My friend John was recently in a conversation about gender roles. Specifically, the theological positions on power, responsibility and opportunity for women and men. The age old question is, "Did God intend one gender to carry more authority and responsibility and therefore intend the highest power opportunities in the church to that gender (usually the one with the Y chromosome)?"

John's companion was interesting and articulate. John enjoyed hearing this person's views on almost any topic because they mix thoughtful processing with passionate expression—truly a laudable combination. It was immediately clear that John and his friend differed in their positions on this important issue.

His friend said "My belief is simple. I am an egalitarian. I believe in total and equal access to all roles, offices and stations of spiritual power for both genders. My belief boils down to this: It is a justice issue. Deep down I believe in equality … we know this ...

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