If I had a chance, I think this is what I would have said:
Hey Rob. I’m a growing fan and by the way, I like the buzz haircut.
So, this is what I’m trying to get at.
If you haven’t figured it out yet…It’s a White Man’s world. And well, you are a White Man. In fact, you are an especially powerful and influential White Man. The church, unfortunately, is no different than the structures of the larger culture. It is also dominated by White Men. While women and people of color shouldn’t create a state of dependency on the support of White Men, it is encouraging – nevertheless – to be supported by White Men including those who are visible and influential. This would be you.
Certain people have power and sadly, the power structures are such that it tends to perpetuate the advantages of those who have power. And while there have been advances, I know you will agree that there have been some grave injustices against women throughout the history of the church including the present day. And while you have female elders in your church, I guess the question I want to ask is how are you actively and intentionally supporting and advocating for women through your larger ministry beyond your local church.
Why am I asking this? Because people are listening…
Rob Bell is bluntly, one of the most visible and influential figures of Christianity in the 21st century. He is arguably the face of the emerging Evangelical Christianity in North America. It must be both a burden and blessing and I’m interested how he will use the platform of his visibility to distribute and share that power and influence.
For women and on a lesser level, people of color, it’s an uphill journey. It just is. And if you have to ask…you just don’t understand. And on this uphill journey, it’s uplifting when those who have power can acknowledge and advocate for those on this uphill journey.
Interestingly, Mark Driscoll and Rob Bell both pastor churches called Mars Hill – as I shared earlier. And last year, there was some crazy ruckus because Driscoll called out Rob Bell as a heretic at some sort of leadership conference. Ahh, as the Christian Subculture World Turns.
And for the record, one of my best theological conversations – ever – was with Mark Driscoll over the issue of women in leadership nearly seven years ago over an intense but good lunch. Driscoll has been one of the most vocal, if not the single most vocal antagonist in our generation of women in pastoral/elder leadership. And while I know there are some great things going on with Driscoll and MH Seattle, it is stunning and alarming [depends on your perspective I guess] to see the spread of his theological influence. And so, I guess I’m wondering who might be the other person(s) [of similar or comparable influence] who will speak passionately and prophetically in full support of women in leadership. Why am I asking this question? Because they have the power and influence.
What do you think?
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