The "World"

Also, I have emphasized increasingly the number of writings, by men and especially by women, before 1900 that have defended the full participation of women in ministry. This “answers” to a genuine degree that oft-repeated charge that Egalitarians today are simply an aspect of the modern feminist movement. Rather, I have learned by further study the depth of the biblical and historical roots of the Egalitarian position. David Scholer
The accusation that the affirmation of women in ministry is a result of the influence of the modern feminist movement is certainly an 'oft-repeated' one. Another way of expressing this perspective is to accuse a proponent of the full participation of women in ministry of being influenced by the 'world.' The Wesleyan Church may have been influenced by the first-wave women's rights movement, which followed on the heels of the Church's involvement in the anti-slavery movement. But the implication that The Wesleyan Church was influenced by the modern feminist movement can be refuted if one looks at how mute the church was on the issue during the 60's and 70's. Perhaps the church has been influenced by the "world," but the true influence of the "world" is visible by the church's acceptance of the 'world's" negative attitude toward women in leadership which translated into a reaction against women as church leaders and ordained ministers. The "world" has been struggling with women in the board room, women in the classroom, women as leaders in any field. The glass ceiling was first challenged by the "world" because it existed in the "world." It may have seemed the "world" was ahead of the church in raising the question, however, it actually was catching up with Jesus who always valued women and set the bar high for all of us today with regard to our view of women.

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