The Gospel or a Cause?


Where do you stand on the role of women in the church?

I never intended to enter the debate on the role of women in the church. I remember distinctly saying to myself, “I’m not going to talk about that stuff. It’s a cause. I’m not about a cause. I’m about Christ. I’m just going to stick to teaching the Bible.”

Recently, a woman shared with me her frustration with how much time and energy our church spent on the issue of what women could or couldn’t do in the church. “After all,” she concluded, “It was not the Gospel.” So I started asking myself, “Is that true? Is this simply about a cause or is it about the Gospel?”

I think the answer depends on our definition of the Gospel. Do we define the Gospel as 1 Corinthians 15 or Colossians 1:15-20? And what about Jesus’ words in Luke 4:17-20? What is the Gospel? Scot McKnight, among others, takes on this question in his book The King Jesus Gospel.

For many it seems silly, even ridiculous, that we argue over whether or not a woman can take the offering on Sunday or stand on stage and read a Scripture. This can seem trite in comparison to some of the women’s issues we read about in other parts of the world.

We read stories about young Afghan girls who have acid thrown in their faces because they want to attend school. These seem like bigger women’s issues to me. Whether big or small, we still must answer the question… Are these women’s issues a cause that we engage in? Something outside of the realm of the Gospel? Or, are they part of the Gospel story?

Well… how would you answer?

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