Find language to include women
Re Raising girls (June). God is Spirit. God is not male. God is not female. These are simply some of the metaphors the Bible uses to help us better understand this Eternal Loving Presence. But in our patriarchal world, we’ve made Father and King into controlling metaphors.
We can and must do better. Our daughters and sisters deserve a re-imagined language that fully embraces and includes them.
Eldership and leadership not the same
Re “How a girl changed my worldview” (Intersection, March). My childhood was almost a carbon copy of James Toews’, with three boys on a farm in Abbotsford, growing up attending an MB church. Like Toews, my eldest child is a daughter, as are my second and third.
However, I disagree with Toews’ use of Galatians 3:28 to justify egalitarian eldership in the church. The context of the passage is that believers are justified by faith, not by the law; it has nothing to do with church leadership. Paul clearly lays out the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy and Titus. On top of this, we have the biblical examples of the 12 tribes of Israel based on Jacob’s sons, the priests in the temple being men, and Jesus’ 12 closest disciples being men, just to name a few.
Does this mean women can’t be leaders in our churches? Of course not! Deborah was a judge, Anna was a prophetess, and Priscilla was clearly someone Paul held in high regard. What we need is to define the difference between eldership and leadership. Our culture would love us to make everything gender neutral. So, we have a choice – follow the lead of culture or follow the lead of Scripture.
More ways to share the gospel
Re “Fifty ways to share the good news of Jesus” (Features, January). I’d like to offer another way to share the good news – by reaching out to new Canadians and international students. They’re new to our customs, language, and foods, and are often eager to listen and learn. Some time ago, my wife and I hosted an international student from Switzerland, who was from a Catholic background. We made a habit of having daily devotions, and the student was happy to join us. My wife, with her culinary skills, made him comfortable. In the process, the student established a relationship with Jesus Christ and expressed a desire to start a home Bible study when he returned home.