This is the last post in Let Her Lead, the series that will never end. I promised a conclusion back in December. It took way too long!
In the past two months, I’ve already thought of half a dozen more topics to write about. There’s so much I haven’t even touched on. Watch for those posts without any particular progression or regularity.
Faithful Options for Christians
What was the point of the series anyway?
You might think it was to convince you of an egalitarian position. While I try to write persuasively, that wasn’t really my goal.
Throughout the series, I hope you noticed I often talked about Christians having “options” when it came to interpreting those controversial texts on women. I also tried to be very careful to not speak with absolute certainty about a passage. I resisted being dogmatic.
My goal was to show that Christians have options available to them other than the patriarchal interpretation and that those options are still faithful to Scripture.
For so long, the theological gatekeepers in the biblical manhood and womanhood movement told me that if I believed in an alternative to their interpretation, I was unfaithful to Scripture at best and a heretic at worst.
But as I wrote this series, I kept finding myself thinking, “I don’t think we can definitely know what this means. But there are other, faithful options that make good sense of this text and the whole Bible.”
My desire for you, dear reader, is to know that many passages in the Bible are absolutely clear. Some, however, (like the ones covered in this series) have many, many layers that make them difficult to understand.
When I was in seminary, I learned about the distance that exists between us and the Scriptures. Language. Geography. Culture. Ethnicity. Time. And more.
Sometimes these things are more easily overcome when we have better data available to us. Other times, we have to do our best with what we have and, at the end of the day, say, “It’s okay to disagree here.”
I hope that I’ve shown that about many of the passages I covered. I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
It’s Time to Do Right
In the end, as my wife Carly has often said, this isn’t an intellectual exercise. It’s not “let’s get our theology right on paper.” It may feel like that for some men. But not for women. For women, it’s flesh and blood. It’s a fight for their lives in the church. A fight to be seen, appreciated, equipped, empowered, mobilized.
For me, this is no longer intellectual. It’s not, “I need to get my theology right” but “I need to love right. I need to change.”
It’s not about being right. It’s about living right. It’s time to do right.
I started this series by saying it’s my public repentance. This is my way to tell the world, or at least a small corner of it, that I’m turning. I’m turning from my patriarchy (which I didn’t even see!) toward the full inclusion of women in the life and leadership of the church.
This is only the beginning. But as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The time is always right to do what’s right.”
Do You See This Woman?
In Luke 7:36-50, a woman came to anoint Jesus while he was at a dinner party. She didn’t know when she arrived that the host would disrespect Jesus by refusing to wash his feet or greet him with a kiss. With a broken heart, she wept so much that she washed his feet with her tears. She kissed his feet constantly, dried them with her hair, then anointed them with perfume.
Jesus had a question for Simon, the host of the party, “Do you see this woman?”
If you would permit me some applicational leeway, it’s not a stretch to think that Jesus might be saying the same thing to us in the Church today.
Men, open your eyes and see her. She’s called and capable. She was made to walk alongside you. Not to fulfill a designated cultural role subservient to yours (whatever that may be), but to partner with you in fulfilling God’s mission in this world. Imagine what she could do with the training and experience usually reserved for men. Invite her in and watch her fly.
Women, Jesus sees you. I see you. Many others are beginning to see you now, too. You’re called and capable. Not just to do one thing, but whatever that thing is that God calls you to do. You are dearly loved by your Father. He will use you to fulfill his mission in this world. And the Church needs you and we will not reach the world with the gospel without you.
“Do you see this woman?” Jesus’ words echo deep in my heart, almost daily now.
It sparks me to pray this simple prayer. Will you pray it with me?
Lord Jesus, have mercy on us so that we see her. And when we do, may we let her lead.