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Tenn. pastor offers reasons (with wisecracks!) why women shouldn’t be ministers

Unbelievable.

This is a hot button issue for me. So forgive me for becoming so opinionated. But seriously come on. Why are we still discussing this issue? It astounds me that some church organizations still discriminate against women being in church leadership. The contextual biblical support for this thinking just doesn’t exist. And the “support” that people use–mostly the words of Paul–is a sad misconstrued understanding of Paul’s letter in my opinion. This is a cultural law that churches throughout history have embraced proudly.

And there’s a double standard in the evangelical world. So many evangelical church conferences will let women speak–authors like Anne Jackson, Margaret Feinberg, and many others–but put the words “pastor” or “reverend” in front of their names and they are not even considered.

This is a travesty in my opinion. It’s shameful, and one of the reasons (a major one, I believe) that “church” is becoming more and more irrelevant in America.

Enough is enough; let women be ministers.

Exhale. Now stepping down off my soapbox.

:)

Carry on.



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Rachel

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:52 am


So, consider me a coward because I’m too chicken to watch this video. I might get angry and punch my laptop… and I need my laptop to not be punched. I like it intact.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 11:55 am


    I understand. :) I had to turn it off a couple times too.



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Chris Hyde

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:54 am


Wow. No wonder I have a problem with hillbillies!



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Chad Estes

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:57 am


There is so much wrong with this guy’s statements I don’t know where to start… but I do believe this, he isn’t speaking for Jesus.



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Beryl

posted August 4, 2010 at 11:58 am


I find it sadly funny. At one point in my life I was a member of the Foursquare Church and it was often remarked that the denomination’s founder (Aimee Semple McPherson) couldn’t be certified by the denomination as a pastor.

Oddly enough, it was in that denomination that I went on staff and worked for a woman pastor.

Perhaps this is a constant struggle that the Western Church will continue until we are perfected in love.



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Jenni

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm


um. wow.

i have nothing to say.

correction: i have lots to say, but nothing that will benefit this conversation because that video pretty much sunk itself. i’m sad for him. sad for his his wife.



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Rachel H. Evans

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm


Soddy Daisy is right down the road.

See what we’re up against out here?



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Vikki

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm


I can’t watch it. Unfortuately it’s not just a issue about women as pastors. I work with a lot of pastors who have a problem with ALL women on staff at our church regardless of our job title. We’re supposed to be at home, not at work.

What really gets me is that it’s the young guys that think this way. Not the older ones.



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    Rocco

    posted August 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm


    “What really gets me is that it’s the young guys that think this way. Not the older ones.” – My experience has been just the opposite.

    Anyway, maybe someone can send that guy a copy of “Pagan Christianity”. That will rock his world!



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      Vikki

      posted August 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm


      At my chuch, it’s the young guys. I should have clarified. Regardless, it bothers me to head to a job every day knowing that I’m not wanted there or the only contribution I’m allowed to make is coffee.



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      jennybek

      posted August 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm


      It really wouldn’t. It would take thoughtful reasoning for him to get his world rocked. And there were plenty of people speaking with passion and reason in favor of women ministers at that meeting. (My husband was there, this is an embarrassment to be sure.) But people like this…don’t confuse them with truth, they have their mind made up.



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Alise

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm


That is just…wow. I mean, I don’t even know how you begin to respond to something like that.

I don’t care how nice those bras are — I can’t imagine dealing with that kind of attitude in my home.



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jan owen

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm


I agree. I believe we will lose upcoming generations of women in particular because we have no true place for them to use all of the abundance of their gifts within the church. I am an ordained and licensed minister but even that doesn’t matter. In the eyes of most churches I am still “lesser”. And it hurts. It hurts me that the inclusion of women as pastors and elders is seen as such an “evil” thing. Randy Elrod called it the “demonization” of women. And as a Christian who longs to give my life for the Kingdom of God, it hurts to be viewed so negatively (even as something to be fought against) for no reason other than my gender. It is tiring to be called to ministry and yet to have to defend myself and constantly be a bone of contention. It hurts me to be equally called and sometimes even more gifted than the men I worked with and to be given so many less opportunities. To never even be considered to teach. And if I do teach, to know people will leave the church – not over what I say, but simply that I stand on a stage and say anything at all. It is frustrating to have my “title” constantly debated and changed. It’s irritating that even as a worship pastor, I can not apply for most staff openings because they all want “God’s man”. And I find it appalling that more leaders within the Christian community don’t speak out against what is essentially religiously sanctioned sexism. In any other setting we’d just call it like it is. And we would never consider it a godly thing to show prejudice against another race, but against women it is not only tolerated, it is celebrated. (or as this clip shows, found humorous)

It IS shameful. That is the truth. And it is only because I love Jesus and feel a calling from HIM to serve the Body of Christ that I have not run screaming from the church altogether.

Now I do mission work. Amazingly no one cares if I go train pastors in Africa.

It’s time for someone to speak up and say this is WRONG! Don’t use one verse taken out of cultural context to justify treating more than half of the world with prejudice.

God help this man’s wife.



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    beth

    posted August 4, 2010 at 12:23 pm


    So well said, Jan. I know this hurts your heart. It’s difficult to see a video like this and know how completely committed this man is to his belief….



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    Randy Elrod

    posted August 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm


    Someone just brought this comment to my attention via Twitter. Just to clarify, I hesitate to speak for her, BUT I think what Jan meant was that the EXCLUSION of women from the ministry is what I have termed “demonization of women” by religion.

