Sometimes I wonder if women sitting in our pews at church really care if they are thought of as second class Christians by their pastor, by their church, and by the other men and women sitting beside them.
- Why should our pastors speak out for equality for the women in their church if the women themselves don’t seem to care?
- Why should our pastors speak out if women in their congregation earnestly believe that they are to let their husbands and other males have authority over them in church and in the home?
- Why should pastors and denominational leaders speak out for equality when most of their peers do not believe that women are equal because the Bible can be read to say they aren’t?
You know why?
Because it is a sin to decide that women are not equal. It is a decision. In the face of the teachings of Christ, and all of the New Testament, it is a sin against God to teach that the female of His creation is of lesser quality than the male. Churches teach that women are not of complete quality – spiritual or physical – and that is why they will not allow a woman to be a pastor or a deacon.
Churches are in sin when they put a male human being as superior to a female human being. God did not do that. Humans have done that. Men and women have decided that this is God’s will. They have blotted out the real story of God’s relationship with people.
One Baptist associational secretary told me that the Bible doesn’t say that women are inferior, and that churches don’t teach that they are. She didn’t think about her church By-laws that deny women are equal, or the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood that tells her she can’t be a pastor or a deacon and that she must submit graciously to her husband.
Churches do teach that women are inferior. Every time you take your son and daughter inside a SBC church, you are telling your son that he is superior to your daughter. You are telling your daughter that she is inferior to her brother. You are telling all girls that males have a relationship with God that she can never have. If you don’t think that makes a woman inferior, then you need to rethink your definition of inferior.
SBC churches will not allow a woman to preach or be a deacon all because women are to be lead by a male. We read the scriptures with one thought in mind and that is that God would never call a woman to pastoral ministry. When denominations deny women the privilege of preaching or serving as a deacon, it is because they believe that women cannot hold that position because they are female. Not because of their beliefs, not because of their spiritual gifts, and not because of their qualifications. They do it because of the physical shape of women’s bodies, and the hormonal makeup of women’s emotions.
What about the so-called difficult scriptures? You know what is difficult about those scriptures? The real difficulty in those scriptures is this: that we find it easier to believe that God made women inferior, than it is for us to believe that we have misinterpreted those scriptures.
The fact that women do not care enough to fight for full equality to serve God as He calls, does not make it right. It is still a sin, whether we fight for it or not.
Will you join me and other men and women who want to put an end to this sin against God?