This morning I foraged through all the different lists of the ‘top Christian female bloggers’ from 2012. I get pretty excited about having new women to follow; new writers who inspire.
But after spending some time browsing blogs today, I’m a little discouraged.
The blogs I read this morning were full of radical and passionate women. Their writing is smart and funny and inspiring.The good news is: the number of women who are ready to step up and lead this generation is growing. The restlessness, the movement happening is tangible. I’m not the only one who is done with apathy. I’m not the only one who wants to be spent.
And yet, I’m discouraged.
Because blog after blog I read the same thing: a call for women to embrace a radical life for God. Awesome. Except that blog after blog seems to define that radical life as pursuing a woman’s right to the highest level of leadership in the Church.
Scroll down on any one of those posts and you’ll find the opposite viewpoint in the comments section. But the voices defending the conservative position on gender roles seem to come across as heady, dry, emotionless and archaic.
And it makes me wonder: is there a place for me? An emotional and messy girl who feels all the tension and passion that I hear in the voices of my generation. But at the same time, a girl who believes desperately that God alone is God and that He holds out to us an absolute truth that is not negotiable.
Look, no one wants to get into a debate on gender roles. Least of all me. Trust.
But the quieter I am, the more it seems like there are only two options ahead of women: either you are passionate and radical and fight for a world without lines and distinction or you are biblically conservative, speak in Scripture and resign yourself to an irrelevant life.
I’m writing this post because I think there’s another option.
I think we can be a part of a passionate movement of relevant and radical women, who talk about real things and don’t pretend to have it all together. And we can be women who are willing to draw hard lines where Scripture draws them. We can be women who aren’t afraid of biblical words like submission or sovereignty or inerrancy. We can be women who don’t apologize for what Scripture says, even if it is offensive and annoying; even if it gets in the way of our ambition.
I have long been avoiding talk of gender roles. Because I’m a coward. And this topic is polarizing and controversial. And I don’t want this blog to be hijacked by whatever the hot ‘theological’ topic is.
But I think it’s time to speak.
Because there is something more important at stake in this conversation than the practical implications on our career paths or our earthly marriages.
What’s at stake is the character of God and the source of our authority.
If we think that equality is about having the same access to visible leadership, what does that testify about our God? The Father asks the Son and the Spirit to submit to Him. Do we need to pull the Spirit aside and encourage Him to be more ambitious; to stand up for Himself more and not be ‘just a helper’? Do we need to counsel Jesus that He has as much right to be the one ordaining the Cross as the one hanging on it? Who decided who was going to be the ‘suffering servant’ anyway? Did they draw straws?
Here’s the deal: Father, Son and Spirit have different roles and they are still equal. Their worth is not defined by their tasks. It’s our worldview – not God’s – that assigns value based on role. As long as we find our worth in our to-do list, we will confuse equality and sameness.
I don’t know what this year holds for us. But I can hear it: the hum of a generation of women waking up all across this country and deciding that they want to be a part of something crazy.
Gosh, me too.
Ambition burns within me: fierce and bright. But more than I want significance and a radical life I want to trust my Creator. He made me. He alone gets to determine my purpose.
And honestly – I think He has grander ambitions for me than I can even dream. He calls me to bear eternal fruit and to engage in spiritual battles. May He save me from the foolishness of forsaking His leadership to trust in my own understanding.