(be sure to read “Does God Really Prefer Men?” by Leslie and Gary Johnson. Download free and give to your friends to read.)
The woman who thinks she is equal in a church that doesn’t.
One of my favorite websites showed 5 young men in rumpled clothes, bluejeans, and looking oh, so cool.
These pastors and music minister, and staff were really something else. I just knew that if I visited that church that I could wear what I want, find instant friends, and be welcomed with open arms.
Because they were modern men, the ones in the know, the ones who were going to change the world for Christ.
But they didn’t , and they aren’t, and they won’t.
Because you see, at the top of their website was a button that you could click on and find out their beliefs, and those beliefs led you directly to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. The statement that says that our men can welcome the 21st century, but our women can’t.
They were just The Boy’s Club. Women – keep out!
I know a woman who was the financial person for a Baptist association. She had to leave the administrative meeting after the cake was served, and the men got down to business. She could take care of the finances, but she couldn’t be a part of the planning team to discuss those finances.
Then there was another Baptist woman I know. Everybody knew she had an important job at the church, but nobody quite knew what title to give her. She acted as the associate pastor, but that was a no-no, so they had to come up with another name for her. And then they didn’t know just how far to let her go in the staff meetings. Eventually they let her go, ostensibly because of budget reasons, but actually because they got a new male pastor, and she had to give up part of her salary for his package.
Were these women equal? Of course not. They never thought they were, unlike the woman in our story. The problem with the woman in our story is that she was not thinking. She was hoping that she was equal, and because they treated her nice, she bought it.
All the while, they knew she wasn’t equal. Nobody was ever going to ask a worship leader to be a deacon, so she was not ever going to face that. They knew she would never create a fuss. They knew she would never even use the word “equality.”
What they all knew, but would not openly discuss, is that unless all women could possibly be a deacon (subject to spiritual considerations), then none are equal.
She cannot do anything to create equality for women in her church.
Do you know who can?
You can. You can speak up. I encourage you to speak up for women everywhere. Not in her church, but in your own church where women are left out of meetings, where women are limited by their gender.
We keep our eyes closed to what is actually happening in our churches because we don’t want to know. Because we are not going to speak up if we do know how our women staff and others are treated.
Let the men be cool – we will just be silent.
Create in me a new song where I will speak up and tell those in authority that women are equal and each woman should be considered for positions based on her qualifications, not on her gender.
Wednesday will conclude this series.