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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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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6 Responses to Glorify and deny

  1. Don Johnson says:

    “Glorify and deny” is a great insight. I am reminded of the opposite version in Shakespeare: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;” where Marc Anthony then proceeds to praise Caesar.

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    • Don, how can we get women to stand up and claim their rightful place? They sit in pews on Sunday morning and because they like the pastor and their friends and don’t want to make a fuss, they put up with the most outrageous sermons and actions against them.

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  2. krwordgazer says:

    What we women need is an organized movement and leaders. One woman going on “strike” on Sunday mornings will not be noticed. Half or more of the female congregation going on “strike” on Sunday mornings would cause the elders to take notice– and they couldn’t excommunicate ALL of us! But without leadership to call for action and get us acting together, no woman is going to be willing to take on the combined power of all the male leadership of her denomination.

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  3. Cindy K says:

    You know what, Shirley? “Glorify and Deny” has a term in psychology. It is “objectification.” People are not esteemed as they are in real life. The person who objectifies them — both for good and for evil — creates a fantasy about them to make them seem like “other” or not quite on the same plane of existence as them. In a way, it’s worse that “knocking them down a few pegs” on the proverbial ladder of worth. It’s putting them in a fantasy world, separating them from the real world. In effect, they become OBJECTS.

    They can glorify some aspects and deny others, but what they’ve really done is turn women into a fantasy of their choosing — and then they claim that it’s Biblical — from the mouth of God Himself. God never objectifies anyone, is not a respecter of persons, and died for us. He loved us when we didn’t even know Him and hated Him, caring for us anyway. He doesn’t look to the outward things as men do, but He sees the intent of our hearts.

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