Some time ago, I watched a fascinating video by Lance Wallnau called Piercing the Veil. Here’s what I understand to be his basic concept.
“Once you reach critical mass on a revelation, everyone gets access easily to what was once contested territory.”
Up until recently, the idea of women co-laboring alongside men equally has been contested territory. Strategic authority in the church, has, with notable exceptions, been the domain of men. I believe God is bringing fresh revelation to the Scriptures whereby they can, with integrity, be interpreted in such a way that women are not relegated to following men, but under the direction of the Holy Spirit, can initiate and lead Kingdom ventures. God”s gifts to his people are not based on gender. And, like the parable of the talents, whoever uses their gifts wisely will be given more responsibility.
When I was in medical school, only around 10 percent of the students in my year were women. Being a physician was thought to be a male profession. In one short generation, that has changed, and now in the UK, more than 50 percent of medical students are women.
I always hesitate to use the word “leadership” in these posts, because it can be so easily misinterpreted. Leadership is about servanthood and going lower; it’s not about hierarchy. But God does entrust certain people with more influence. I believe that God is changing the perception that church “leadership” has to be male. He’s doing it by giving fresh revelation on the Scriptures (just as he has done throughout history–for example, with the understanding that salvation is by faith and cannot be earned.) We are fast approaching that critical mass, the tipping point where it’s generally accepted that women are valued and equal co-workers in the Kingdom. And we can all gain access to what was once contested territory.
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8 replies on “Contested territory”
I think this is simply how culture functions and revelation is not really the issue. When new ideas or ways of living are put forward it takes a while for group thinking to change and the early adopters pay a price so that the rest can enter easily.
You’re right that early adopters pay a penalty.
I agree with Mark that this is more or less how culture operates, but I think that revelation is an important factor. As christians we respond to culture, but (hopefully) we respond even more to the Spirit. So asking the Spirit for guidance on how to interpret and apply scripture into our culture, and listening/watching for answers, are critical.
But this has implications. What other things may the Spirit be wanting us to reconsider? There are many contentious issues right now – gay marriage, homosexuality generally, abortion, hell, evolution, politics, non-violence, gun control, care for the poor, definition of the gospel, etc – could we need to change on some of these too? Once we open the door on this “new” approach, we need to stay open!
By the way, I deliberately chose some issues there where I believe the Spirit is leading us to change, and other where I do not, so please don’t assume anything! 🙂
I agree. God seems to move in waves. Waves of revelation that make profound changes in how we operate. Some are larger than others–think about Luther and salvation by faith or the beginning of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement. Or even house church. I believe this is another one.
I appreciate that you continue to write on this subject. Even though I know, in sweden, many leaders recognize women in leadership we don’t see a lot of female leaders, especially not in the front. Thank you again for your blogposts, they have been a blessing for me.
Maria, thank you for the encouragement.
I recall prior tipping points when we joined a handful of couples in starting a church without seminary training or denominational underpinnings in the 70’s…March for Jesus…home groups….the works… We were responding to the Spirits call, but had to continually heart check on motive,etc…it was all new territory, very exciting but potentially a threat to the conventional norm. And, boy did we grow! (our little corner of the Jesus Movement!) I recall ” traditional denominational city fathers in the faith” sitting armed crossed in the back row our our new “fellowship” in the 1970s in order to pass judgement whether or now we were legit…we passed…but probably barely..ha! (contested territory?) Now, such fellowships are part and parcel of mainstream Christian expression…and so it goes…Discernment is key when following The Wild Goose…the fullness of time is key…obedience is key. Keeping first things first is key. Jesus has called us all into fulltime relationship and fulltime ministry… and some into fulltime vocational ministry…irrespective of color, race, size, age, vocation, language location…or gender…. Lets catch up with His original purpose and run the race!
Julie, this is great! We saw similar things at the beginning of the charismatic movement in the UK and even the house church movement here. Exciting times are ahead for us as we follow the Holy Spirit into these areas.