    Thanks,

    Randy



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Bethany

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:11 pm


Oh dear Jesus, why is this man teaching AT ALL. Of all the ignorant, close-minded jerks. Wow. My face was literally frozen in shock. I’m so offended in so many ways, especially as a student attending a small private Christian college majoring in Theological Studies. That man would have me lynched!

Wow.

My train of thought is gone for the day.



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    Rob

    posted August 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm


    He says he’s a chaplain, which realistically means no church will hire (call) him. It seems God has him where he can do the least amount of damage for the Kingdom.



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      Jared

      posted August 4, 2010 at 8:42 pm


      I don’t think that’s a fair, or funny, statement to make, Rob. It sort of cheapens the calling of being a chaplain, doesn’t it? You’re basically saying if someone is a chaplain, it’s because they are a screw-up. Not a very wise thing to say on your part, my friend.



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        Rob

        posted August 5, 2010 at 5:57 pm


        @Jared – my comment wasn’t was intended to cheapen or make fun of Chaplains. I apologize for any offense taken. I’m fully aware that for many the chaplaincy is a calling that requires months even years of preparation. I speak from the perspective of my years in the ministry in the circles in which I have served – there are career chaplains and there are those who are in transition having been chased out of the pulpits. Some are good men and woman… and some are toxic. Eighty percent of those who enter pastoral ministry don’t stay in it over the long haul. Secondly, the average tenure in the U.S. for a senior pastor is between 3-4 years. Given these unfortunate statistics, is it within the realm of possibility that perhaps the man in this video has had his share of vocational transitions? Granted I could’ve chosen my words more carefully and again I apologize. The subject in the video reopened some fresh wounds for me personally.



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        Mike

        posted August 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm


        LOL. Our bi-vocational pastor is a hospital chaplain during the week. I think he’s pretty good at both jobs.



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    jennybek

    posted August 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm


    In this case he wasn’t teaching. But you’re right. There was debate at the Church of God General Assembly to remove the word “male” from the requirements for the highest license, Ordained Bishop. This yahoo was arguing against the change.



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Tracie

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:15 pm


“I love my wife so much I bought her some bras and panties before we come down here” -I wonder if his wife is thankful for him….or for this rant….or for the public discussion about her new underwear.

Subordinates. Wow!

“We let them cut their hair and wear pants”? -They LET us?
“Women don’t deserve this”? -We don’t deserve to be in ministry?

People saying ignorant stuff like this give Christians and the church a bad name. It is so ridiculous that we are still having to have this conversation. I remember in the church I grew up in we had a woman who was the Children’s Director (not minister or pastor – director!) and she was required to attend staff meetings but she wasn’t allowed to pray or to speak at those meetings. She had a wonderful heart for children’s ministry. She didn’t stay at our church very long, she quickly moved on to a place that valued her as a person and as a minister.



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Cole

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm


“I know a little bit of hillbilly and a little bit of redneck.” Maybe this guy was a secret plant for the pro-women ministry side. He couldn’t have hurt his viewpoint anymore than he did. The motion must have passed after he got through.



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chris

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm


Color me embarassed. I was present for this! Live and in person. So let me just say, he does not represent the whole by any means. I personally apologize for such ignorance on such a moot point. There are plenty young and old ministers present that thought this guy was an embarassment to the church and then spoke truth to the point rather than “hillbilly”.



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haley

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm


I sat through this seminar when this guy started talking, just to let you know, the motion DID pass for women to be deemed ministers, and many other pastors and leaders in this seminar as well thought the guy was a complete idiot and loon, but don’t judge this church denomination as crazy or unreasonable when you don’t know the full story.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 12:26 pm


    Awesome. Good to hear, Haley. :)



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      jennybek

      posted August 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm


      I don’t want to be the fly in the ointment. But this motion did not pass. Women cannot attain the highest license in the Church of God, which is required to vote on the floor in these very meetings. Notice the lack of women around this dude?
      They did approve women being on Pastor’s Council, though.
      It does feel like the old guard is losing power and our generation is speaking out and gaining ground, but it’s slower than one would like.



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Ray Hollenbach

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm


This question, along with other questions like the role of gays and lesbians, is the kind of question that should be respectfully discussed.

Of course the video is foolish and disturbing. It’s also an easy target. If this guy had chosen to strip down and streak through the auditorium the appropriate response would be to look away. Why don’t we do the same when someone strips down their intellect and parades around with naked foolishness?



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    telee

    posted August 4, 2010 at 12:47 pm


    Seriously, if a guy got naked and ran across the room you’d look away?? Let me rephrase – if a girl…

    You are a better man than me – I can’t help but look at the train wreck. You know it’s gonna be sick – but it’s in the nature of man.



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James

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm


The thing that concerns me more than anything else is not the “women in leadership” issue – though that is certainly a huge one – but instead the impact this video is going to have on the perception of the church.
God help us if this shows up on “The Colbert Report” or “The Daily Show.” It’s hard enough trying to convince people to let go of their stereotypes of Christians, and then this chucklehead not only speaks (Yes, I think he should have been allowed to speak) like this and has it FOREVER immortalized on YouTube, ComedyCentral Community and even HERE.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm


    According to the comments on YouTube, it’s already been mentioned on comedy central.

    Do you think that most (some?) non-Christian people are smart enough to know that this doesn’t represent the overstretching view of Christianity? I’d like to think so, but I can’t be certain.



