You know that moment right after you do something, and you feel like maybe you should have thought about it a little more before you jumped in with both feet? That’s how I’m going to feel in a few minutes when I click the Publish button on this post.
Because, let’s face it…the women-as-pastors issue is a hot one. It has been for quite a while. Heck, even the Apostle Paul talked about it, I believe. So that’s close to 2000 years. What more can I say today that will make any difference or change anyone’s mind? Probably nothing.
Then why write at all? Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment…..
Actually, I ran across a site for a new church being planted in my town. Honestly, it excited me a little, because my own church doesn’t always excite me. Nor do any other churches I’ve visited here. We pretty much just settled in to our current church because we weren’t sure there was anything better out there. And we recognized that it was more important to be in a church than to be 100% happy in a church. When I saw this new church starting up, though, I had the thought, “could this be an exciting new adventure we could grab on to and be a part of?”
Then I looked on the church’s About page and read the church’s blog. Yep…I read the entire blog. It’s a new church…it only had 3 posts.
The About page listed 2 pastors – a husband and wife. “Co-Pastors,” it called them. I didn’t really think much about that at the time. But then I read the blog. The first post just talked about their goals. Pretty standard stuff. The second was a YouTube video of a sermon. I didn’t watch it, but I’m sure it was good. The last post, though, was the wife of the Co-Pastor Duo, writing a post which she started with the question “Female Pastor?” [You may be wondering why I didn’t just link to the post…I’ll explain later…]
She goes on to talk about being raised in a Baptist church, being dissuaded from going into any kind of ministry other than, perhaps, missions, simply because she was a woman. She talks about her experiences in the ministry (music, mainly) and the “atmosphere of gender inequality” in which they were raising their daughters. She very obviously was egalitarian, over and beyond anything else (I learned a new word recently…egalitarian…I finally found a place to use it!).
Unfortunately, there was something missing from her post. She had all kinds of emotion, all kinds of experiences, and all kinds of happy buzz-words (“uplift!”, “empower!”). What her post was missing was Scripture. She never once shared a piece of Scripture to back up her argument, that women should be allowed the same position as men as leaders in the church.
Now, I know what people are going to say. He’s such a chauvinist (yay! I used another big word!). Believe it or not, I’m not sexist. I believe in a great majority of cases a woman has the ability and right to do whatever a man can do. Heck…I’ve watched a woman give birth and go through a c-section (2 different children)…I’m pretty sure there are some things women can do that men absolutely cannot. But that doesn’t mean that God has set things up to work that way. Perhaps God just decided that He wanted men to be pastors. Who are we to say He’s wrong? If the state sets the speed limit for 18-wheelers to be ten miles per hour less than cars, should we protest and say, “but 18-wheelers can drive just as fast as 4-wheeled cars! That’s vehiclist!!!” (now I’m making up words…). No, the state has the right to set speed limits, and if they see fit to make one type of vehicle drive at a different speed than another, that’s just the way it is. They have their reasons, we don’t have to agree, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the law. The same can be true here….God may have His reasons, we might not understand them, but who are we to question Him about it? If His Word is clear about something, we don’t get to change it based on how it makes us feel.
That said, I’m no expert in what the Bible says about women as pastors. I recognize that I’m making this argument purely based on my own doctrinal presuppositions. I was raised in a Baptist church, I still attend a Baptist church, and Southern Baptists are usually the most conservative denomination (including their stance on women as pastors). I admit that I could be wrong, that I’m going just as much off of my experience as this woman writing her blog post was going off of hers. The difference is this: I refuse to be changed by anything less than the evidence of Scripture.
If you want to convince me that women can be pastors, and I admit that I’m completely open to the idea, then you need to show me Scripture that says that it’s okay. Don’t tell me that it made you feel bad that you couldn’t be a pastor, don’t tell me that men have oppressed women for 2000 years simply because they’re pigs. I’ve spent too long believing that the Bible only allows men to be pastors. If you want to convince me otherwise, show me in the Bible where it’s true. I just can’t accept anything less.
That said, if you want a good place to read up on it, check out this article, which DOES use Scripture.
Okay. That’s all I have to say. Cue angry comments….
**Disclaimer: I’m not linking to the blog post I talk about here simply because I don’t find it fair to call out another believer in public without first approaching them in person. I don’t plan approach this woman in person…I doubt we ever cross paths. I’m not calling her out personally here on my blog…I’m calling out her methods of arguing for women as pastors, which is not something that is unique to her. A lot of people – men and women – are using this same method of argumentation for women in ministry, and it’s just weak. If you claim to be a leader and a teacher of God’s Word, you need to use God’s Word to argue your point. It’s the only fully authoritative standard by which we can judge the appropriateness of these kinds of things.