Hey, Alien Citizens.
I hope this finds you well. I’ve stopped by your blog a few times, initially on the recommendation of a good friend, and most recently because of a post from a few days ago, regarding a women’s event. I’m assuming your blog has several authors, as I’ve seen a couple of posts that are not by Cornell.
You know, when I think about this “female pastor” issue, I wonder what the big deal is. Why do women flip just at the mention of it? Why is it so emotive? I want to thank you, Cornell, and all the alien citizens who post on that blog, for going ahead and allowing this topic to come up at least twice in your blog, despite the fact that you are male and therefore likely instantly branded an egotistical jerk by default for even daring to conceptualize a woman not being “suffered” to strut in heels from one end of a stage to the next, gesticulating in acrylic nails, making duck-faces and carrying out all manner of histrionics, butchering American accents and, most of all, distorting scripture.
As you can see, I have a lot of “love” for this mess. LOL! And I thank you for speaking out about it, despite the fact that many people will not be amused. Now, I won’t say I agree 100% with the way the entry on “Uncovering the Sheets” was done. However, I have agreed with a lot of what I’ve read in the past and I thank God for your ministry.
I’ll begin with a couple of disclaimers: First, I was offered a position as a youth pastor a few years ago, so this issue is close to my heart. It was a very tempting offer. I wanted to take it. I wanted that clout! I’ll keep it real: I, too, wanted to strut in heels across platforms. I actually love to teach.
Second, I have many female friends who are pastors. We have mostly chosen to agree to disagree. Because – let’s face it, Alien Citizens – it is a very “sweet” position. It is one that is difficult to give up, especially if one is convinced, despite scripture speaking clearly to the contrary, that one is called by God.
So I figured I’d show my support for your post and share my thoughts on women in pastoral positions. Perhaps adding my voice, as a woman, will help more women think about it and stop attacking men.
BTW, I’m going by the dictionary definition of pastor:
1. A Christian minister or priest having spiritual charge over a congregation or other group.
2. A layperson having spiritual charge over a person or group.
3. A shepherd.
I’m glad you agree with me that qualification is not the issue.
Cornell, you are so right on this one. Many women are better teachers than men. Many women do many things better than their husbands. God knows this! He set certain standards in place in spite of it. If a woman is gifted, does that mean she needs to be a pastor? No. (If she makes more money than her husband does, does that give her the right to lead her home? No.) Many of my friends – especially the ones who are pastors – are gifted teachers. They can break down scripture like any man can. They are just as anointed, just as “deep”. So I am really glad that you have stated that women can make good leaders – even good pastors, if this were something God permitted. I have been blessed in listening to female pastors. I agree with you on this!
However, the Bible says “No”.
“I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence,” Paul says. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in transgression.” 1 Tim 2:11-13.
No matter how qualified we are, the Bible says we should not lead in certain areas. Church is one. I believe in letting scripture answer scripture. When we pit this verse against Titus 2, we realize that it does not mean women should never teach. Women may teach children. They can teach other women. Any woman who thinks this makes her less of a woman really does not know or understand her price. Paul actually begins his letter in 2 Timothy by acknowledging the impact Timothy’s own mother and grandmother had on his life.
What seals this verse for me is Paul’s statement, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” He takes the issue back to creation, dispelling the argument that he was speaking to people in Timothy’s circles or to rowdy women in a Corinthian church (1 Cor 14:34). He goes back to the beginning of time.
“Paul was just a man,” some argue. “He was not speaking God’s mind.”
After all, it was he who penned the words “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” 2 Tim 3:16. How convenient, right? He comes up with all these “rules” and then tells us that everything in the Bible is of God.
This type of reasoning is very dangerous. If Paul was speaking as a man, who is to say Jeremiah, David, Moses, Ezra, and all the other writers of scripture were not speaking as men? Do you see the treacherous ground one begins to tread with this line of thinking? Scripture is either absolute, or obsolete, one wise man said. Either take it all or leave it alone. Speaking of which…
No books of the Bible were written by women.
I never really paid attention to this fact until just a few years ago. Out of all the 66 books in the Bible, why is there not a single one penned by a woman? Is this a coincidence? Surely Miriam had a lot to say after the sojourn in the wilderness? The woman at the well dropped her waterpots and ran off to tell everyone about Jesus. Surely she could have written down that amazing story for all to read before she continued to fetch water? Is this just a coincidence?
There were no female disciples, either!
Yeah, I said it. There were many women who ministered to Christ while He was on earth. But not one of them was called among the disciples. Jesus said to the fishermen, “I will make you fishers of men.” What kept Him from walking past women grinding grain and saying, “Come, follow Me; I will make you grinders of…”? Or perhaps women braiding their daughters’ hair on their porches, if that did indeed happen, and saying, “I will make you braiders of…”? I am not trying to be funny here; do we ever ask ourselves these questions? We know there is no such thing as a coincidence in the things of God. In fact, there is no such thing as coincidence, period, because God is in control! So what is the reason for this?
The office of a Bishop belongs to a man.
1 Timothy 3:2 – “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…”
Why did Paul say “the husband of one wife,” and not “the husband of one wife or the wife of one husband”, or better yet, “the spouse of one spouse?” One might argue that it was because in those days, people were not as politically correct as they are in this generation; therefore, just as the term “man” was used to denote both men and women, so the term “husband of one wife” does not necessarily mean that he is speaking to men only.
But verses like 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 and Ephesians 5, where Paul speaks directly to spouses, negate this theory.
Some say that God is chauvinistic.
