Have you ever agreed to be dishonored, or even abused, when you thought you were practicing godly submission?
Have you unwittingly agreed to deny adulthood, and even personhood, to women? Maybe even to yourself?
Have you participated in pitting women in the church against one another, as a result of believing the Lie of the Pie?
If what you’ve believed to be “biblical womanhood” is actually rooted in a confused Confederate ideal, would you want to know?
If translators’ bias against women has hidden the stunning gender inclusivity of the New Testament, would you want to know?
In 2004, as I approached my fiftieth birthday, the Lord worked through two godly women to challenge, ever so gently, what I had been taught about women, the church and God. Long before that date, the teachings of my church culture had jarred my spirit. Further, after accepting a denominational position at age 43, I had come face-to-face with the demeaning and duplicitous treatment of women that these “scriptural” tenets produce.
Yet, I was afraid to probe the subject. The accepted stance is counted so clearly biblical and so foundational to the faith that to question what we had been taught is considered the first step on a slippery slope to liberalism, heresy and hell. Almost as frightening (for one whose life and relationships had been built solely in the context of a particular church culture), to question meant to risk being labeled a liberal or a heretic.
Thus, even after realizing the jarring in my spirit might be coming from God himself, I tried for two more years to treat the matter as too peripheral and too controversial to approach. Finally, in 2006, I relented. As I dared to let the Lord challenge what I’d thought I had to believe, I began writing a series of articles, describing what I was learning about women, the church and God. Then, in 2012, I began to revisit and revise that series and to add more insights.
My prayer is not that you agree with every conclusion I’ve drawn. My prayer is this: The Lord overwhelm you with grace to humble your soul, quiet your fears – and receive what he shows you, Spirit-to-spirit.
I loved the book! I’ve been struggling silently with the conflicting messages – how I felt God loves women as equals to men but how the church culture tells me I’m ‘unbiblical’ and its blasphemy to disagree with them, that we should be silent and not teach.
Your book was such an encouragement and the validation I have long sought.
Thank you Deborah for being courageous in the face of opposition. I love to see a fellow sister in Christ following His leading – even when it’s not a popular choice among our society. Thank you for writing this book! I’m recommending it others 🙂