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      James

      posted August 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm


      I think non-Christian people are willing to take ANY out to use as an excuse to dismiss evangelism.
      What’s worse is that this video will get all the attention, but the video of Raymond Culpepper (Moderator & GO – “GO” I think)dismising comments like this and stating plainly that comments like this IN NO WAY represent the COG (I’mm not COG, just by the way) will receive virtually NO attention. I cite as evidence this video’s placement here and on NUMEROUS other Christian blogs. Everybody wants to jump up and say what a moron this guy is (I’ve actually met him… I can’t say that the assessment is afar off – though Basil Marceaux is by far worse, but that’s another subject altogether) but nobody stands up and says “Oh, yeah… By the way… The leadership of this man’s denomination denounced him.
      Just sayin’.



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      tristan

      posted August 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm


      Unfortunately, I think that many non-Christians take these sorts of tirades as affirmation that they made the right choice when it comes to staying away from church.

      This sort of diarrhea of the mouth and narrow mindedness is, and will continue to be, what makes people think “Man, I’m glad I decided to ditch the church scene.”

      What a shame.



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mrs metaphor

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm


I got as far as “I bought her 2 new dresses, some bras and some panties. That’s how much I love her!”

This statement told me pretty much everything I need to know about a) how much he values his wife and b) how he understands love.

That may be unfair. One day perhaps I will watch the whole thing but I doubt it because I’m a pacifist and people who speak like this make me want to turn in my Ghandi fan club badge and take up mace and chain instead.

I never know whether to thank you for wresting me from my ignorance or not…

Also you should add me to your blogroll because I’m awesome.

p.s. I’m buying this man’s wife a tee shirt which reads “GET YOUR OWN DAMN BEER!” along with instructions on how to burn her bra.



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telee

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm


I’m getting a mental picture of his congregation. Men sitting on the floor smokin’ ceegars.



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Charlotte

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm


First of all Matt would it be to weird if I sat at my laptop and applauded you? Your commentary on the video and the issue are so spot on.

I’m a woman who goes to seminary and is preparing to go into pastoral ministry, so this ongoing debate about women in the church is something I’m invested in. I’m fortunate enough to be a apart of a denomination that does license and ordain women, so I have not faced any direct opposition to my calling. I could write a novel on this topic, but I’ll just say that you’re absolutely right Matt. It’s very disheartening that the issue of women serving as pastors is still being discussed and debated. It’s 2010, There are so many other things the Church could be focusing on besides the gender of its leaders



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Michael Nitz

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm


This footage is from The Church Of God’s (a pentecostal denomination out of the foothills of the Appalachian mountains) National Conference. They were voting this year on whether or not women could be ordained ministers and have authority over men in ministry. I was born into this denomination and was in it for 25 years. I still have family and friends that do ministry in this denomination and they were all appalled by this guy when he had this rant last week. He apparently was lambasted for his actions by the powers that be. The motion was defeated by a 2/3 majority(sad, but expected considering how archaic this church denomination is). The light at the end of the tunnel was the next day a motion passed that would allow a woman to serve on a pastor’s council (not exactly a huge step, but ground breaking none the less). I know that most of us under the age of forty were saddened by this, but we remain optimistic for the future (check out the hash tag #cogga for the play-by-play analysis of each motion).



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    jennybek

    posted August 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm


    Haha! I was up there correcting things and just had to scroll down to see your apt description. Sorry!



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PersimmonPulp

posted August 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm


“They are to be our subordinates”
“They do not deserve this”

Those two statements alone are enough to dismiss anything else he may have said.

The bible never once says that women are to be subordinate to men – not once. As many others here, I feel sorry for this man’s wife. Especially that he loves her so much he “bought her 2 new dresses and 2 new bras and some panties” (in some denominations that would have been enough description to be a stumbling block for the other men present) and then chose to tell the world about it.

Yes, of you go back to the original sin, Genesis states that Eve was deceived, and Adam chose to sin. It has nothing to do with whether anyone deserves to be allowed into ministry. With his level of bigamy, it could be argued that he doesn’t deserve to be in ministry.

Glad to hear the motion passed and that he was deemed ignorant.

Deep breath, calm down. He’s just a bigamist. A banging gong & a clanging cymbal. (talking to myself here too)



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Suzanne Burden

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm


Eeeeek. Take it from a woman in seminary who was raised as a Baptist pk, it’s ESSENTIAL that we go to the Bible on this issue. When we do, we discover that a) Eve was not a “helpmeet” or “helpmate”–she was an EZER (Hebrew word) meaning strong helper, warrior, and rescuer. This same word was used for GOD 16x in the Old Testament. Absolutely no hint of subordination here–but rather power and strength. b) women in the Bible did all of the things men like this are afraid of them doing (Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Phoebe, Lydia, Priscilla, Junia, women prophesying with their heads covered, etc.) You can close your eyes when you read certain parts of the Bible…but those parts are still there whether we like it or not. I’ve been told my whole life that my gifts of teaching and leadership were severely limited–now that I’m really studying the Bible on this, I’ve personally been set free. :)



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    jan owen

    posted August 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm


    Suzanne, I encourage you to read two books I’ve found to be helpful, “Beyond Sex Roles” by Dr. Gilbert Bilezekian (sp?) – for which he received death threats! and “Why Not Women?” by Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, who has sent out thousands upon thousands of women as missionaries.



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Blake

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm


Wow…(because no one on here has used that to describe the speechlessness that I feel right now) just wow.

God used Esther in a position of leadership and Deborah was a judge over the nation of Israel.

