Scot McKnight is not only an immensely important Biblical scholar and author but also an astute commentator on all things from the American “churchworld.” Maybe you have heard some things of late about what is occurring within the Southern Baptist Convention in regards to leadership abuse as well as issues revolving around women in leadership. If you have not, it may merit some attention on your part. These are the issues that are coming to “every” Christian denomination that aggressively maintains misogynistic and sexist leadership practices. Not only were they wrong in the past but they have shown themselves to be especially mistaken and out of touch with what the Spirit of God is up to in the 21st century in regards to these issues.
Scot posted today some comments from “uber Bible teacher” Beth Moore. Her comments on Twitter of late have not only been outstanding but also prophetic. Note please, if you choose to read her posts, that she is NOT ditching her history and her allegiances…rather she is attempting courageously to call out practices and theology that have promoted patriarchy and been that which has discouraged and sidelined a good percentage of the “priesthood of all believers” for centuries within her denomination while still maintaining an “insider” commitment. For that, I’m thankful. It is too easy to walk away from that which has been a rich part of one’s history as a follower of Jesus. No one denomination, movement, or mega-church platform has all the “right” praxis for issues of faith. One of the reasons that it is acceptable to have a multiplicity of divergent Christian “tribes” (if you will) is for each of us to see blind spots in our practice and theology. For ANY denomination to display the arrogance of “rightness” is an affront to what most of us attempt to embrace in terms of the beauty of the diversity of the Body of Christ. Even so, words need to be loudly proclaimed in terms of this issue that Beth addresses. IF there is ANY GOOD THING that is to come out of the current struggles that individual churches, leaders, and denominations are facing in terms of issues having to do with abuse (i.e. #metoo and #churchmetoo) it may be that FINALLY eyes will be open and patriarchal and antiquated perspectives and practices in ministry leadership will fall into the annals of history. It is time for every person who calls upon the name of the Lord to understand, embrace, and live in the calling that Jesus has so graciously given. That calling…that anointing…is not exclusive to the male gender. Maybe the truth that “in Christ, there is no…male nor female…we are all ONE in Jesus” finally lead the entire Church into the fullness of experiencing the “priesthood of ALL believers.”