Authority – not a servant attitude – Part 2 of 2

The 2nd part of your question. 

Pastor, you can’t have it both ways.  You say that “God sent a helper, the Holy Spirit and that that helper is also far superior and above me.”  But according to the first part of your paragraph, (see Authority – not a servant attitude – Part 1 of 2) the Holy Spirit is not very far superior to you because you say that just by obeying your leadership, your congregation can have greater rewards, have more influence, be more important, and receive greater rewards in Heaven.  What does that leave the Holy Spirit to do? 

I am aghast at the arrogance in your remarks.  That also means that you have put another layer between a woman and God.  The order now goes this way: God, Pastor, husband, woman.  And you want women to believe that you are not denigrating her by calling her a helper?  God, forbid such audacity!

Yes, Pastor, you are misreading the scriptures.  There can be no correct interpretation that gives you such authority over and men and women.  Look to Jesus. 

In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, the workers who had been hired early in the day expected to receive more rewards.  But in Matt. 20:10-16, Jesus told them they would all receive the same reward.  Notice he didn’t mention obedience to the caretaker of the vineyard.

The priesthood of the Levites ended with the destruction of the Temple, and all believers in Christ became priests.   Basic Baptist belief is priesthood of the believer. Though some teach “priesthood of the husband.”

Pastor, you are very concerned about the roles God has given people, much like central casting in a play.  That is Calvinism!  I am not a Calvinist and will have no part in supporting such an idea.  If I were a Calvinist, I would not send money to the mission field, nor give money to my church to promote the spread of the gospel, as it would have already been ordained which people would respond, and which people would be the preachers.

Regarding the ceremonial cleansing laws for women after giving birth to boys and girls.   Your question of “would it automatically make God unjust if he limited the pastorate to women” does not have any bearing in our discussion.  Why would God limit the pastorate to either a man or a woman?  Your equation does not make sense here.  Actually, those laws of cleansing after the birth of a child could not have been so important after all, as Jesus did away with it all when he came.  He made a girl baby equal in the sight of God and man.  And you and I are the beneficiaries of that.

To sum this up.  We are both Baptists and as history shows, Baptists disagree on many things.  I can see that you and I are in disagreement regarding the superiority of pastors, and of the authority of men in general.  We have a disagreement regarding predestination as Calvinists believe.

But, we have a faith in Jesus Christ, a love for our fellowman (fellowwomen?).  I don’t doubt your faith, even though I am not in agreement with certain aspects of it. (end of letter).

This Pastor was a graduate of Bob Jones University, which is described as a very conservative school.  However, conservative doesn’t describe this Pastor’s beliefs.  Be sure of who you bring into your church.  Ask the hard questions.  Find out what some pastors believe.

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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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7 Responses to Authority – not a servant attitude – Part 2 of 2

  1. Mabel says:

    Our church had a pastoral candidate last year who came to meet the congregation. After the Q&A session, I asked his wife what their stand is on women as pastor. She said they both believe women should not be pastors. I disagreed, and instead of engaging in a long discussion w/ me, she asked me how important this issue is, what priority would I assign it, etc. My answer: “of life and death importance”. She was taken aback. Next thing I heard, her husband had withdrawn his application. Reason given was they need to stay longer @ their post, that their application was premature. Maybe I’m delusional, but I LOVE to think that I scared them away. I started to pray and wish for a Fuller graduate. Guess what, we did decide on a Fuller graduate. I love our new English pastor & his wife. What a blessed turn of event. Lesson: ALWAYS SPEAK UP!!!!!

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  2. Mara says:

    This thing about moms needing a longer cleansing time because of baby girls is very interesting.

    Initially such a thing offended me and I asked God if He really did think little girls were less in His eyes.

    But you know, when you think about it. Back then it was a very patriarchal society. The push to have baby boys was intense and invasive against a woman’s life and health.

    If she gave birth to a son, their was less of a push to get pregnant again.
    If she had a boy, she could take her time, nurse, and care for this precious treasure.
    If she had a girl, the pressure would be on and the bonding/nursing time for the baby girl would be cut short.
    God took care of that by making it an issue of law for men to leave women alone and not to demand sex too soon or demand a mother stop nursing her little girl too soon because of men’s obsession with having boys or the woman’s obsession to please he man and conform to her culture. The result was that baby girls were given extra time with mommy for care and bonding. And the baby girl is given this, perhaps in order to survive in such a patriarchal climate.