I don’t understand how it is that people can talk about how big our God is and then try to stuff Him into such a tiny box as this. Has this guy never read beyond where Paul talks about this in 1 Timothy? Does the fact that Jesus had women who followed him and ministered with him not count? Is what Jesus said and did not MORE important than what Paul said? Even Paul mentions women that were leaders of the churches that he established.

So does this guy just totally discount what Paul says in Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:28 about how there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, MALE or FEMALE, but we are all one in Christ? Those statements alone seem to negate all the ideas that women can’t or shouldn’t be in leadership positions.

All in all I agree that it is a statement that is taken out of context and culture and used to try and control who can be “leaders” in the church.

There is so much more that I could hammer this guy for, but I will stop there, take a deep breath and end this here.



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    James

    posted August 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm


    <blockquotecite=So does this guy just totally discount what Paul says in Colossians 3:11 and Galatians 3:28 about how there is no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, MALE or FEMALE, but we are all one in Christ?

    I would be careful of using that verse to defend that position. It’s not that I disagree with it, but there are people who use the same verse to defend their lifestyle choices (primarily this verse is used in the GLBT community). Proper context and understanding is vital.
    For example, Esther wasn’t in a position of leadership but was, in fact, complying to the demands of her husband. Yes, she saved her people, but she wasn’t the one in authority to do the saving.
    Deborah is better (and a STUMPER for SO many who sit on this man’s side of this fence). Best are the true details of women in Jesus’ ministry and in leadership positions of 1st century churches.
    The most difficult part of all of this for me is that I both agree and vehemently disagree with this man. I have a problem with a woman being in a senior pastoral position (for reasons I won’t go into here for time and space’s sake), but I have a REAL problem saying that a woman can’t can’t be ordained (I was remarkably excited when, about two months ago, my church blasted out the ceiling in place in its denomination by ordaining – not just licensing – not one but FOUR women in one ordination service).
    Anyway… I got off track there. My point is, take care with the verses. :-)



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Tim M

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm


I remember visiting a church for the first time only for the sermon to be about why only men can be in leadership. My wife and I had no problems walking out right up the middle aisle. Up to that point, every church we visited had a tithing sermon our first time, but we couldn’t sit through that.

I hesitate to have a formal membership anywhere, but I’ll never join a church that doesn’t give equal authority to men and women.



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Jen Starr-Reivitt

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm


I want to thank-you for speaking out on this. I’m not surprised by this man, unfortunately I think lots of men think this way but don’t say it. But when men take a stand and say something, or call it out like you did, I feel overwhelmingly grateful. Thank-you.



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Jabe

posted August 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm


Well, it seems like i’m going to be the idiot that ruins the party and disagree with most of you and the commenters.

I will admit, however, that I am not infallible, and my views come from my personal studies of the Bible. Others may have views and points that I’ve never considered (and vice versa).

But to have a meaningful discussion (note–not debate, but a forum where people can jointly learn from each other), we need to turn emotion off, and look to the scriptures to discuss “contextual biblical support” (or lack thereof) and different interpretations of Paul’s letters, as MPT points out.

I’m not even going to attempt to start that discussion at the bottom of this blog post. But, I’d be love to start a dialogue with others regarding their own personal studies into gender and the Bible.

~Jabe.
llcooljabe at gmail dot com



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    Jabe

    posted August 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm


    BTW, I haven’t watched the video embedded above, just commenting on the concept in general.



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm


    You’re not ruining the party man.



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    Sharkbait

    posted August 4, 2010 at 2:32 pm


    I agree that there are perfectly valid points to be made in support of the notion, and that we cannot dismiss it out of hand.
    (Although I personally am in support of women in ministry)

    I think the point is that this man is a loony, and his “argument” seems to be based on sheer lunacy, and has no basis in reality or scripture. And that his lunacy is going to destroy any credibility his cause might have, as well as any crediblity we might have as Christians.



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Randy

posted August 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm


While the above video is of a very ignorant scholar of the truth. I am surprised at the quick dismissal of some hard texts in the scriptures. To simply write off Paul, and his comments about women not exercising authority over a man, as cultural seems a little simpleminded and dangerous. If we without an appreciation for the Historical, contextual, grammatical and literal exegesis of the text then isn’t all of the scriptures fair game? Can’t we say that homosexuality, is OK, or that polygamy is OK (after all it was never condemned in Abraham’s life or Solomon’s)

I pastor a church where we have an abundance of women teachers, but none are “Pastor’s, defined as those who have an authoritative voice in the church and are responsible for shepherding the church.

I realize this puts me in the minority with most of the comments, but let’s treat the Word of God as just that…The WORD of GOD, and let’s be careful not to reinterpret it simply because we think it may be culturally irrelevant!



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    Matthew Paul Turner

    posted August 4, 2010 at 2:21 pm


    My point of view is simple-minded? :)



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      jan owen

      posted August 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm


      I know you probably are not aware of this, but it is hurtful to me as a female, to have the debate over women in leadership equated to the issues of polygamy and homosexuality. They are two different types of issues entirely. My lifestyle choices are not being debated here.

      And many, many Biblical scholars hold the view that women can be pastors so I think we need to be careful in the language we use. Plenty of very godly – even conservative – theologians hold this view.

      I am begging my brothers in Christ to be sensitive and understanding to how the women around them, particularly those called to ministry, may feel as these arguments are launched.



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        jan owen

        posted August 4, 2010 at 2:41 pm


        my reply was supposed to be to Randy. I guess I clicked on the wrong reply button. Sorry!



