So the story of how I finally found my way to the Rachel Held Evans Blog is that I caught wind of “The Meltdown.” The conversation had to do with the balance of male to female speakers at a Christian conference. The identified ratio was more than 100 men and 4 women.
Admittedly, this is an imbalanced ratio. And truly, women are not a minority in the world or the church. And most definitely, the church would benefit from learning what God has revealed to women about more than just marriage and motherhood. How great would it be if men and women could talk about salvation, sanctification, sexuality, leadership, discipleship and theology!
Best I could follow from the outside, she said something, then he got upset, then someone else said something and someone else got upset and everyone started taking everything really personally and it spread over multiple social networking platforms.
Apparently this constitutes a meltdown. Definitely a first world problem.
Perhaps there’s a lesson to be learned. For sure I want to learn a lesson, and I hope this lesson can also be an encouragement.
There are problems in the world and in the church and for problems to be fixed, things need to change. In order for change to happen, there must be awareness of the problem and willingness to change. In order for awareness to happen, someone needs to say something.
That’s where we come in. We being those who see what’s going on and think about it and put words to what we see and post our words. We’re breaking patterns, disrupting the status quo, shining light in others’ self-imposed darkness. Frustration is part of what we do. We can’t get preoccupied by it. We’ll drown if we do.
And may God give us tremendous grace for running our races and not giving up, and may that grace sometimes look like kind words…
(I am of course taking a huge ego leap in presuming to hope to be grouped with an individual like Rachel Held Evans one day.)
There have been others like us before. I think of Gandhi and Dietrich Bonheoffer and both the Martin Luthers. They put out words that needed to be put out and they got lots of crap for it. Sometimes fatally so. But what makes these individuals great is the scope of their vision and the depth of their compassion. They wanted societal change more than they cared about being offended. Spiritual struggles were far more important that personal squabbles.
Let this be the case for us today who also want to see changes in society and in the church. We won’t change many by the complexity of our arguments, and fewer by the sting of our remarks. People will change when they know they are loved and respected and welcomed. This is because in our love for each other, we encounter something of the truth of God…