I am sad to write that in this day and age, there are still churches which are managed by rulers with sexist spirits. Without thinking, they perpetuate age-old oppressions, hypocrisy and hatred of the beauty, intelligence, holy order, sexual energy and care that women bring to church offices; they pay no attention to the fact that we have moved beyond proving ourselves in other sanctioned institutions of this world. And we all know that these types of churches benefit greatly from the strengths in women. They just about sustain the church. But the tacit underpinnings of hatred of female leaders push many away from pursuing the “call” for reasons that are never really supported in The Holy Bible. So that we are not lulled into a sense of complacency on this issue, I feel it is worth sharing a recent communication between me and a pastor.
I am surprised and grieved by your belief that women are not designed by God to hold the office of pastor, elder, deacon, or minister. And to rectify this, I submit that it should be enough that according to the scriptures, Jesus never spoke on this issue. This leaves all who claim to follow the God whom Christ reveals the freedom to lead in like fashion.
But because a letter written by one other “man” clearly states, “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence”, you have determined that God has said. Given the era during which this letter was written, I can appreciate the writer of I Timothy. But, given the era that we live in, I can barely respect that it is your right, your choice, and your decision to align yourself with these words or any religious system that espouses these views. Brother pastor, THIS IS NOT GOD’S MANDATE. And you must know that this does a grave disservice to any woman birthed into the calling and/or desire to serve the Spirit in this capacity. So, in the event that you might be open to it, and with all humility, I ask you to reconsider your position on the following premises:
- that if your mission involves sending people out to advance and enlarge the ‘true’ interests of Christ, why would you oppose a paradigm that looks differently from what you think is right —and limit God’s harvest by training only men for said positions? In Mark 9, when the disciples forbid one who cast out demons in Christ’s name because he did not follow them, Jesus himself said, “forbid him not” – suggesting that anyone who agrees to fight for the Kingdom should be viewed as on the same side – notwithstanding their differences.
- that Our Lord’s servants are to defend and uplift the oppressed (Psalm 74:21). And none of us can deny that any thought that blocks women from serving in any leadership role is correspondent to a cultural sexism that has oppressed women since the dawn of time. I work hard to undo the damage this has done to womens’ self-esteem and ability to express themselves authentically.
- that we are all made in the image of God and that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus.”(Galatians 3:28)
- that if you love your neighbor as you love yourself (Mark 12:31), consider your own gifting, desires, and call to serve the Lord and imagine how confusing it would be for you to step forward only to be told that the very Lord who designed you to serve in this way has commanded his church to disregard such a call. In other words, your calling was honored before you were discipled and trained to that end. I feel that to do by a woman any less than what was done to you is to be prejudicial and discriminatory. And partiality in judgment is not wise or good (Proverbs 24:23).
Why do you need a title to do what God called you to do?
A silent WRATH rose in me and formed into a quick reverse question: It’s not about a title…In fact, why do you need one?
When he could not give a sufficient answer beyond, “I’m a man”, my quiet voice within reminded me of the wisdom of the Native American Warrior Black Hawk; “How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.” Well the smoothness of this LIE has washed off my back. I know that only God can properly deal with self-righteous religious church leaders who use the Bible’s limitations to oppress others. I pray that this binding thought cease from hindering all women who seek truth and purpose.