I sat in my husband’s office yesterday listening to him share about a church someone recommended to him. Being the vigilant theologian I am, I immediately knew what was off just by the denomination.
Extending the benefit of the doubt, I looked up the website anyhow. I was still kind of looking to prove myself right but I tried to be as non-biased as possible.
It didn’t take long to confirm that this church does not welcome women in their leadership.
” ________ churches are governed on the local level by “sessions”, a group of men that have been set apart by the local and regional bodies of the church”
My heart sped up a bit as I tried to convey to my husband that he had found yet another church that couldn’t get with Jesus’s position on the role women play in the body of believers.
His response? “Let’s try to keep an open mind”
I moved on. At least I tried.
After about 15 minutes of trying to silently process what had just happened, he noticed my demeanor and asked our kids to step out of the room. He stared at me.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Then correcting myself I stated what I really believed:
“You don’t want to talk about it.”
He already knew.
What he didn’t know was the pain it caused. That I could not wrap my brain around being “open minded” regarding such things.
“If the website said ‘churches are governed by a group of white people set apart by the local and regional bodies of the church’, we would immediately know something was wrong, not try to be ‘open-minded’,” I said angrily.
He asked why I was angry, assuming it had to do with what I want to do in ministry. I had to explain the greater implications of this type of discriminatory mindset in our churches.
The fact that I had to have this discussion with my own husband who loves and respects me (and whom I follow unashamedly), brought a harsh reminder that we need to keep talking about this.
The church is finally making moves to attain racial reconciliation and yet our homes are still afflicted with ignorance.
I am applauded for changing an alternator one day and the next I’m supposed to be open-minded about establishments (that are meant to reflect the heart of God) telling women that we are “valued and equal” in a tone like they are expecting to get a medal for being so progressive.
I don’t need you to tell me my value. My Lord told me who I am. Likewise, I look to Him to tell me what I can and cannot do in His Church.
I am deeply grieved by the number of women who have been conditioned to accept this treatment as tolerable and even ideal.
Women who have heard things like what I just read in this church’s belief statements:
“Doubtless the presence of women serving in positions of spiritual leadership can undermine the God ordained role of spiritual headship that their husbands (and other husbands) are to play.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if a women serving in a spiritual leadership role undermines your “authority” and she’s not even your wife, you’ve got some other issues that need to be worked out with the Lord.
I’m not out here trying to gain support from our brothers to speak up against this disorder. I tried that already. It was ridiculously unsuccessful. (Likely because they are unaware of how bad it really is just like my husband was.)
This article is for us women.
Let this marinate:
There is only one teacher. That is God. If you are a willing vessel He will teach through you with all authority.
One of the most interesting, yet heartbreaking things I recently learned was the history of the deacons’ white gloves in African American churches.
The purpose of the gloves was to cover their hands as they served in white churches because they were not allowed to touch white people. To this day many churches still have their deacons wear gloves and don’t know the painful history.
Women who serve proudly in churches that relegate them to “appropriate ministry roles” are devastatingly similar to the deacons who still cover their hands.
You walk around in bondage to man-made rules oblivious to the freedom that is available to you, often doing so proudly.
That’s not your fault. Nobody told you how it got this way.
It’s time to take the gloves off.
Weather man or woman, if this article got your blood pumping and you need to decry the error of what I have written… I plead with you to first fully examine your own position in the presence of God.
Come correct and we can have a necessary dialog.
Worst case scenario, we disagree and I keep speaking truth because that’s what I was made for. Regardless, I’m going to love you all anyway… because I was made for that too.
May you be broken and blessed by this today.