We may be able to track some of what has led us to where we are in the church by looking at this article. Lets get the feminist response out of the way, the article is not about the pros and cons of female ordination. Those are mentioned, but are not thew focus, so restrain yourselves please.
Michael Youssef writes of the Episcopal Church as an example of the progression towards liberal apostasy, with three distinct groups driving it:
to truly understand how that initial compromise caused a wave of liberalism to overcome biblical boundaries within the Episcopal Church (and soon by the rest of the mainline denominations), we have to understand the different groups involved.
We can hear the echos of all these groups as we discuss gender and divorce, submission, sex and sexuality, and a host of other issues. He describes the groups as:
1. They believed in Jesus and the scriptures. To them, the effort to ordain women seemed genuine. But they ultimately bought into the secular argument that the ordination of women was merely an issue of equality, sharing power, responding to new realities, and gaining relevancy with modern culture. Those believers were most troublesome of all. Although they adhered to the secular perspective, no one could accuse them of having “departed the faith once delivered.”
2.The second group, which pushed the breached even further, was comprised of people who were religious but biblically illiterate. They followed a simple faith not rooted in history. They were more willing to follow than to think.
3. The third group was made up of committed liberals, or as I prefer to call them, apostates. That group often worked behind the scenes. They hid in the shadows, preferring to steer the second group forward while putting pressure on the first group. They fueled the secular media with proclamations that the church was “hopelessly out of touch with the real world” or that the “male-dominated church is unwilling to share power with women.”
Today, there are no longer three groups per se, the church consists of an amalgam of these three, biblically illiterate sincere believers who, rather than feeding the media, are fueled and fed BY the media. All the heavy lifting has been done for them. Todays evangelical feminist neednt do her/his own scripture twisting, they have a few decades of legacy to fall back upon in their quest to stay culturally relevant.
“Love” is the higher value, but when God said the greatest of these is love, what He meant, and what the gang today means are far from one and the same.
Youssef’s premise is buttressed by David Murrow who wrote that a woman said to him “men sit on boards, women run the church”.
Women run the church in more ways than just by being the dominant gender on committees. Women run the church by controlling the message the church delivers its congregants. If the church stays to a narrative that men are bad and women are good that is pleasing to the women, and no fallout will occur. But the moment a male preacher speaks AT or TO women, ABOUT women, all hell breaks loose.
The state of the church has been written about extensively. The point here is to show that words that were once virtuous, like “equality”, have been corrupted and used as levers to pry open doors into areas that should never be compromised. By combining love and equality, its impossible to find anything wrong with, well, anything (anything that includes women).
Can you see any parallel paths between societies evolution since the 1920s, and the churches evolution since the 1970s?