Did you ever feel pulled in a direction you really didn’t want to go in? Well, this has been my life for the last 3 1/2 years. If anyone wanted to talk about the issue of women in ministry, women Pastors or anything similar, I just wouldn’t go there. I just wanted to talk about Jesus and I wanted to stay away from controversial issues. Looking back on my attitude I think I was just being selfish because I didn’t want to touch a subject that didn’t affect me. After all I wasn’t a Pastor and if there were no women Pastors in the entire body of Christ, it really didn’t matter to me. I am an apologist called by God to witness to those caught in the cults and to teach correct biblical doctrine to those who had been deceived into believing that they had the right Jesus, the right gospel and the right spirit when all they had was a spiritual counterfeit. I had my eyes on the right goal, but I closed my eyes to the plight of multiple women in the body of Christ who were being stopped from ministering in their own God-given gifts. It wasn’t until I was treated badly for being a woman in ministry that I embarked on my own study of scripture to find out God’s will in the matter of women’s gifts in the body of Christ. I was open to being corrected and I came to scripture believing that if I was wrong to teach the gospel or correct people’s doctrine, then I would submit to whatever God’s will was for women.
That led me to the most amazing journey through scripture delving into the hard passages of scripture and after scripting my findings into a DVD series called “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” I can honestly say that I have a tremendous respect for the Apostle Paul and the full inspiration of scripture that frees women to serve God in whatever way that He calls them.
I praise God that my journey has brought freedom to many men and women in Christ. The first Pastor that contacted me after viewing the series said that the DVDs were instrumental in correcting his faulty tradition on the subject of women in ministry. All the praise goes to God for his faithfulness! Yet through the wonderful things that I was learning from each inspired word and each inspired piece of grammar in the hard passages of scripture, I lost two people whom I considered to be good friends. Just because I pointed out the scriptural basis for women to have freedom to minister for the common good, I was treated with anger, disrespect and ultimately shunned as a person sinning against God. God allowed this for his glory because what my friends intended as a rejection, and as a punishment for my beliefs, God saw fit to train me through suffering to understand what other women have experienced because they too chose to be obedient to God rather than to man-made tradition.
So here I am once again finding myself compelled to speak out even though my shy nature doesn’t want to experience the anger and rejection again. I have been listening to Matt Slick’s radio program called “Faith and Reason” and although there are many things that I do not agree with Matt on, I applaud his determination to reach out to the cults and to atheists with the good news of Jesus Christ. (Matt Slick’s radio program is at 790 AM,Boise, Idaho streamed at www.myfamilyradio.com 6 – 7 pm Mountain time Monday through Friday, phone number 208-377-3790.) In fact, I used Matt’s web site (www.carm.org) to get information on Universalism several years ago when I was dealing with a former Pastor who had become a Universalist and had infiltrated a Calvary Chapel Church where my former friends attended. The information that I got from Matt’s site was very helpful in dealing with the subject of Universalism and the end result was that my friends did not get pulled into this deception and the Universalist/former Christian Pastor was asked to leave the church so that he could no longer influence the people in the congregation. It was really amazing to me that I could put in a major amount of effort to help keep my friends safe from deception and then years later this same couple would turn on me and reject me merely because of the secondary issue of women in ministry. That is truly sad.
So, back to Matt. I have been listening to Matt’s podcasts and it has grieved me that he is counseling women to stop following after God’s calling on their lives regarding pastoral ministry. I felt that it was time that women and men who listen to his broadcasts realize that there is another side of this issue that they weren’t being told and I wrote to Matt asking for time to speak about the issue of women’s ability to teach the bible for the common good of men and women so that I could share the opposing viewpoint with his audience. Matt has had my DVD set for about a year and although I have asked him several times to point out what he considers to be my “errors” and to explain where my exegesis is wrong, he has chosen not to answer. While it would be more comfortable for me to just leave him alone and just to consider him a rather rude brother in Christ, I have a great concern about those whom he is influencing. So bottom line, I think this is the week when I will call into Matt’s program (probably Sept 10, 11 or 12, 2007) and say some words to defend our sisters in Christ whom God has called into ministry.
My concerns are that Matt is extremely passionate against women in ministry so that he comes across as rude and crude. He called me a feminist, a liberal and someone not interested in the truth of scripture. For those of you who have been reading my posts for some time now, you should have picked up by now that I am a big stickler for biblical inerrancy and for the full inspiration of scripture including inspired words and inspired grammar. Matt apparently cannot fathom anyone with this kind of respect for scripture who would believe differently than he does.
Listen to Matt’s comments here regarding women in ministry and my email to him. It is about 4 minutes long and is the section where he chides me for not believing in scripture. I am awed at how he could say the things he said after having read my emails and after having viewed my DVD set. It totally blows me away.
What Matt didn’t read from my emails was this:
Why do you treat cultists with respect and Christian sisters with such disrespect as if they were terrible sinners against God?
Before one can even discussion the issue of Pastors, one must be able to discuss the gifts of women in the church and whether God has given them freedom to teach and use their gifts for the benefit of the body of Christ.
I am gentle and respectful. Will you try to be respectful too since you are my brother in Christ? If so, then let’s talk. Set a time for after the 8th of September and I will let a bunch of Pastors through the US know about the show and let’s have a go at showing the cultists and atheists how godly Christians can talk about an issue that doesn’t affect one’s salvation.
The only answer I got from Matt was his comments on his radio program. He read this part of my email:
I am not a woman’s libber. I do not burn bras or rake men over the coals for all the atrocities that they have done to women through the years.
Apparently what I said that I do not do was cause for him to continue to say that I sounded like a woman’s libber. This is the kind of misrepresentation that creates an atmosphere of contention. Yet I still believe that what I can say in a loving and kind way will touch someone’s heart.
Please pray for me as I consider how and what I should say so that I can show God’s grace and God’s love to a brother in Christ who has not much respect for women whom God has called to minister without prejudice to the entire body of Christ.
If you have any words of wisdom, I am all ears.