God forbid. Let’s not even get into exactly where they got the conscience to even understand the concept of chauvinism and the fact that it is an evil thing. Who would open their mouth against the evils of society had God not placed an innate recognition for that which is sin in their hearts? How can one call God a chauvinist? This is the God who used the same root for the word “woman” as He did for the Holy Spirit. He gave land to the daughters of Zelophehad at a time when women all over the world were viewed as property, worthless, to be seen and not heard. He used Rahab in a crucial position in the capture of Jericho. He so elevated Esther that the Jews celebrate Purim to this very day. He chose a peasant girl from Moab to be David’s ancestor, and thus an ancestor of Jesus as well. He used Bathsheba, an adulterous woman, really, to secure the kingdom for Solomon. As a matter of fact, God made the role of a woman so crucial that even He, the King of kings, came to earth through one. And in a day when a woman’s testimony could not even be admitted as credible in a court of law, the first person He appeared to after His resurrection was a woman. Need I go on?
The Deborah/Mary Magdalene argument.
Deborah was a prophetess. She led. She killed Sisera. Therefore women should be pastors. Really? How does this even make sense? Deborah was a prophetess. There is no single verse in scripture that says women cannot be prophetesses.
Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene: “Go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God.”
I do not in any way see what part of this verse states that women should be pastors. We do not have to be pastors to share the gospel with others. Sharing the gospel – sharing the fact that Jesus is ascended to His Father, and our Father; to His God, and our God – is something every believer, pastor or not, is called to do. It is impossible to truly love Christ and keep Him to yourself. We are told in John 2 that when Jesus called Andrew, “He first findeth his brother Simon.” We are told that when the woman at the well discovered who Jesus was, she dropped her waterpots and ran off to tell everyone about this Man who told her everything she had ever done. Most, if not all, who were healed by Jesus immediately shared their stories.
This issue is the modern “tree in the middle of the garden.”
There were so many different trees. Adam and Eve had permission to eat of every single tree except one. Now, someone might want to argue about whether the tree was literal or figurative. That is their business. I personally choose to take the Bible at face value; it says there was a tree. This couple could eat of whatever, whenever, except that one tree in the middle of the garden. Guess which tree they decided to “lose sleep over,” so to speak? That very forbidden tree.
Women are so gifted. We are so blessed. We bear and raise children. We make homes; we all have the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We were created for men! In other words, men need women! Are we so blind that we do not see how important a role we play in this realm? Someone allowed the devil to convince her that to bear and raise a child, to cook for a family, to tend a home, is beneath a woman. We don’t see men stressing out because they cannot carry or bear children. Yet women focus on the one thing the Lord tells them to stay away from – authority over a man, in the home and in the church. We can still write books. We can still teach women. We can prophesy. We can still pray and serve. We can lead in business and elsewhere. What is the problem?
Of course there’s the very disturbing feminism connection.
I remember the time when I decided to research this issue for myself. I was taking classes in American History as well as poetry. Feminism came up a lot. I remember realizing that I had never really heard any female names among the Luthers, Augustines, Wesleys, Calvins, and the many other men of God. Now I may not necessarily agree 100% with the doctrines of all these men, but any reasonable person will agree that they made an impact on Christianity. I had definitely heard of priestesses, but this was never in a positive manner.
I looked it up. Voila! Right in front of me. Don’t take my word for it! Research this yourself. Find out when this woman pastor phenomenon became a fad, and what else was going on around that time. Ask yourself: What was wrong with the church during the long period between the date of Christ’s ascension and the 19th-20th centuries? I do not think I have heard of more than five female pastors in that entire time period – and five is an inflated number, believe it or not; the one whose name I do not remember was actually mentioned to me by a friend who said that there indeed were female pastors in that period. So what happened throughout those many centuries? Was it that the women in the past did not know their rights? Surely Wesley’s mother, who prayed all her children into salvation, for instance, could easily have pastored a successful church? Were these women just so subdued, oppressed, and foolish that they had no idea that they were also called to be pastors? What is it that they saw sitting down that this generation refuses to see from atop a redwood tree?
What happened between then and now?
It’s simple, time passed. We are smack-dab in the middle of the last days. These are the days when [wo]men, have itching ears, refuse to endure sound doctrine and heap up to themselves teachers who will say things that soothe them. I wish the ladies would understand that the place to go after hearing things like this is not to fellow women pastors who will tell them emotional stories. Go to the Source; go to the Bible. The fact that something is “normal” or commonplace does not make it right. Obviously, the way things are going in these crazy times, homosexuality is going to be “normal” very soon, and coming generations will think previous ones are very confused for even imagining that homosexuality is not right. It would not surprise me if someone were offended by the fact that I have said “homosexuality is going to be normal” – “So are you saying it is not?” they might ask.
Someone might say, “It is because we are living in the last days that it is okay for women to pastor churches! We need everyone who can preach to do so!” I have heard several times, “Just watch the fruit! By their fruits you shall know them!” Okay… well, fruit #1: Disobedience! What now?
I know this post is long (and a little lazy too, frankly), and yet I feel like I have only just scratched the surface. I did not go to theology school, and I cannot use big words to demonstrate my points (nor do I care to, frankly, because these big, fluffy theological words were not there for me when I needed healing and American doctors had no solutions for me, for instance). Someone might say I am forsaking my calling to live in a pulpit. I have come to abhor, and I strictly forbid and refuse to respond to, nicknames like “Pastor Pea” and “Musumba Paula” because they are deception.
I hope this post helps someone. Because of my stand on this issue, I’ve been accused of everything from being judgmental and legalistic to being too fearful to take up the call of God on my life. I personally made a decision based on scripture, which should very much be taken within its context but without twisting that context to suit our own fleshly agendas. I am fully persuaded about my position. I want to say that I hope all women who are pastors are convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are called by God to be in their positions as well. Because on that Day, nobody will care about things like video views and having a show on prime time television. Heels and acrylic nails will melt into nothingness. Obedience is better than sacrifice, the Word says.