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          Randy

          posted August 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm


          So Jan, do you believe Paul’s remarks to Timothy regarding his not allowing women to exercise authority over a man to be cultural? How do you or MPT handle that passage in it’s context? I know I’ll be accused of being a sexist, but that is so far from the truth! I simply try to exegete the Sacred text and then live it out! How do you reconcile your view with Paul’s clear teaching?



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        James

        posted August 4, 2010 at 3:43 pm


        I understand your argument here, but let me take it this one step further (I will now speak from the point of view of a homosexual pastor – PLEASE NOTE: I am not a homosexual, I am simply creating an amalgamation of a point from many conversations I have had with those who are):

        It’s hurtful to me, as a homosexual, to have the debate over my love for my partner or my ability to function as a pastor or even be a Christian equated with polygamy. It’s not the same issue at all. Someone who is engaged in poly-amorous relationships chooses to do so. I didn’t choose to be a homosexual.

        The issue here is not whether or not women in leadership/authority roles is equitable to homosexual issues or marital issues, it’s that we can’t react to ANY issue on simply an emotional level.

        Yes, it must suck that there are still denominations that won’t ordain women. But what if (And I mean, really REALLY… WHAT IF) they aren’t wrong for doing so? It must suck for the divorced person who is refused ordination (by the same denomination no less), but what if the denomination is not wrong for doing so.

        The original argument made by Randy is valid: We must approach any issue from a the point of view that our only correct answer is in the Bible. Then we search diligently for the correct answer. Our emotions are to be held in check.

        For the record, I fully support women as ordained ministers (though not senior pastoral positions). I do not support ordination for homosexuals. I fully support ordination for healed (not necessarily reconciled) divorcées. I do not support the endorsement of polyamorous lifestyles. And I believe with all my heart (and have often debated the biblical validity of these views) that the Bible supports my views.



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          jan owen

          posted August 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm


          James, I’m simply going to say that my arguments are not only “emotional”. I have studied the Bible long and hard to reach my conclusions. I also believe with all my heart that the Bible supports my views. :) Not because I am emotional, but because I have studied and sought God. We obviously will have to agree to disagree on this issue and I’m fine with that.

          HOWEVER, I am simply stating that sensitivity to those who have suffered MUCH due to this debate would be appreciated. Alot can be learned from listening and considering the situation of another.

          Disagree if we must, but let it be done with respect and genuine love and care.



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          Mike

          posted August 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm


          Try this, James. When I (divorced guy) raised the question in church about why divorced and remarried men can’t be pastors, one of the ladies piped up “well that would be adultery and that’s just as bad as having a homosexual pastor.”
          So I guess if I remarry…



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Heathir

posted August 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm


I’m not married, but I hope one day I’ll have a husband that will love me 3 dresses, 2 bras, and a pair of shoes worth!

Bottom line: this is ridiculous.

On a side note though, (and I say this coming from growing up in a working class family and from a rural community), I will never understand the pride some people take in being labeled a hillbilly, hick, redneck, etc…



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George Tallmage

posted August 4, 2010 at 3:01 pm


First as a member and Credintialed Minister inside of this denomination I apologize for this brothers ignorance and outright misuse of scripture etc. The motion that our denomination was discussing and going to vote on at the 2010 general assembly wasn’t could women be ministers, pastor’s, etc. It was a motion on wheter or not to allow women to be Ordained Bishops within our denomination.

An Ordained Bishop, is the highest level of ministry which you can hold within our denomination. By being a bishop it allows the one holding the credintialing to sit on the General Council, which debates motions/etc and votes on wheter to allow that motion to the general assembly which is compromised of all memeber within our denomination to vote on. It also allows the Bishop to sit in the higest level of office within our denomination on local, state, and national level.

I will add, our denomination has recognized the fact that Women can and are pastor’s. Women with our denomination are able to be ordained ministers which allows them the ability to pastor etc. So, in our denominations defense, we are for Women being in ministry/pastoring etc. Unfortunantly it didn’t pass to allow them to become Bishops at this General Assembly but I am sure it will come up again. It’s ashamed that we allow someone as ignorant/unwise in speech, as in this video, to be a bishop, they are obviously not qualified.

My comment was not to endorse this fellow’s behavior but to shed some light on the context of what the conversation was about and also mention what our Denomination does allow. BTW the moderator which is also our denominations General Overseer did a great job clarifying what was acceptable and not acceptable to be mentioned as it related to debating this motion. He spoke against the comments and urged the need to be wise in our use of debate, if only that would have ended up on youtube or some of the other great comments for women becoming bishops.

Hopefully this sheds some light and although I didn’t make it to our General Assembly, I kept up with it online. Thanks for reading my thoughts and once again I apologize of the ignorance of some within our denomination. God Bless



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Pingback: Women in Ministry « A Dovetailed Life

Elizabeth Esther

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:01 pm


I’m just glad I live in California.



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Crystal Renaud

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm


thank you.



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Mela Kamin

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm


didn’t watch. didn’t have to. It’s a big hot button for me as a speaker – have seen/heard/inferred it many times that I shouldn’t be out speaking about the Bible, unless it’s in Bible study with other women/Moms … and sometimes that I shouldn’t be leaving the house or my children at all – I know it’s not the case everywhere, but I just plain don’t get it. As if there’s not enough reasons people find church offensive.



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Jenni Catron

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm


Wow… just wow! Unbelievable. Just a reminder that for as far as the church has come, there is still so far to go in understanding God’s heart on this issue.



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Wanida

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:12 pm


Is it childish of me to laugh at his name? Pastor Panty. Panty in English means ladies underwear. I’ll leave it there.



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Noelle

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm


sigh.

Well at least he’s old and hopefully his ideas will die with him.

