Pastors, tear down this wall!

Nothing has changed this morning. Women are still being abused in church by members and pastors who cling to First Century rules for women.

The wall is still there.

There is nobody to call out “Pastors, tear down this wall!”

The wall is still there.

There is no line standing outside their door holding placards “Freedom for Christian Women.”

The wall is still there.

There is nobody listening to us.

The wall is still there.

In 1990, I stood at the Brandenburg Gate and bought a piece of the Berlin Wall. It looked like a garage sale. Tables holding East Berlin uniforms, caps, money, pieces of the Wall, and people lined up to see what once held back a generation of people behind that enclosure.

Some were afraid. Some were content. Some made their living enforcing the Wall.

But the Wall came down because there enough people who wanted it to come down.

There is a wall holding women back. It is man-made. This wall is not Biblical.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1.

Will you stand with me and shout out “Pastors, tear down this wall!”

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This woman is a preacher

Mariam Ibraheem Ishag was finally freed from Sudan. She left with her two babies and husband and will soon be in the United States. We rejoice with her and for her and for her family. She stood up for her Christian faith.

It is not easy to find someone with that kind of faith, and we are all made better for it. Pope Francis met her and blessed her. It should have been the other way around. This woman of great courage should have been blessing him because it is doubtful that we will find a greater faith anywhere among us.

After a little time she will fade in the background, she will lose her voice, and be relegated to the backwaters of Christianity.

Her mouth that proclaimed Christ will be shut. It will be shut in the United States. All because she is a woman.

How many Baptist churches would ask her to come to their church and stand behind their pulpits and speak to the church?  Some would, but they would diminish her message. This is how they would do it. They would ask her to speak and then after she spoke, the preacher would preach. That is how they always get around having a woman stand behind the pulpit. Her words cannot stand alone, they have to be reinforced by a male preacher after she sits down.

The Samaritan woman at the well stood up and preached. To be exact, she didn’t just stand up. This woman ran! She ran down the streets and collared all the men she biblically knew, and those she didn’t, and told them about Jesus. She brought them to Jesus.

A woman can’t bring a man to Jesus today in most churches. She can tell her little boys about Jesus and she can tell your little boys about Jesus. But she can’t stand up in a pulpit and tell your husband about Jesus. Oooooh Noooo! A woman is not qualified to do that, you know.

Mariam Ibraheem Ishag stood up to the world and told them about Jesus. Through her mouth and through her actions. “Throw me in prison. Hang me. Take me away from my family. I will not deny Christ and my Christian faith.”

I can’t imagine a more powerful message in any of our churches, come Sunday morning.

There are those who breathe or shout insults to women, telling us we are weak, and therefore God would not call such a weak human being as a preacher. Will you stand up, like Mariam did, and tell the world that we are not weak? That the gospel that comes from our mouths is the gospel of Christ, and to call us weak, is to call Christ weak?

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Attacking the messenger

A christian threw slop on me today. He didn’t like what I had to say in my most popular blogpost “Why doesn’t God want women to preach?” so he threw slop on me.

This seems extremely vague and horribly referenced. I have read multiple websites concerning this very issue and this is the only one where I read and feel judgment from the writer and spite. When I read this I read a one sided report based off of flimsy evidence. As I stated earlier I have visited a number of sites and this is by far the least informative. When looking for an answer to this question take in account the translations for the original words were not written in English. Much like these fellow sites provide. Information like those below is what creates a compelling argument as on this site it seems as if it is a one sided conversation with a cheap conclusion.

So he covered me in slop because I was saying something he did not want to hear. He thought that if he diminished me, the message would be diminished because it was coming out of a slop-covered mouth.

Matthew 23 is the harshest chapter and the strongest words that Jesus had to say. He called religious leaders vipers. He called them vipers because they killed by trying to impose their interpretation of the law upon others. They were killing converts. They were laying hard burdens on the shoulders of everybody, because they said so, but they themselves had devised ways to get around those laws.

I was curious about this man’s choice of the word spite and looked it up. This is what it means – malicious, usually petty, desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person; bitter ill will; malice.

Yes, my writing is judgment against those who kill a woman’s right to answer her calling to preach or pastor a church. There is judgment against those who spitefully write posts and preach sermons against women. But spite? I don’t desire to harm or hurt anybody. How can allowing a woman to preach hurt anybody? If she is speaking the gospel, the words are just as true out of her mouth as it is out of a man’s mouth.

