Much has been written in the last year about the #MeToo movement, and we have recently seen “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby convicted of sex crimes as one such cultural and legal example.
From a cultural standpoint, we are likely long overdue to have some serious conversations about issues such as consent and equal rights in the workplace. And whether we like or dislike celebrities, they have had a large hand in propelling this movement forward.
But what about the church?
The question is straightforward enough, but has no easy answers. I find myself fairly heavily conflicted about my own denomination, as we have been too slow to address serious issues, such as the one that finally came to a head with prominent Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson’s firing.
While Southern Baptist leaders were to be respected for not having a knee-jerk reaction, there is still a strong argument to be made that our leaders did too little too late to address his moral and perhaps legal shortcomings when it came to protecting women.
Which brings up an incredibly difficult question we must address in the second half of 2018 as Christians: Are we really willing to continue allowing secular entities to take the lead on protecting young ladies and women? Or, are we willing as Christ-followers to step up to the plate and say, “Enough is enough!”?
Some have attempted to make these recent #ChurchToo issues something of a scriptural debate, attempting to reference issues regarding male and female (or male versus female) leadership, gender roles in the family and church and other biblical doctrine type issues. For me, those types of arguments are red herrings. Those are not the issue in any way, shape or form.
The issue, especially within the Church (the Body of Christ, rather than one particular denomination) is whether we will afford everyone the respect they deserve. Christ himself certainly did. And it’s time that we took the lead in that area, rather than allowing our secular counterparts to do it for us.
It’s time the collective Church did the right things, the first time. Future generations are counting on us moving forward and being on the right side of church history.
Christopher Dixon is the Chief Operating Officer of eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com) and the pastor of West Finley Baptist Church near Fordland, Mo.