Does it really matter if women themselves don’t care?

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?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
This entry was posted in Deacons, Do Baptists Really Believe That?, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Does it really matter if women themselves don’t care?

  1. The strangest thing is that they add requirements to what you ‘shouldn’t do’, because to some male it may look like authority.

    For example, I have heard some churches do no let women lead in singing. How that is interrupted as ‘authority’ or ‘teaching’? Learning the words to a song, or learning the ‘beat’ to a song? Someone on the stage asking you to join in singing, etc? That’s plain ridiculous saying that is some form of authority or teaching. That is clearly a power trip!

    When I looked at John Piper’s videos – there were 2 of them – one towards an abused spouse – the other towards the abused child. There was a huge disconnect between the amount of compassion towards the circumstance. The spouse was asked to ‘endure’, and the child was given grace, sense of hope and compassion. If that doesn’t second class citizen I don’t know what does.

    They don’t grasp that they hurt the man AND the woman with how they approach things. They can’t place ‘this is God’s child’ lens on, but use their man made ‘gender’ one instead. I never could understand WHY they don’t see there is a huge difference between the two.

    I think tradition and culture (within the church, family) saying ‘this is how you do things’ makes people blind to how unbalanced it is. History shows that is NOT uncommon when you view things that have changed from the past as well. It takes a strong character to point things out, and stick to it no matter how much flack you take.

    Good for you Shirley!

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    • You all keep me going! Thank you for your comments and encouragement. I sent out my newsletter to Secretaries in many Texas Baptist (Baptist General Convention of Texas) churches this week. Most will throw it in the trash because they believe that their church either does not teach that women are inferior, or they themselves believe women are inferior.

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  2. Sonnet says:

    “Churches do teach that women are inferior.”

    The frustrating thing is that many women don’t see that. They believe the lie about being equal in value and essence while also being unequal in the church and home because of their being and essence. When I stopped attending a church because they were declaring that men are the priests of the family (therefore, closer to God than women), it took my husband a while to understand why I left. He kept pointing out to me all of the women who were content to stay there. If it didn’t bother them, why should it bother me?… kind of reasoning. Couldn’t I just overlook that like these other women? Focus on the good and ignore the bad.

    One of the reasons why I’ve become so passionate about this issue and learning how to understand Scripture from a truly complementarian WITHOUT hierarchy perspective is because of my children. One time as we were reading the Bible and came across one of those “difficult” passages of Scripture, I saw my daughter’s face drop, her mouth fall open, and say, “That’s not fair!” She was dumbfounded that God appeared to prefer males over females. My sons encounter with these *same* verses was completely opposite as evidenced by a smug smile and gleam in his eyes. It was so blatantly obvious to young children that if these verses were taken at face value and that they trumped other verses, then God really wants females to be treated as inferior to males.

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  3. Mabel says:

    Sonnet: glad to know another sister in Christ passionate about biblical equality. Most women cdn’t care less, and it’s frustrating. The men won’t change because frankly, things are fine, why stir up trouble? No-one needs to even verbally teach the subject. All teachings are through visual images: all men church council, all men pastors, all men elders, all men preachers, etc. etc. All I can say is, if they are playing this game, they will answer to God on Judgment Day. Wayne Grudem has a 30+ items list explaining what women can and cannot do in the “church”. It all concerns whether that ministry carries any “authority”. Me thinks me wants to throw up.

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  4. Lydia says:

    I have a philosphy about this after viewing so many comp authors and couples teaching and generally looking at comp couples who came to these conferences and seminars.

    1. Actually, Many of the comp couples LIVE as egals but put on the comp face around church people. These are the comp couples that Russell Moore gets so upset about and why he says we need more “patriarchy” because comps are wimps.

    2. I have met comp couples who make a living teaching comp doctrine where behind stage the wife is like Patton and the husband a lowly private. But the minute they get on stage, the “roles” are reversed. It is a show and a profitable one, too.

    3. Many Christians love having formulas and/or rules to live by. It is much easier than abiding in Christ for all things. They can check a list or box of things to do. Their whole lives are lived by these formulas that make them feel holy. The scripture calls this having a “form of godliness” with no power of the Holy Spirit.

    The doctrine really makes no biblical sense at all. It replaces the Holy Spirit in an adult believing woman’s life with a mere man. The temple veil was torn in two so that only men could have the indwelling Holy Spirit and women a mediator between her and Christ? I think not.

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    • Sonnet says:

      Lydia, I mentioned to the pastor at my “exit interview” about the temple veil being torn in two when Christ atoned for our sins on the cross. That Christian women didn’t need another mediator or priest to stand between them and God. I also mentioned how this “priesthood of the family” reminded me more of the priesthood in the Catholic church, which I grew up in, or of Mormonism, which I’d read about, as opposed to the priesthood of ALL believers. He did agree that they should and would stop using that phrase. But………. he had absolutely no qualms about continuing to refer to men as the spiritual leaders of the family. Semantics! He really didn’t get it.

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      • I am glad to see that you spoke up. Good for you.

