Thursday, August 23, 2007

An Open Letter from Deanna & Tara














Dear Reader,

We are Tara Denson Sloan and Deanna Doss Shrodes, two women ministers with over 40 years combined experience. We work full time. We are conservative Christians. We are happily married wives of ministers, and yes --we are mothers, with eight children between us! We’ve been friends for about ten years now, encouraging one another in the calling God has placed on our lives and the many roles we fulfill.

We do not believe that total equality for women and Christianity are in opposition to one another. Many God fearing Christian women who are serving God with their whole hearts consider themselves feminists. However, these Christian women are not homosexuals (nor do they believe in the lifestyle of such according to biblical standards), these women are not masculine, they do not believe that abortion is right, and they are not male bashers. Is this possible? Yes! We are two such women and we know many, many others that we are friends with personally. We prefer to refer to ourselves as women for biblical equality due to the confusing label of feminist. Although we believe many things feminists believe they also hold some views such as the aforementioned that we do not believe at all.

We love and appreciate men. We are married to two wonderful men. Both of us also work in a male dominated field, and we are effective in our leadership there. We realize we need men, and we enjoy working alongside them. We do not believe the old saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman” is correct nor what God intended. We believe that our place is beside men, working together alongside one another -- not behind them. And in some cases, God calls women to lead in group where there are males, even such that may contain more males than females. Such is the case with Deborah in the Bible.

On this blog we will share our hearts with you regarding the biblical equality of women, our encounters in the world and the church regarding this, and we will have guest writers and interviews featured by friends and colleagues of ours who share the view that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the equality of men and women, and people of every race according to Galatians 3:28.

We are both egalitarians, which simply means that we hold to the Biblically based belief that one’s gender in and of itself does not privilege nor restrict a person’s gift or calling in the church or home. In the exercising of authority, we believe it is as much an opportunity given by God to females as to males.

Do not mistake – the slant of this blog is not that we believe that men and women are identical and there is nothing different about us. We acknowledge the basic general differences between man and woman. We do believe we are there to complement and benefit one another. (The “one another” is the operative word here…)

Although we share the view with feminists that any unjust treatment of women must be stopped, our view is not grounded in their philosophies (which sometimes do not mesh with Christianity such as their views on homosexuality and abortion) but instead biblical equality has a foundation simply through the proper interpretation of God’s Word.

We believe that all gifts and callings are given by the Spirit of God without regard to race or gender. We believe in that all believers stand equally before God.

In the New Testament we find continual repeated instructions that we both – men and women – are to relate to one another with mutual respect, humility, submission and servanthood, treating others as we would want to be treated.

So this is who we are. Come and join us as we share with you our biblical values, our struggles, our growth, our healing, our hopes, our dreams for the future.

We believe God is saying…it’s about time for… EQUAL TIME.

Tara & Deanna

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!!! I'm am so excited to read more!!!!!!
Christelle

Deborah said...

Well done girls this is so exciting two of my favourite blogging dollas writing together, this is going to make for some exciting reading. Pray that it captures many hearts. love always me

Deb said...

I am weeping. Thanks for this blog.

I started seminary 25 years ago and was told "godly women don't do that." so I quit. I didn't know. And I didn't want to be "ungodly."

I volunteered, led ministries, trained men and women, failed a lot, succeeded only by grace other times... and then about 3 years ago God got me in a headlock and said, "no more excuses!" SO I went back to school...

This summer I was ordained. I'm working part-time as an associate pastor. I'm wishing I had mentoring for preaching and teaching. Not happening...

I'm halfway through seminary and facing spiritual opposition like I never have before... to the point that I am wanting to give up. A word from another sister today, and then... I found this blog this weekend... (found via Twitter of all thing).

All I can say is - Wow.
Thanks and blessings-
Deb
believing in what God can do with a surrendered life and an open heart...

Singing Owl said...

YOU GO, WOMEN!

Just joined the AG blog ring and so surfed in today.

Beautiful introduction!