This past week an article I wrote was posted at a Sojourner’s blog called God’s Politics (http://blog.sojo.net/2011/06/07/what-men-and-women-lose-under-complementarianism). In watching the ensuing commentary posted by readers, I had the opportunity to “listen in” to reactions, thoughts, and in some cases rants….the usual blog reaction kinds of things. Any time you start talking about mutual submission of believers and it’s application to male-female interaction, you have to be prepared to hear strong opinions expressed.
One of the comments particularly struck me. Basically the perspective was that I needed to do a far better job of making my case if my intent was to overcome the convictions of those who believe the Bible prohibits female leadership in Church. So I began to ask myself if that, indeed, had been my intent. Was I trying to “win the argument” of women in leadership?
I must say I really don’t like arguments. Spirited discussion…great! Sharing something you’re passionate about….fantastic! Just trying to win the argument….waste of time and energy! As far as I’m concerned, we can have a very good discussion and both of us walk away with an even stronger belief in our original ideas. One litmus test for determining when a discussion has taken on the overtones of an argument is when one and/or all participants are doing less listening than they are talking. Another I use is whether one and/or all participants are not providing thoughtful input, but merely posing argumentative questions.
With my attitude about arguments, I wasn’t comfortable with the idea that I was writing simply to win an argument, to convince those on “the other side” that they are wrong and I am right. After several days of reflection, I have come to some conclusions. As I said in a recent post (“This I Believe….”), too much of my time over the last few years has been spent talking about what I disagree with. My decision to write is based on the desire to present what I believe and why I believe it. If something I say sparks a thought for you, wonderful, regardless of whether or not you agree with me.
I will likely never meet SamHamilton, the author of the comment that generated my thoughts this week. However, he has unknowingly provided me with one of the benefits of mutual submission as I described in the God’s Politics post…..learning from one another as we follow Christ together. For that I am grateful.