Mary Zeiss Stange is Professor of Religious Studies and Religion at Skidmore College in New York. In the paragraph cited above, she refers to “that stained-glass ceiling” that, in her view, keeps women from positions of church leadership. In her understanding, full access to all positions of leadership is “the mark of genuine equality” that is missing from most American churches.
Men and women are indeed equally created in the image of God, equally in need of the Gospel, and equal in terms of salvation. Both men and women are called to lives of discipleship, service, and witness. Mary Zeiss Stange is surely right when she suggests that churches depend upon the dedicated service and faithfulness of women. But this does not mean that the pattern for the church set forth in the Bible is to be rejected in light of current conceptions of gender equality. Those who believe that the Bible is indeed the inerrant and infallible written revelation of God are obligated to perpetuate and honor the pattern of leadership ordered within the text of Scripture.
Mary Zeiss Stange, Professor of Women's Studies: In Annie's time, a fair number of women were taking up hunting, especially after and [Gifford] Pinchot and company really started working hard to promote the idea of sport hunting as an appropriate activity for middle-class women as well as men. Interestingly enough, editors of outdoor magazines at that time argued that it would be good to take your wife hunting and shooting, because then she wouldn't be bothering her sweet little head with things like politics. Some people actually saw hunting as a nice sort of outlet that was much healthier than, for example, arguing for women's suffrage.