THE Most Preposterous Solution to a Bible Dilemma Ever

I became heavily involved with The Fellowship of Christian Athletes my first year of college.

Since this was over 30 years ago, I could only guess what that group is like now. But at the time, our version of FCA was one of zeal, a group driven toward a life of sold-out Christianity.

Our main focus was how to effectively witness our faith on the campus. At one meeting, the discussion blossomed into the idea of building a makeshift stage in the center of campus so we could preach between classes.

In the process of working out the schedule and organizing the volunteer ‘preachers’, the question came up if the girls should be among them.

pinball-fx-2-classic-collection-speed-machine-ball-closeup-50p.jpgLike a manic ball in a pinball machine, Paul’s words to Timothy banged around the room: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence“. Everyone chimed in on their position.

At the outset of the discussion I knew I was NOT going to stand on a stage and deliver a sermon without hearing directly from god himself. Stage fright and I were close personal buds – I wasn’t about to jeopardize our relationship. But that wasn’t the point. For me, this was an issue of principle alone.

After a solid hour of discussion and tearing through the nearest bible, we finally landed on what I’d consider to be THE most preposterous solution to this biblical dilemma known to the thinking world:

The girls could SHARE the gospel from the stage, just not PREACH it. 


You’re sitting there asking Jennifer Lawrence, “What’s the difference?” aren’t you?

Well, you’re right. There is no difference. Somehow in the annals of twisted Christian logic, we had concluded that swapping out the verb ‘preach’ for the verb ‘share’ would keep us in line with god’s word.

We reasoned it like this…

Preaching is teaching. But sharing is basically a peer-to-peer discussion. Therefore, a girl could share her personal experience of the gospel without usurping authority or teaching a man.


Are you screaming, Way!!! Why did you stay in Christianity so long?! 

If you are, I don’t blame you. But I walked a spiritual tightrope! Eternal life loomed above me. Eternal death below. Jesus was the only salvation. Was I to bail on my eternity because god hurt my feelings? Because he wasn’t nice? Because he wasn’t fair?


When the stage was built and the day came to launch our campaign, I didn’t preach. I didn’t share. I prayed. 

As the preachers preached and the sharers shared, I milled in and around the crowd praying for god to open the hearts of those who came to hear. As I did, I couldn’t shake this nagging question: How did it make sense that my male college friends were in authority over me?

No wonder arrogance ran rampant among the FCA guys. No wonder I didn’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt.

The biblical limitations placed on women poisoned each and every experience I had in ministry for every single one of my 33 years of service. Like a loop, it played in the background darkening the past and clouding the future.

The Apostle Paul’s words were an ever-present gray in my life, laying dull the wondrous and colorful hues of womanhood.






6 thoughts on “THE Most Preposterous Solution to a Bible Dilemma Ever

  1. The more I think about the lesser status Christianity gives to women, the sadder it makes me. Maybe it’s because I’m reading more first-hand accounts, maybe it’s having a 22 year old daughter, maybe it’s seeing women in my life getting the short end of the stick.
    While the “campus preaching stage” is hilarious, the wrangling over womens’ role makes me sad.


  2. It’s very sad. And what really throws me for a loop is the younger generation of Christian women buying into it. Women your daughters age going along with submission and male authority. I think of Candace Cameron Bure and her claim on The View a year or so ago that she is a submissive wife. Just makes me so sad.


  3. Maybe you made the mistake of believing that this submission B.S. is actually Christianity. One of the things that amuses me no end about agnostics/atheists who leave Christian fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism is how long the brainwashing lasts and pervades everything they think, say, and do—even after they leave the foal. For example, a typical response to this message that I have received from various quarters in the past goes something like this:

    “No! No! No! The requirement to submit is real Christianity! We former Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals had the only real and true Christianity—just like we were always told by our preachers and teachers. All those Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, United Methodists, Episcopalians, etc. were all dead wrong in everything they believe and still are. We want to make it clear that we rejected the real Christianity!!!

    I would like you to let that sink in for a moment and ask you to seriously consider that this thing you rejected was never “real Christianity” at all. And watch my two favorite video tape lectures:

    Visit my blog at:


  4. You’re right! It’s true that I absolutely rejected the version of Christianity I’d been given and practiced for so long. It was black-n-white, all or nothing. Very fundamentalist and very conservative and I very much gave it the heave-ho! But I don’t stop there…

    I reject the Christian story on the whole no matter which platter you serve it on. Like in my other response to you, my rejection isn’t limited to Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism of the south.

    I have concluded that all religion is poison and all supernatural gods are made up myths. That’s why I get tagged an “A-theist”.


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