Reprinted from the September 2015 issue of Gospel Advocate Magazine, this article discusses the fact that the focus on women being allowed to preach has shifted from seeking biblical authority to the idea of purely giftedness in public speaking.
In June 2013, I walked into a session at the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholar’s Conference hosted by Lipscomb University. It was titled “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Strategies for Social Change Within the Churches of Christ.”
I was attending the conference as a favor to my former professor and friend. He needed me to present my dissertation to highlight the doctorate of ministry program at his particular school. The title of the session concerning social change interested me because of my work on reaching out in my local community. Naively I believed the session would address evangelistic strategies in connecting with the downtrodden within local communities. This was not the case.
Instead the session was dealing with forcing a feminist agenda within the fellowship of the churches of Christ. I was surprised. The session used 1 Corinthians 4:20 as the thematic text. The verse states: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power” (ESV). The leader of the panel discussion noted that the time for talk within the churches of Christ on gender equality has come to an end. Now, those who are advocates of this position were advised to use political power to force the churches of Christ to embrace full immersion of women within official leadership in the church.