Anyone know the current gender stats on M. Div. programs in this country? Though this guy might not be your 6+ yrs of college biblical scholar type



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    Matt

    posted August 4, 2010 at 5:00 pm


    Noelle,

    As I pointed out to someone else, complementarianism was held by the majority of the church way before this guy and it will be the same way after this guy.

    The teachings of Scripture is clear- well, at least to over 90% of Christians since the time of Jesus.



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      Noelle

      posted August 4, 2010 at 7:21 pm


      you think 90% of Christians agree on anything? you’re adorable.

      I remember as a resident, waiting my turn to precept a patient (translation: tell the attending doc what was going on and what I was going to do about it and get him to sign my form so I could get on with doing it)and 3 were sitting in the precepting room. One says, I hope you’re not going to ask all 3 of us the same question. I say why’s that. She says, because we’re all Jews and if you ask 3 semites the same question you’ll get 3 completly different answers. The others nodded in agreement, chuckled, and were eager to “help” me.

      We’re not any different.



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        Matt

        posted August 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm


        Noelle,

        Not only is your comment patronizing it is also false. 90% of Christians have agreed on a lot through history- heaven, hell, Trinity, Jesus’ Diety, Jesus’ resurrection, virgin birth, that Jesus lived a sinless life, etc…

        Yes, there are a few who disagree on every example I mentioned, but historically, the fact is that well over majority of Christians have agreed on the essentials of the faith.



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          Noelle

          posted August 5, 2010 at 10:27 am


          Don’t forget how it’s also condescending and at least a little sexist. I’m a natually cantankerous person. I have no desire or calling to join the ministry. But my friends and collegeues who did receieve and follow this calling, both the men and the women, may find your comments the same.

          If you believe in a calling, why would God issue a pastoral one to a woman if He doesn’t expect her to follow it fully and to completion and ordainment? Be like me going to med school and not being allowed board certification

          I don’t believe in Hell. I don’t believe Paul’s letters are the word of God. I don’t believe Jesus was sinless. I’m not alone.



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          Charlie H.

          posted August 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm


          I agree with Noelle (incidentally the name we gave to our newborn daughter 2.5 weeks ago) that 90% of Christians haven’t agreed upon those things you listed. Maybe its true for Western Christians since the 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution.



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        Noelle

        posted August 5, 2010 at 9:02 pm


        Aww, congrats on your little girl Charlie.



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James

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm


This is mostly to JAN OWEN, but I guess you other folks can read it too… :-)

I apologize if it seemed I was saying that YOUR arguments were coming from an emotional-only place… That is certainly not what I intended. I was speaking more to show solidarity with RANDY’s post, while at the same time addressing the valid issues you raised in your post. So much for efficiency on James’ part. You just got caught in the middle.

My apologies, again.



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Charlie H.

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm


I wonder if a lot of the super conservative wacky 1950’s beliefs will fade, when quite frankly, that generation dies off. Obviously its being passed on to people today, but I don’t think as many people still think its legitimate. But you’re right issues like this make us look more and more ridiculous and out of touch.



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    Matt

    posted August 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm


    Charlie,

    The problem with your comment as that complementarianism has been the majority view of the church way before 1950. You may think it is a wacky belief, but it is a belief that well over majority of Christians have held since the time of Jesus.

    You might think we are ridiculous, but I would rather be called ridiculous by you than throw away the clear teaching of Scripture because my culture doesn’t like it.

    Let’s all get rid of hell, sin, and repentance also- oh wait, some people here do exactly that. Why call yourselves Christians again? If you dont like any of the traditional beliefs of Christianity than what is the point of calling yourself a Christian?

    I dont get it… I disagree with Buddhist teaching, therefore, I am not a Buddhist. Wow, that was easy.



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      Kurt Willems

      posted August 4, 2010 at 10:23 pm


      Matt, I invite you to check out my series on this topic called “Liberating Women for Ministry?” You can find the link below to my blog or click my name here. I understand your passion but would invite your feedback on this five part series…

      Blessings brother!



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    Grant

    posted August 5, 2010 at 1:20 am


    We will lose many great men and women when this ‘generation dies off’. That is a very ignorant and cruel statment, and quite frankly it pisses me off! It astounds me how many people in my generation are willing to throw older generations under the bus because they make a “stupid” or “ignorant” statement. There is more to many of these men and women then their soundbites. Your post was flippant and shot from the hip. Hopefully, you will do some soul searching before you celebrate a whole generations ultimate demise.



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Brandon Gradelle Smith

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm


Can women be ministers? Sure. Can they be ordained? I don’t think so. Whatever you say, Matthew, the Bible is clear on the issue as I understand it. This is one of those times where you’re just throwing out clear biblical teaching because it doesn’t sit well with you.



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    Connor

    posted August 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm


    There are people who have studied the original languages and sought to understand the original cultural context in order to derive the most clear reading on both sides of the discussion.



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    Matt

    posted August 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm


    Brandon nailed it…

    But I will say that guys like this give Comps a really bad name.

    Even though most of you disagree with the Comp position dont pretend that this guy is an accurate representation of most complementarians.

    That would be as dumb as saying Jack Van Impe is your typical Dispensational.



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      Matthew Paul Turner

      posted August 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm


      Lol.., you’re funny.



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        Matt

        posted August 4, 2010 at 7:50 pm


        mpt,

        Coming from one of the funniest guys I know that means a lot! :)



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      brandontmilan

      posted August 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm


      So you’re saying that Jack Van Impe ISN’T your typical dispensationalist? I’m pretty sure you are wrong about that…



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    Brandon Gradelle Smith

    posted August 4, 2010 at 7:07 pm


    I would like to know why you disagree, though, Matthew.



