In 2006 my DVD Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free came out and since that time I have seen my share of scarecrows who are intent on destroying the message of women in ministry. One such scarecrow refuses to go away and it is time to create a blog post where others who have been hurt by the issue of women in ministry can share their pain. If you are a woman in ministry or a woman teacher and you have been hurt, abused or silenced and you would like to share a short story, this is the post for you to share with us. I will moderate the comments so that any scarecrow/troll who would like to sound off against women in ministry will either have their comments moderated or removed. This is a safe place where those who are like-minded can encourage you as there are many who come to this community of loving Christians who value the worth and ministry of women.
The reason I named this post Stubble, Straw and Scarecrows is because those who are vehemently opposed to women’s gifts used for the common good are planting chaff and their words are nothing more than stubble and straw. Stubble, straw and scarecrows are not God’s tools nor are they things to be afraid of. We are to fear God and allow Him to decide what gifts we receive for the fact is that the gift we receive from God comes with His permission to use His gift for God’s glory and the common good (1 Peter 4:11). No man can give us spiritual gifts and no man may kill God’s gifts within us. We are accountable to God and we must be faithful with what God has given us rather than holding back because of the fear of man.
The body of Christ is a body ministry where each of us are needed and each gift that God has distributed among us is needed. So why is it that many men say that they do not need for a woman teacher when this personal rejection of their own need is contradicted by 1 Corinthians 12:21?
1 Corinthians 12:21 (NASB95)
21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
Why does the Bible say that the eye cannot say to the hand that others may need you, but I have no need of you? In other words, why is it that some say what the Bible says they cannot say? …
One of the first objections to women in ministry is the fact that Jesus chose only males as his twelve apostles. If Jesus only chose men for this special “class” of people who were to be His witnesses of the resurrection, then didn’t Jesus show by this act that He does not allow women to minister in the church as men alone are to have a special position of authority?
I would like to suggest that Jesus deliberately chose men as part of the group of 12 who were to be witnesses to the resurrection since these men were to be witnesses to the world while Jesus assigned women to be the first witnesses to the church. …
Thanks to one of the followers of my blog, I received a link to some excellent clips about Julie Pennington-Russell’s talks about the Georgian State Convention and issue of the church being kicked out of the GBC. The clips were record before the official word came through about the removal of her church from association.
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her fifth set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #5 and Mike’s rejoinder. Mike’s matching blog post is here. …
The picture above represents not only the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled, but women in the “bride” of Christ held back and controlled. It is a great concern to me that there are many in the body who think that authoritarian control is needed to keep people in line and to keep the unity of the faith. But is the removal of the ability to question those in leadership or to question secondary doctrine a necessary thing to keep the unity of the faith? Some apparently believe that questionable tactics are allowed if the end result is unity but I would like to propose that unity based on an abuse of authority produces artificial unity.
Wade Burleson has been doing a series of posts on authoritarian control in the church and within non-profit groups and I believe that this issue is a major problem in the church today. Those who use intimidation tactics to prevent people from asking legitimate questions have risen up in our churches at an alarming rate. Where is this all coming from? There appears to be an emphases in many seminaries that sways impressionable young graduates to the belief that pastoral authority must be defended at all costs. Wade Burleson comments on the results of such teaching that creates an elite group of “the Lord’s anointed”. While Wade’s commentsare specifically about the Southern Baptist Convention, the application can be made throughout all denominations. …
The issue of women in ministry allows us to the opportunity to ask questions about the hard passages of scripture and to work through these passages to discover God’s intended meaning through the inspired context. But in many quarters, questioning is a “sin” that will get a reprimand from a strong authoritarian leader. Is it really a sin to ask questions? The New York Times has produced an article by Molly Worthen called Who Would Jesus Smack Down? In a surprising view of “the cussing pastor”, Mark Driscoll is not only against women pastors and what is called the feminization of the church, but he also refuses to tolerate any opposition to his views. In The New York Times article Molly Worthen writes:
Nowhere is the connection between Driscoll’s hypermasculinity and his Calvinist theology clearer than in his refusal to tolerate opposition at Mars Hill. The Reformed tradition’s resistance to compromise and emphasis on the purity of the worshipping community has always contained the seeds of authoritarianism: John Calvin had heretics burned at the stake and made a man who casually criticized him at a dinner party march through the streets of Geneva, kneeling at every intersection to beg forgiveness. Mars Hill is not 16th-century Geneva, but Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’ ” When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended. “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached. John Calvin couldn’t have said it better himself.
Very few people quickly admit their beliefs are wrong
This blog has been a meeting place for many who have received huge challenges to their view of women in ministry. Here I receive questions about how to deal with a spouse or a pastor who is strongly opposed to allowing women to freely serve the body of Christ with their God-given gifts. How does one deal with opposition even when one has presented well-reasoned arguments and the other person is unwilling to engage the arguments or is unwilling to really listen to what you have to say?
Today I would like to call attention to a very gentle apologist who has written some really great tactics that are very encouraging to me in how to deal with those who oppose women in ministry. While I understand that some people are so abusive and unChristlike that it is better to stay away from them rather than engage them and risk being personally attacked yourself, sometimes it is impossible to stay away from strong opposers because they are part of our family or the church family where we worship.
In today’s issue of Stand to Reason’s (STR) “The Page”, Greg Koukl’s email updates sent to subscribers, Greg gives some wise advice on the issue of why change is so hard and how to handle opposition. …