June 29, 2007

Christian Women's Leadership Development

I have been pondering for some time the relationship between women, worldview, ministry, and career. Probably because being a woman myself and wanting to serve the church - serve God - according to my areas of giftedness - I have been left to wonder if young women today are struggling with where they fit in the grand scheme. Not all women are called to or are necessarily drawn to marriage and motherhood at an early age. Today, this record-size Y generation has more educational pursuits and career desires than previous generations. At the same time, there are few positions of leadership that women can pursue in the church and - from my perspective - the academy isn't much different. But I firmly believe that with a solid understanding of what it means to hold a Christian worldview will prepare women to as they enter the early season of adulthood. Knowing that each of us was created to live on earth, we can seek careers that may not necessarily be ministry-proper, but know that they serve a role in God's larger plan and that each of us are called to do our work to the glory of God. In light of this understanding of work, worldview and women, I hope you find yourself curious at the prospect of a young Christian women's leadership conference that will equip women leaders in a variety of professions and callings while at the same time learning to engage our culture. Nothing like this exists for young women in the Christian community, but it should. If you have any interest, drop me a note or comment here on the blog.

June 28, 2007

Barak Obama's Revenge of Conscience

In his recent speech before the UCC convention, Barak Obama instigated a powerful, yet philosophically incoherent, attack on religious people whose concern for human dignity manifests itself in a way different from Obama and others on the left. It was a powerful argument because he focused his listeners on important issues that should matter to each of us – the environment, poverty, disease, etc….helping his listeners to conclude that prolife conservatives care very little about these issues and believe the only issue that matters is abortion and gay marriage. Perhaps “deceptive” best describes Obama’s speech.

From the start, his speech attempted to build a case against prolife conservatives for 2 primary reasons: 1) he would prefer we let him define which human dignity issues are worthy of our time and investment and 2) prolife conservatives tend not to be afraid of expressing their arguments for human dignity and the sanctity of human life within the framework of the Christian worldview. He believes religious language does not belong in the public square despite the fact that every person is driven by a particular worldview. Yet he calls for religious discourse. I don’t get it.

Obama’s bottom line is that we who identify ourselves as conservative are exploitive of what divides or separates us from those who happen to think its fine to destroy human life in the earliest of stages. By not abandoning our views on human dignity and the sanctity of all human life, we have somehow hijacked faith and religious discourse in the public square. It is all too clear that Barak Obama only believes in the dignity of some human beings – only those who have been fortunate enough to be born – and that by virtue of disagreeing with him, we have hijacked religion.

Obama had an opportunity to bring people together and promote a consistent life ethic. Instead, he chose to embrace and promote the caricature of conservatives, that supposedly we believe that the only issues worthy of our concern are those that relate to the unborn and the make-up of the family. Certainly it is true that no one person or organization can sufficiently speak to every issue facing America and the rest of the world, but we can be thankful for the different ministries God has given to each of us. Being a prolife conservative does mean I disagree passionately with pro-choice liberals (and if you must call that divisive, so be it), but that does not logically necessitate that I believe protecting the environment is unimportant – and I’m terribly frustrated that this needs to even be explained. On the flip side, however, do not be deceived. Obama’s embrace of a handful of evangelicals like Rick Warren does not mean he is abandoning his position on the issues he believes we are exploiting. His one-sided expectations illustrate that he is guilty of what he attributes to prolife conservatives. Speaking out against Obama’s politicizing of religion is a moral commitment because his exploitive tactics offend my conscience.