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      Ginny

      posted August 6, 2010 at 2:42 pm


      I would like to know why a just and loving God would not want a woman to teach about Him or His Word.

      Seriously, the Bible flip flops itself so much. The Bible may have been inspired by God, but it was still written by a man.. and it’s my own opinion that man could have very easily said, “Well, God said this..but I think he mean this.”

      Men sin. They lie. See how women were treated back then when the Bible was created, and how they were treated less than 100 years ago.

      I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe I am doing WRONG by teaching people about God and being a woman at the same time.



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        Ginny

        posted August 6, 2010 at 2:43 pm


        “But I think He meant this.”

        Wish there was an edit button.



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          Leanne

          posted August 6, 2010 at 7:24 pm


          I am not sure the Bible “flip flops” about this issue as much as it human beings deciding to take certain parts of the Bible literally, ie the women in ministry verses, while other verses, ie stone your child if they disobey, in context.
          1. We only have half the conversation in the epistles. Perhaps those churches were dealing with some real problems and women being silent was the immediate solution. Kind of like a parent not allowing one child to play sports because their grades are poor while letting the other play sports because their grades are better. The exception does not have to be women in ministry but perhaps the restriction on women in ministry.
          2. We use Scripture like fortune cookie proverbs–a snippet here and a snippet there. We never get the full picture of Scripture. If we want to know more about love, we look at the Scriptures which talk about love but we should really look at Jesus life and words in total since He is God and God is love. The overarching story of scripture frees humanity from our sins and weaknesses. But we apply this only to men. God’s grace seems only good enough to get women into heaven, not to overcome our weaknesses by many arguments against women in ministry. We unfortunately do not ask what does our stand on women in ministry say about our view of God? We need to read and understand each individual scripture in light of Jesus Christ and the over arching story of redemption.



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        Shawn

        posted August 10, 2010 at 9:09 am


        I’m not against women preaching, but I am against YOU preaching if you hold to the belief that the Bible is not fully inspired by God. If God’s not big enough to pick the right writers for the job who will allow His Spirit to perfectly write through them, then I think we should throw the whole thing out.



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    Alise

    posted August 4, 2010 at 10:59 pm


    Where does the Bible get into specifics about “ordination” anyway?



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Kass

posted August 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm


“And the “support” that people use–mostly the words of Paul–is a sad misconstrued understanding of Paul’s letter in my opinion.”

Do you mind posting links to support that assertion? (Not being combative; I’d like to read a different POV.)



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    Brandon Gradelle Smith

    posted August 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm


    I agree. You say that the biblical interpretation from people who are against women in ministry is wrong but you don’t explain why. You just rant causing your own readers to post hateful things like “hillbillies” and how glad they are they don’t live in the south, just bc of a disagreement on a unimportant doctrine (comparatively). A little education would help. If I’m wrong on this interpretation, I’d like to know.



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Rebecca

posted August 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm


I have no words.

Well, that’s a lie. Is there a such thing as a speechless pastor? This gentleman’s words do not surprise me. I don’t like hearing them, but I’ve heard them plenty. I watched this video with my ‘boss’, the lead pastor at the church where I work as associate pastor – and was blessed to be reminded that I am surrounded by supportive men of God who encourage me and other female pastors in our fellowship to operate fully in the office of pastor.

Now…

a) Thanks for letting my cut my hair. I’ve also taken the liberty of coloring it.

b) Thanks as well for letting me wear pants. I assume this also includes denim? Because I wear those frequently when I preach, lead worship, lead my church in prayer, etc.

c) As for what I deserve as a female, is not for this gentleman to decide, or determine. Thank God for that.

Now Sir, please pass that cigar you were talking about…



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Scott Baker

posted August 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm


MPT, this conversation is really below our dignity. I’m as horrified as you at the need to even have this discussion. But you have to establish some ground rules before engaging anyone with a topic such as this. The first and foremost should be that no one who refuses to acknowledge that they would be willing to change their mind on the subject should even be engaged. Until and unless we approach our cultural biases with the full preparation to be proven wrong, we cannot have any integrity with how we approach scripture. No one who refuses to even acknowledge that there are myriad and legitimate readings of scripture that legitimize and endorse women in a full range of leadership positions in the church should be given equal footing in a serious conversation about the subject.

Unless proponents of excluding women from ordination are willing to admit that they do so because it is in their tradition rather than because it is the one and only way established by God, they cannot honestly be engaged in this conversation. And, while I would profoundly disagree, I would at least respect someone who said that they did not ordain women or recognize women’s ordination because it was not in their tradition. We do the same with differences over the manner of administration of baptism, liturgy, music, and such.

Engaging people on unequal grounds whereby no one enters an honest conversation with a truly open heart and mind is the equivalent of giving credence to people who see Jesus in pieces of toast and think a UFO probed them in their sleep. Don’t do it. It only demeans you and sullies the name of Christianity. (Not that I’m accusing you of that, just that I refuse to allow someone who would deny the legitimacy of women’s position in ministry, or at least the legitimacy of an opposing view to theirs, claim some kind of moral high ground as they are wont to do.)



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    Brandon Gradelle Smith

    posted August 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm


    I agree with this. Even though I do believe that the Bible teaches against the ordination (though not the ministry of) women, I know that I hardly know everything. And am very open to admitting that I am wrong.

