Our experiences at this General Assembly have touched the deep longings of many who believe it is God’s will for men and women to serve as equals in His church. We are organizing and we are talking and we will work until holiness conquers our traditions and prejudices. I have sometimes felt like the lone male in this battle. I wasn’t. Lynn Stone has been a constant voice in behalf of a Biblical view of men and women. Chris Thomas has provided constant support through New Testament exegesis. Many others have been outspoken for this cause, but until now we have not united our efforts.
There have of course been many women who tried to find a platform to speak but were silenced by our polity and patriarchal ethos. Some have left for ministry in less restrictive groups. Others have stayed out of love for the Church of God and/or a sense of call to stay. I suspect they have been wounded as much by other women who have labeled them as trouble makers as by men who labeled them usurpers and power seekers and worse, much worse.
But this Assembly has galvanized those of us who have felt called this cause, men nd women. Many who have worked in silence looking for the right time to nudge forward are now energized to fight for this just cause. We are convinced the Scriptures require it and the Spirit says now; today is the day of our salvation, the day of the Lord’s reign. We are developing strategies. We will prepare study materials. We will preach sermons. We will strengthen the feeble. We will honor those who deserve honor. All we ask is for those who are uncertain and those who oppose us to prayerfully search the Scriptures with us and listen to the blowing of the Spirit.
August 6, 2010