I have been pondering Jimmy Carter's decision to leave the Baptist church over the "women's issue." In his resignation essay (published many places--Google it) he calls that particular church's stance "repugnant." He goes on at length to cite all the many woes brought on women all over the world because of misbegotten mistakes by men (my words) in misinterpreting the Bible's view of women.
I have two questions to ask: Why did it take him 60 years to realize the interpretation was wrong? Does it have to do with his daughter Amy? Did his wife never talk to him about it? ???????
And why has it taken so long for other good men who doubt the interpretations to come forward? Perhaps their wives are not interested in such topics; perhaps their wives don't want "to make waves." Perhaps the men don't think it important. I think they will when their granddaughters and nieces begin to leave the church for those more open to the gifts of women. Or when they see bright, young educated professional women refuse to come to the church which refuses to allow women to communicate in prayer, teaching, and speaking to other believers.The time will come when little, scared female rabbits will see their daughters walk (or hop) out the door of the church of Christ. There may come a time when the honored and revered Sunday School teacher will quietly begin to teach her students that in the kingdom where salvation and freedom lie, there are no distinctions between male and female--there is just the place where Jesus loves all of us and expects us to use the gifts he has given us.
I guess I am being hard on wives because I have been in churches where the husbands and men of the congregation are ready to open up and the wives shrink back. Example: A time when the elders and their wives were asked to serve communion to the congregation and some of the wives refused. In congregations where the elders have decided to open up serving communion by women as well as men, some say it is difficult to find women who will serve. Tell me, what is the difference in serving right to left and walking down the aisle to serve?? It's a puzzlement. I know that not all women are convinced they have more to offer than baking cookies and folding bulletins, and that is o. k. with me. There are, however, many who wish for more.
Another question: How is it "diminishing authority" for the woman to stand before a microphone and lead a prayer in the worship? I was almost taken ill when I heard a man recently say how wonderful the prayers of women were at a
regional spiritual conference he attended. He seemed astounded that women could actually voice a prayer to God as well as men.
I am waiting for others to see the repugnance.