    What bothers me the most in the conversation is the rather cruel speech some are using to defend their position on what is, in my opinion, a minor issue.



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      Scott Baker

      posted August 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm


      It’s not a minor issue if you’re a woman called to service in the church. Or if you believe that deficiencies in the body of Christ affect the whole body. It is then a very serious issue touching on the dignity and legitimacy of our sisters in Christ.



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        Brandon Gradelle Smith

        posted August 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm


        I just don’t think God is gonna ask us when we get to Heaven, “were you for or against women in ministry?” He’s gonna ask “Did you accept and try to follow Jesus?” Anything beyond that is a minor issue to me.



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          Scott Baker

          posted August 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm


          And implicit in that “did you try to follow Jesus” is the question, “Did you love your neighbor as yourself?” And by relegating women to second-class citizenry in the Church, in defiance of scripture, the answer to that question must be “no.” I’m quite certain that the way we treat each other is a major issue to God.



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Janet Oberholtzer

posted August 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm


So awful, so stinking awful!!!
Do you know when this take place – recently or a long time ago? (please say it was a long, long time ago)



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Kurt Willems

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm


I just finished a popular series called “Liberating Women for Ministry?” on my blog a couple of weeks ago that speak to the theological issues surrounding the issue of women in ministry. I invite your feedback there!

http://groansfromwithin.com/category/liberating-women-for-ministry-series/



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Linda Cason

posted August 5, 2010 at 2:27 am


That this guy’s remarks are offensive and disgusting goes without saying. However, many, many of the pastors in that room who laughed uproariously as this man viciously attacked womanhood and used his wife in a horribly demeaning and humiliating way voted in agreement with him. Just because most of them have the decency not to actually speak these attitudes of male superiority out loud, the fact still remains, sadly, that in our denomination misogyny is alive and well. There is probably not a woman among us who hasn’t experienced the ignorance and oppression firsthand when she stepped out to do whatever God gifted and called her to do in the context of our church. And, as my niece says, “there ain’t no Jesus up in that.”
I believe the answer to this issue is to allow each pastor worldwide to have a vote – not just those in the Southeast who can make it to the General Assembly. There are many more members in the international church – and they are hardly represented at all. This small group of pastors who vote there do not represent the majority of the worldwide church. It’s time to put aside the arrogance and allow participation for all. Voting should be done online rather than allowing the future of the denomination to be hijacked by a few pastors who may not (and please, please God I hope that the majority of our pastors would NOT vote with this man!)represent the worldwide church. Otherwise, we need to change the name from Church of God to Church of Men.



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Dallas

posted August 5, 2010 at 8:21 am


My favorite is when men at my church say to me, “Wow, if you weren’t a woman, you could be a great teacher and pastor. You should go into children’s ministry.”

Um.

Great. Thanks.
(This is not to say that those who labor in children’s ministry are not doing incredible work, but why is that automatically my only choice, to be “Director of Children’s Ministry”, if I’m a woman?)



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Brian

posted August 5, 2010 at 8:40 am


I feel bad…I just bought my wife some bras and panties. Now everyone on this comment board tells me I am demeaning to her. I thought it would be demeaning to her if she was runnin’ round nekkid (that’s naked for you yankees out there).

But seriously. That guy is off his rocker.

I think this is a delicate issue though, that can’t simply be dismissed as Pauline. Jesus could have picked females to be among the 12, but he didn’t (and BTW, Jesus wasn’t above breaking tradions or the cultural norm. Please note the first gender to share the “good news” of Jesus rising from the grave were women.)

In short, I don’t think women should be pastors. But, at the same time, I’m not going to put a stake in the ground over it. Nor do I feel the need to criticize or demean and women who happen to be pastors. I’d rather fight for things like the virgin birth, the atonement, an actual resurrection, etc.



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audrey

posted August 5, 2010 at 9:50 am


i may be out of line, but for the first time in my life i think i can empathize with african-americans and what they went through. the wording of the baptist faith and message about women now is very close to the wording they used to have about black people. this guy makes me almost ashamed of being from tennessee. i went to church with so many men like him, and they haven’t died yet. they’re still there. Lord give me your sight, so i can see those men like You do.
surprisingly my computer screen is still intact. my heart’s a little broken though.



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supersimbo

posted August 5, 2010 at 9:51 am


what a freaking idiot this guy is!



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Mike

posted August 5, 2010 at 11:23 pm


In closing, let’s note the Church of God apparently thought it wasn’t great either, because they removed the video from YouTube.



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jessica

posted August 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm


I’m late to the convo so probably no ones’s listening but as a previously licensed minister in the Church of God, Cleveland, TN this is just a touch of what I experienced. I left hurt and wounded and distrusting of both the “church” and of men within leadership roles in the church. My parents were former pastors in the denomination and they too left. While without a doubt this does not represent many in the Church of God it is far more common than we believe and many more times under the radar – this guy was at least honest.

And having moved to a more “accepting” church I have once again been schocked as Vikki wrote that it is my generation who fail to give women in ministry and women involved in ministry (support staff, volunteer leaders) the basic respect they deserve and recognition that God can and does use them and could teach them a thing or two or even lead them.



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Joseph Crenshaw

posted August 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm


I didn’t get the chance to see the video, @MPT or someone should have ripped it for their own personal use of course :)

But my thought on the issue, as long as the woman or man is called by GOD to be a minister, let them minister, whether preachers, pastors, elders, deacons, or priests.



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Brookie

posted August 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm


Bookmarked for later viewing and the video was taken down. Boo!
Anyone know of a duplicate?



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