This man chose to attack the messenger who brought the news. You can look at his links and see all the same old stuff against women. Frankly, I am tired of it. I am standing up against this women haters.

Will you join me in speaking up in practical terms how women are affected by these christians who seek to demean all women? Will you stand up and tell them where it hurts and why it hurts? Will you tell them that Jesus called the religious people vipers because their words were deadly against the people?

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Glorify and deny

“Islam reveres women as wives and mothers – living cradles of the faith. But in mosques throughout the nation, a new documentary asserts, Muslim women in the United States are treated as second-class citizens, relegated to separate and unequal worship spaces and turned away from leadership roles.” (Houston Chronicle “Film calls on Muslims in US to reach out to women, converts, July 12, 2014.)

Let’s play a little game here. The same game that is played in churches all over the nation on Sunday morning. In the statement above, insert the name of your church or denomination. It would look like this:

“Baptists revere women as wives and mothers – living cradles of the faith. But in churches throughout the nation, Christian women in the United States are treated as second-class citizens, relegated to separate and unequal worship spaces and turned away from leadership roles.”

As far as I know, Christian women can worship side by side with men and boys. But women cannot teach men in many Sunday school classes across America, so that relegates her to a different and unequal worship space.

Baptist preachers glorify and deny women, all in the same breath. The pastor of BBC (Big Baptist Church) equated women with the Holy Spirit as a helper, which demeaned both the Holy Spirit, and women, because nobody is equal to the Holy Spirit, and to say so is lying. When pastors say women are equal-but have different functions they both glorify and deny women.

Mormons do the same thing. We read about Kate Kelly who had her baptism taken away from her in June because she promotes women pastors. The Mormon church glorifies and denies women in this way:

“At age twelve, boys become members of the Aaronic, or lesser priesthood, and at nineteen become eligible for the Melchezedek, or higher priesthood. Members of either priesthood are higher authorities on everything than are non-members. Women are, of course, excluded from the priesthood. This practice in effect says that a woman’s prepubescent son is more qualified to advise her than she is to advise him. The official explanation is that women are kept from having the priesthood because women are more spiritual than men, therefore, men need to have the priesthood to teach them how to be better people (Johnson 86). Women are also told that, because they have the all- important ability to bear children, men need the power of the priesthood merely to remain equal with them. http://www.exmormon.org/mormwomn.htm

Roman Catholics glorify and deny:

Where there is an absolute difference in the roles the two sexes can play is in the giving of life. By natural law, only women can give physical life by serving as mothers. By supernatural law, only men can give spiritual life to the faithful by serving as priests. Women have the privilege of being intimately associated in the giving of life through birth, and men have the privilege of being intimately associated in the giving of life through the priesthood. http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/what-is-the-catholic-view-of-women

Glorify and then deny. How long are we Christian women going to put up with it? You can argue Scripture all day long, and never climb out of that rut. Or you can see how this is practiced in your church, and you can make the decision that it is not Christ-like, it does it honor Christ, and it does nothing to help those who need Christ.

It is time to get off your equal-but and do something! Will you join me in speaking up for women?

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The Civil Rights Act affected more women than blacks

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 affected more women than it affected blacks. Blacks made up about 10% of the population in 1964, and women made up over 50% of the population.

 “The prohibition against discrimination based on sex was added to Title VII (Civil Rights Act of 1964) at the last minute on the floor of the House of Representatives… the bill quickly passed as amended, and we are left with little legislative history to guide us in interpreting the Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on ‘sex.’

CivilRightsAct1964-HouseRollCall-Sex-Amendment  (fourth line from top right last word)

Yet, we think it is all about equality for black men and women. As the law was originally written, black women would have had more rights than white women, because black women were included in the ‘race’ word.

Celebrate Wednesday! Celebrate your freedom!

Wait, not so fast. Women have only civil freedoms, not religious freedom.

Because, you see, after the Civil Rights Act, women began getting into ‘men’s jobs.’ And Religion couldn’t have that. No Sireeee! Clamp down! Clamp down fast! Before you know it, women will want to be preachers! Clamp down!

So they did.

In 1964, the Civil Rights Act gave all women, both black and white, many of the same rights that men already had. The church should have been the first! But they did not stand up for full equality for women in the secular world then, and most will not stand up for women in the church now.

