A Quick Note of Appreciation

A few days ago, I was reviewing a discussion I had with a friend regarding gender roles. Now, I believe this discussion/argument is primarily a hermeneutical one- in other words, gender roles in the church should be determined by what we understand Scripture to be teaching, and a Christian cannnot change that without an alternate hermeneutical approach (way of studying and extracting the Bible’s meaning).

However, the discussion also made me realize how much I appreciate the terrific women in my life. If you go to the church where I grew up (Lake Pointe Bible Church), Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, or Third Avenue Baptist Church here in Louisville, you will find dozens of smart, articulate, strong, and godly women (you can find them at University Baptist Church too, but I’m just pointing out that complementarianism does not repress women).

The thing I’m most thankful for is this; if you talk to these women, you will find that they LIKE being part of a complementarian church. They APPRECIATE men taking leadership roles in the church (interestingly, all three of these churches seem to somehow have avoided the problem of men not being interested or taking initiative in church). They do not feel restricted in the least from using their gifts.

Knowing this gives me a lot of confidence. I would have a harder time making the hermeneutical argument if I did not have the confirmation from women that I admire and trust that it is a valuable doctrine for them.

So last night I was listening to a discussion between three very respected, high profile pastor-theologians. The complementarian issue came up, and you know what? ALL THREE affirmed how much they appreciated the women in their congregations who affirmed to them the value of a complementarian leadership structure.

So ladies, thank you. Thank you for having the strength to submit, even when you could probably do it yourself. Thanks for having the patience to encourage the men, even when they are weak. Thank you for overcoming the need for praise and popularity that the “head honchos” sometimes get.

And thanks especially to my wife, Samantha, for always expanding your ability to submit and follow my leadership, weak and inconsistent though it may be.

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