My wife and I moved to take jobs in September, 2008. When we moved, we started a search for a new home church. We quickly settled in where some of our friends who lived in the area attended. There are many things about this church that we love, specifically the church’s focus on creating small communities within the large community and a strong emphasis on no strings attached service to the surrounding community.
But there’s been a huge sticking point for us, one that’s come to the forefront of our minds over the past two weeks because of a recent sermon series – the roles of men and women in the church (and to a lesser extent, in the home).
Put simply, our church toes the traditional Evangelical line as it relates to gender roles, i.e., that men should assume all leadership roles and women should submit to men as leaders. Over the past two weeks, one of our teaching passages included extensive discussions of the church’s position in his sermons.
My wife and I are firmly committed to the idea that Egalitarianism is the only tenable, viable option for the church’s future, and we advocate for that idea whenever possible. I don’t expect to change my church’s mind. They are firmly committed to the Bible and their interpretation of it here. Similarly, I am not open to changing my mind on the issue; it’s nonnegotiable for me and for my wife.
The question I do have, though, is this: Is this issue something we should leave our church over?
We honestly don’t know, and we’ve wrestled with it for over two years. Were we to leave, we’d struggle to find a church as focused on serving the community as this one. Further, we don’t know that we’d find a church as committed to Egalitarian ideals as we are. Undoubtedly, we’d be “homeless” for a significant amount of time.
I’m writing about this here because I value the opinions of those who have chosen to follow this blog. I’d appreciate any perspective you may have in the comments.