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Thinking theologically about gender

ABILENE, Texas — When Ken Cukrowski of Abilene Christian University works with congregations that are studying or considering changes to women’s roles in worship assemblies, he tries to leave them with three guiding principles, he told The Christian Chronicle:

Go back to Scripture, and see what’s there. Most folks making those decisions grew up in book, chapter and verse kinds of worlds, and if they can’t see this is consistent with Scripture, it won’t work for them, nor should it. This is formative, and it should be.

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• “They’re going to have to think theologically about gender, and that’s going to be hard. Because we’re good at Bible, not as strong at theology.

• “There’s a big difference between head and heart. We pretend to be a pretty heady folk, but in fact we’re more than just heads. We have an emotional component. It’s going to be a very strong experience, for example, when a woman is passing communion for the first time or receiving it.”

When elders ask, “What can I do to prepare for this?” Cukrowski tells them to love their folks.

“Do the people trust you? Have you been there at the weddings and the funerals? Did you bring them a meal? Did you rejoice when they rejoiced and weep when they wept?  When something is different, it’s a trust issue, and how well they have shepherded and loved on their flock will become evident.”

Despite the different outcomes and viewpoints, he said, “Most folks are good people, just trying to do the best they can.”

Filed under: National News

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