Site Meter
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|
|The Thirsty Theologian| |Sola Gratia| |Sola Fide| |Solus Christus| |Sola Scriptura| |Soli Deo Gloria| |Semper Reformanda|

Previous · Home · Next

Splinters and Fragments


Here is my unpopular opinion for the week.

I don’t like women’s Bible studies. I don’t like men’s Bible studies, either. I really don’t care for any modifier-added Bible study. It’s not just because they tend to focus narrowly on group-specific topics, losing the wider context of “the whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27), and tend to drift into silliness and even heresy,* nor is it just because they are often not led by qualified teachers.†

imageI know I risk of sounding like an old fogey longing for the good old days, but just as the past may not have been as good as remembered, the present isn’t so new and improved—and this is one example of the old days actually being better days. I remember a time when Wednesday was Bible study night, and everyone came and studied together under pastoral leadership. Now it’s a men’s study here, a women’s study there; here a small group, there a young adults class, everywhere a seniors group; Old MacDonald split his church, E-I-E-I-O. In the name of meeting specific needs—which, I’m afraid, really means catering to special interests—many churches are splintered into so many segments that they look more like collections of amputated limbs than whole bodies.

I’m not pushing for the full family-integrated program, although I think it has a lot to teach us about being a body. Neither am I pushing for Wednesday night; an adult class on Sunday morning will serve just fine. But how is the church to function as a body when every part goes off in its own direction, only coming together for the formal‡ Lord’s Day worship service?

Surely there are good reasons for men to gather with men, and women with women. But if those gatherings replace the integrated Elder-led Bible study, or in any way contribute to the fragmenting of the body, I’d rather see them abandoned entirely.

* e.g., Wild at Heart, Beth Moore, etc.

† Not every group has to be taught by an Elder, but active pastoral oversight is essential.

‡ Yes, it should be formal, and yes, it should be dominated by preaching, and no, it’s not the time for dialogue.



Posted 2014·05·22 by David Kjos
TrackBack URL: 
Share this post: Buffer
Email Print
Posted in: Assembling Together · Ecclesiology · Unity of Believers
2 Comments
← Previous · Home · Next →



Who Is Jesus?


Westminster Bookstore


2 Comments:


#1 || 14·05·23··05:30 || Kim Shay

I teach a women's class because for some reason, women don't want to attend Sunday school with their husbands. We have the option of a mixed class, taught by an elder, but given a chance, women seem to want to be with women. My class is the smallest, though, because I teach a book of the bible. One of the reasons we stopped attending mid-week meetings was because the teaching became positively inane.


#2 || 14·05·23··19:27 || David Kjos

My heart sinks hearing that women don't want to attend Sunday school with their husbands. That represents a breakdown at the core of their marriages. It also makes me wonder which came first, the women's study, or the attitude? Or does each feed the other?


Comments on this post are closed. If you have a question or comment concerning this post, feel free to email me.