Jimothy’s answer suggests a sharp divide between the culture and way of living inside the church and out there in the world. I think we do well to seriously consider the implications of such an understanding of the kingdom of God. If the kingdom and its ways are only applicable inside the walls of the church, how exactly can we continue to build it on earth? Build more churches?
The second thing Jimothy’s answer suggests is that women may have useful insight (and the ability to wield it) in the world, just not in sacred (church) spaces. But isn’t it also interesting that women are also often discouraged from building careers in this outside world, the space where they may be allowed to become experts.
If we take Jimothy’s position, I think we miss out on two incredible things. (1.) We lose the ability to experience the presence of God in culture*1. When “spiritual matters” like singing in church are separated from “worldly matters” like working in a pharmacy, what does this say about where we believe God is operating? (2.) We lose the gift of beautiful service the women in our communities can offer. We miss out on their insight and full expression of God’s grace when they aren’t permitted to lean into their gifts inside the church.
Do I believe the ordinary places in life are sacred?
Do I believe God is using women to express his word in the world and in church?
Do I draw sharp lines between church and culture which may be hindering what God wants to do?