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      • Hopscotch Grace says:

        Yes! The Protestant church continues to move more and more toward the Catholic church in this way. Male-only leadership in the church and home, and the emphasis on proper authority. But somehow they don’t *see* it. I know of a woman who left the Catholic church because women cannot be priests. Her husband converted to Christianity after they married, which is good, and converted into the sort who believes that a wife submits unilaterally to her husband, unfortunately. Which basically meant that could have stayed in the Catholic church, as it turned out…

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      • Sonnet:

        I was reading about Samuel this week. One portion stuck me over the head, and that was the part were the people demanded a ‘king’ like everyone else had. God was upset because HE as their king was not good enough for them, and asked Samuel to warn them about what would happen if they had a King in human form. Nope! They had to have a human King, and we all know what happened after that.

        We do the same thing when we voluntarily allow others to be our ‘king’ in a sense as well. That is not to say that we can’t learn from each others, and recognize others gifts. That is also not to say that the power of pray from a group, and all the other excuses that surface.

        We have help that no human can offer, and we have an authority in our lives that is above what humans can claim they have.

        Churches seem to be doing the same thing that Samuel had to deal with. The male is king, and all the warnings are coming to the surface today as well.

        How strange the similarities are.

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      • Sonnet says:

        After I left that church, I rec’d an e-mail from the church secretary asking:
        “Is there an issue that needs to be solved with a pastor, or is all okay? I’m not trying to be noisy, just want to make sure everything is okay.”

        Here was my reply (I’ve removed names):

        _______, thank you for your concern. I have already shared with the pastoral staff the reason for my leaving. _____ and I interpret differently what the Bible says regarding gender roles. Where ______ believes that men and women are equal in their being and essence, yet also permanently unequal in their function and roles (thus resulting in a gender hierarchy where women can’t be elders and men are declared the spiritual leaders of the home), I believe that this is illogical and self-contradictory. If men and women are spiritually the same in Christ, (equally saved, redeemed, indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit) then I do not see how our outward physical bodies should dictate our standing within the body of Christ. This unequal standing is not based on any kind of merit or spiritual maturity but on an unchangeable physical distinction and is thus part of our being and essence. I believe that this shows favoritism to males based purely on the flesh. Therefore, since I feel that women are unfairly discriminated against at ___________, I have chosen to switch to another church.
        Blessings,
        my name

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      • Sonnet says:

        Later on when this church needed to elect another elder to replace one stepping down, the pastor stated that only men could be elders and that he was no longer willing to even discuss that issue with anyone. Case closed!

        At that point, my husband stepped out the door and never returned to that church. =)

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    • Very good comment about the veil!

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  5. Deb Hurn says:

    ST: “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.”

    oh, so sad, and so true!

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  6. So glad I’ve found your blog! We were both mentioned at http://powerscourt.blogspot.com. I am the organizer for Baptist Women in Ministry – Missouri and a seminary student who feels called to pastoral ministry. Missourians are working hard to make sure that all of God’s children have a voice in the church.

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    • Welcome! We are glad to have you visit and join the conversation! We will work together and combine our voices for equality in the churches. I read your latest blog and encourage others to do so. I have added your blog Jennifer Harris Dault to my blogroll.

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  7. Lydia says:

    “ST: “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.”

    Amen! And they also do not read those difficult passages in view of the entire pericope of the Word. How do they align with the Joel prophecy? How can they be true for the NC when the OC never prohibits women from teaching men? How can there be specific salvic “roles” when Joanna left her husband home while she traveled around with Jesus? Why is there only a work of salvation for women as in bearing children to be saved?

    There are a ton more inconsistencies with the translations.

    Quite frankly, the comp position is illogical in view of the whole Word of God.

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  8. Lydia says:

    ” He did agree that they should and would stop using that phrase. But………. he had absolutely no qualms about continuing to refer to men as the spiritual leaders of the family. ”

    Cognitive dissonance. A huge problem in the church. He cannot give up his position of preeminance. It is that simple.

    NO WHERE does scripture say men are the lone spritual leaders of the family. That is a horrible interpretation of Kephale. And illogical, too, since there were many “widows” in the early church. Who was their spiritual leader of the family? I guess they were out of luck….spiritually.

    Again, where is the logic of their position? Men can die young. Get in accidents, etc, some even leave their wives. So, where does that leave a woman? No spiritual leader in the home?

    Jesus said for us not to be like the Geniles that love to lord it over. They love position and power. He was referring to the Greeks and Romans and their views of hierarchy at the time. If you ever get a chance, read up on how the Greeks and Romans viewed hierarchy and social structure.

    Jesus is telling HIS followers NOT to be like them.

    These pastors are teaching sin as a virtue! It is insidious. Let us call it what it is: A lie.

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  9. Kristen says:

    Very well said, Shirley. And it certainly matters even though some women appear not to care, or even to embrace complementarianism. There were African slaves who said they didn’t mind being slaves, either. And there were slaves who were rewarded by their masters for telling other slaves how good-for-them slavery was.

    The thing I try to remember is that these slaves weren’t the problem– it was the institution of slavery, and they were just finding different ways to cope. Patriarchy is the problem, not the women who believe in it or go along with it. Those of us who have the strength to fight, must fight for them as well as ourselves. Even if they don’t appreciate it right now.

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    • That is a good point. I mailed out my newsletter to many SBC churches in Texas and received this reply last night from one of those secretaries: “Please remove me from your mailing list. I am not interested in your group, and wish no more correspondence from you.” It is also people like her that I am working for.

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