of crossing a fine line into setting myself up as a teacher. If I knew that only women read my blog, I'd very confidently delve into deep Bible teaching, and particularly about these women! I know I can explain even Deborah, problematic as she is, by examining Judges 4 and 5 with other Scripture, looking at Hebrew words and consulting commentaries. But in so doing, would I violate the very principle I seek to support? I must carefully consider this point.
Yes, I regard women in leadership as one of the many ways Christians compromise the Word of God with worldly values. In my opinion (and in this sentence, that qualifying phrase is appropriate), the practice can rightly be labeled "baptized feminism." Whether feminism drives it or not, however, it blatantly defies 1 Timothy 2:8-15, which I quoted in yesterday's post. And, though saying so steps on delicate toes, such defiance can't avoid dishonoring the Word of God.