Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Out Of Seclusion

I am holding my breath as I write this post.  I have been blogging on this site for nearly a year and I have not yet written about the one issue in Christiandom that keeps me up at night.  I am passionate about a number of things, but this one issue is the sum total of all that has consumed me for the past two decades.  And this one thing is how the church limits women in leadership and how God wants to set them free.  


I became a Christian when I was fifteen years old and I began chasing God with a passion unlike any I had ever possessed.  I was mentored by my youth pastor, Ray Owens, and in all of those years I was never told that there would be limits put on me because of my gender.  I was raised in a home where gender was never an issue and I was always told by both of my parents that I could do anything to which I applied myself.  At the age of twenty I married a man who adored me and wanted to see me fulfill all of God's plans for me.  We were, and still are, a true team.  We walk side by side and we lead those around us hand in hand.  No heirarchy.  No power struggles.  Just mutual respect and mutual laying down of our lives for each other.  All was right in my world.

And then I met "the church".  After leaving the safety of Ray's leadership, I ran right smack into the deepest disappointment I have ever known.  And it has taken me nearly two decades to come to a place where I am now free to come out of seclusion to begin publicly speaking and writing about this.  It has taken me this long to understand that God's heart is not reflected in the church's narrow and culturally influenced interpretations of a handful of Scriptures.  It has also taken me this long to hear God's voice calling me out to be an instrument of revolution in His church.  I assumed that a man would need to be the one to proclaim freedom to God's daughters.  And there are a few.  Lee Grady is one such man and so is my amazing husband.  David Joel Hamilton and Loren Cunningham number among them, as well.  But God has also called me and the time is now.  I have nothing against the church.  I love her because God loves her.  I am not "against" anything.  I am "for" seeing God's heart exposed on this issue.  I have no axe to grind, I have a sword to brandish...the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  And His Word has much to say.  But not what you have most likely heard.  So I am out and I have some things that I believe He would have me say....

3 comments:

Karen October 14, 2008 at 10:38 AM  

Beth,
A couple websites you may want to check out. Drs.Eddie & Susan Hyatt are devoted, among other things, to proclaiming & teaching the body of Christ that "in the Spirit we're equal" (also the title of their book). Sue's site is www.icwhp.org (International Christian Women's Project), Eddie's is: eddiehyatt.com (Hyatt International Ministries). Check out their resources, but most of all, be encouraged that there are others who passionately desire that God's women be loosed into all He's created and called them to, without restriction. We're praying for your family as you transition.

Beth Brawley Taylor October 14, 2008 at 11:15 AM  

Thank you, Karen! I appreciate the websites...very helpful. And thank you for the prayers.

Joylene Green October 15, 2008 at 12:21 AM  

hi Beth -

Good to hear your thoughts! I wrote about this kind of once before too.

Also, you probably already know about it, but if you don't already know about Christians for Biblical Equality check that out too. It's an awesome organization!

http://www.cbeinternational.org/