The natural progression, as we moved forward in the 20th century, would have been for churches to accept women in church leadership just as women were being accepted to colleges and places of business. I repeat, the church should have been the first to raise women up in status. But they did not do that. Instead, churches reacted with vehemence against women. They wanted to hold on to the male feel of Christianity, and they did.

Churches have continually denied capable spiritual women equality before God within their congregations. Women are denied equality by an inaccurate interpretation of the Scriptures, by the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and by The Danvers Statement. Women are denied equality by seminaries that teach male headship. Women are denied ministry equality by many denominations that teach only males can be the pastors, preachers, or priests. And, most shameful of all, women are denied by other women in their congregations who prevent them from pastoring churches and from becoming deacons. (from my book Dethroning Male Headship).

It is closed. It is over. Women will not ever have freedom in churches to be pastors, deacons, elders. Women will remain in subjection to their husbands. It is over.

There is a small breath blowing. It can be seen on some websites. This breath can be heard through Christians for Biblical Equality. This small breath blowing needs fuel. It needs money to continue. It needs more participants. It needs you.

Will you breathe on this small resistance group that is working for women’s equality?

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Kate Kelly – the face of equality

I have a new hero. Her name is Kate Kelly and she is going to hell. Not sent there by God, or you, or me. But sent there by her church and denomination.

You see, Kate has a website called “Ordain Women.” No problem with that for most people. Seventh Day Adventists also have a facebook site called “Women’s Ordination” and my website promotes women’s ordination because I, too, am part of this movement that is long overdue. I don’t suppose we are going to hell, but Kate is.

You see, Kate is a Mormon, and she was excommunicated by her church June 23, 2014.

That means that she was stripped of her baptism, and can no longer call herself a Mormon.

By doing this to her, Kate Kelly is now the face of women’s equality. All she wanted was to be equally recognized in her church, with full citizenship. But those above her wanted to remain above her, so she was kicked off the platform. It’s funny that they think they have this spiritual authority. I am not a Mormon and this is not about that religion. It is about people who think they have the path to God and that they are the caretakers of that path, and that anyone who does not stick to their path is going to hell.

Will you stand up with Kate Kelly and add your face and voice to hers for women’s equality?

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Paige Patterson’s tears

Paige Patterson thought he had a chance at redeeming one Muslim and converting him to Christianity because, according to Patterson, the man was only a “cultural Muslim.” I doubt that that word belongs in the mindset of Muslims, but it found its way in the mindset of Dr Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

So Paige violated his seminary’s policy and the Southern Baptist Convention’s charter when he allowed this young man into Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. And now it is under review, and Paige cries.

Laws and rules! He will break one rule when it suits him, but Paige will not break the most important law and rule of the Southern Baptist Convention. That law is one that Paige, himself, helped write. It is found in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which says that women cannot be “senior pastors.”

I always wondered about that word ‘senior’ before I realized that of course Baptists sometimes call women ‘Children’s Pastors,’ or better yet, ‘Women’s ministries pastor.’ So women can teach children and other women.

Paige looks to the Old Testament to find his excuse. Ezekiel was told by God that if he does not warn a sinful person from his wicked ways to save his life, the man’s blood will be on Ezekiel’s hands.

So Dr Paige Patterson, wrung his hands (well maybe not the wringing of hands, but certainly the shedding of a tear), and he said “I did the best I knew how.” A little dramatic, don’t you think?

He went on, “When I stand before God I will say, ‘God, I violated a policy, but I didn’t want to stand before you with blood on my hands.’”

But, Dr Patterson, I have a fear that you will stand before God and have to explain why you threw up road blocks in front of women whom God chose for the ministry.

Dr Patterson, you don’t have to find some obscure passage in Ezekiel to justify your violation of policy laws and rules. Look to Jesus! Look to Jesus to find where he violated rules and cultural policy when he told the Gentile woman that he had also come to save her and her people.

 “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s tables.”

In other words, Dr. Patterson, women are eating the very same food that comes from the Master’s table that men are eating. And that food has nourished women the same way it has nourished men.

Rules and Laws! Violating a rule is not the problem. Violating God’s people (women) by refusing them full discipleship, is the problem. And Jesus himself violated his rule when he gave the Cannanite woman the “Good News” that he had come to save Gentiles also.

Paige, you are crying for violating one rule, but you still have blood on your hands. You have the blood on your hands of all the people who needed a preacher so they could hear the word, and you would not send a woman to preach to them. You have relegated women to second class by refusing them a seat at the Master’s table.

The harvest is great, but you will not send a woman. 

 

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