I was listening to an episode of This Cultural Moment in the car this morning. Near the end, Jon Tyson was talking about the current state of the evangelical church, and he said:
It’s an urgent moment. It isn’t the moment for safe, normal stuff that always worked.
A few minutes later, Pete Hughes shared how his church has responded to this urgency:
The streams are beginning to flow together… [We have] a deep hunger to learn from the best of each tradition.
I immediately thought about how grateful I am to be a part of a church that is also doing this.
And I almost as immediately thought about a renowned (female) Bible teacher who just this week was told, by another renowned (male) Bible teacher, to “go home,” while other leaders cheered and laughed and publicly defamed her character.
Obviously, this is wildly unacceptable on a number of levels (and I’m using all my restraint to not get into them right now); to quote Sarah Bessey, “This guy needs to publicly apologise and then go sit quietly in a room with Beth Moore teaching tapes on repeat at full volume until he can properly repent.” But most disturbing to me is the complete blindness to (or, at best, utter lack of understanding of) our current moment in the capital-C Church.
Churches across the world are looking outside their tradition to find wisdom. They recognize that what got us here can’t get us there, and they have the God-given humility and perspective to go looking for it.
And then you have these guys — bestselling authors, megachurch pastors, internationally known for their teaching and leadership — and here’s someone in front of them who has had an arguably greater impact on Christian women in the West than any female Bible teacher in history, and she’s not only in their tradition but in their denomination, and yet because she isn’t in their gender they can’t even demonstrate baseline respect and kindness, let alone seek wisdom or be the tiniest bit open, curious, or thoughtful.
There were some other people in antiquity who sat around debating the letter of the law while missing the heart of it. They were in an urgent moment, and they too didn’t know it. They wanted the safe, normal stuff.
But that wasn’t the time. And this isn’t either.