    It’s funny how men want to use it as a mark against women when it may actually have been a protection of baby girls against a misogynic society that is ready to toss them aside in order to produce sons.

    I admit my theory is not a proven fact. But other women have come up with theory when in prayer concerning this topic. And seeing other things in OT law that initially seem to be anti-female and then looking at them against that misogynic day and age, they actually do protect women far more than any other culture back in the day.

    I know, not important or directly related to your post, Shirley.
    Still, I love God and I love how He loves and cares for women who trust in Him even if it doesn’t appear that way at first.

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  3. chaidrinkingfool says:

    Your work is a blessing and I truly believe it is a gifting from God to you that you have the ability and the energy to relate with pastors and others who are brothers and sisters in Christ, yet do not appreciate the fullness of the Holy Spirit within sisters (in terms of leadership) or in brothers (in terms of vulnerability).

    Yet (I’m sorry: you probably knew that there was a “yet” coming) I find myself distracted by things that you say about believers in other denominations. There are Mennonites in the city, who use electricity and don’t (in my admittedly brief acquaintance) seem to follow rules about “plain dress”–at least not in the way I think we are accustomed to seeing in most popular representations of the Amish. They are a part of life in the city, though their worship may take a different form than we are used to.

    And about Calvinists. While not all members of the denomination would necessarily describe themselves as Calvinist, certainly the Presbyterian Church in America describes itself thus: http://pcanet.org/general/aboutpca.htm. Yet here is information about their active missions arm–Mission to the World: http://www2.mtw.org/home/site/templates/splash.asp. Despite their Calvinism, missions work is considered important: They believe that believers do have work to do.

    I believe that we can become entrenched in denominations, knowing little about the beliefs and practices of our Christian sisters and brothers, and belittling them through stereotypes. This happens between men and women, as well, when we define each other first as male and female, and only later as creatures made in the image of God.

    It saddens me whenever I run across somewhere a person identifies her religion as “Catholic” or “Presbyterian” rather than as *Christian*. I think that says a lot, and it isn’t good.

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    • Baptists have a love/hate relationship with Calvinists. (I don’t literally mean hate). Prabably half are now Calvinists, maybe less. That is under the influence of the current leaders, who also, by the way, are anti women in service. Wade Burleson is a Calvinist, and I like what he has to say about women, and promote his blog because of what he says about women.

      These letters were written to pastors during the first year of my ministry. You would be surprised at the things that the pastors told me that I am sure they would never say to members in their congregation. Most people never get any response like this from their pastors and thus do not know what they believe. I considered this a learning time for me. I now know that the “roles” he was speaking about was about women’s roles. Not about everybody’s roles.

      It is not my intention to put down any Christian religion, but I find that religions generally adhere to certain characteristics. In fact, the way they act, dress, and speak is their way of showing their adherence to their religion. Baptists come in all varieties, but, we too, generally adhere to certain practices. I am not sure what I said about Mennonites, and I apologize for offending anyone.

      Please keep reading. I am just an ordinary person who is working very hard for equality for women in our churches. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I appreciate all of you because I have learned so very much from you. Remember, I have been a Southern Baptist for over 50 years. That is a lot of narrow-mindedness! (another characteristic of Southern Baptists!)

      Thank you, friend, so much for your letter.

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  4. Lin says:

    “I admit my theory is not a proven fact. But other women have come up with theory when in prayer concerning this topic.”

    I agree with every word you have written. I, too, in prayer was given this insight into that difference of time for the mother with a baby girl. God worked through sinful man for His purposes. I have also taken to checking many translations and the Hebrew on many other passages that declare women as lessor beings or have added or taken from the Word when it comes to passages about women..

    I highly recommend Catherine Bushnell: God’s Word to Women.

    What a marvel she is. All that research before computers!

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  5. Lin says:

    Way to go Mabel on speaking up. I totally agree we must say something and it was appropriate for you to ask her what her position is on this issue. It IS life and death for women because it speaks to what we can and cannot do in the Kingdom. It involves us being FULL heirs in Christ. That is very important!

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