One of my former churches, Southern Baptist by denomination, offered two Sunday school classes for adults. When the class I was attending had finished one book, he showed us the topic that we would begin next week: Biblical Advice for Christian Marriages. As the unrepentant single individual that I am, I told them ‘no’ … that I was not interested and so I switched to the other class.
It was focused on personality traits and then switching to a book called Radical. One thing that was odd about this group was that the leader had begun to insist that each lesson be completed with prayer each Sunday … the men praying together toward the front of the church and the women praying together toward the back of the church. This church also had a practice of never letting women take up offering.
So I decided to look up ‘Can Men and Women pray together?’ None of the immediate results were related to Christianity, but to a religion sometimes considered it’s opposite. So I added ‘in the Christian church’ to that search and found some results. Most of them were pushing something called Complementarianism.
I’d try to explain what that is – but there’s not a lot of universally agreed explanations of what it is and who is allowed to do what where. It is, however, becoming the default teaching in Southern Baptist churches so much so that people are taught to believe it without knowing what it is. (Sort of like ‘pass this bill so we can see what’s inside it’.)
Can’t that church see what a slippery slope they are on? If they divide up for prayer and divide up for bible study, ought they divide up for worship, too? Maybe they should do what other religions do and put a barrier between the men’s and women’s sections, after all, they share the same general interpretation – might as well go all the way and carry them out the same way.
You know, it’s difficult to distinguish everybody else and Christianity when they’re exactly alike in so many ways. So much for being counter-cultural.