It was three years ago in September right after Hurricane Ike that I realized that the church had a cold heart and that cold heart was called the church by-laws. It is the by-laws of the church that tells a woman that she can’t be a deacon and that her church sees her in a completely different light than it sees the men of the church.
It is the by-laws that many Southern Baptist pastors hide behind.
In these past three years of this journey in speaking for equality, I have made a bunch of mistakes. Some I still shudder at. Some were borne out of ignorance, and others because I oftentimes speak before I think.
Some of the mistakes that I have made were made because the desire for women’s equality is a fire that burns so hotly in my heart that I have taken risks that I should not have taken, and said things that I should not have said.
This was brought to mind by Tom Parker in his comment yesterday.
He said, “ I believe there will come a day when all these men in the SBC will have to apologize for their misuse of the Holy Scriptures to make women a second-class citizen when Jesus did the exact opposite.”
One day they will admit what they already know. One day they will see the damage it has done to women for their refusal to accept the equality of women. One day they will realize that that they have perpetuated a sin against the body of Christ, against all their church members, not just the women.
If they should apologize, then why shouldn’t I?
The mistakes I have made have never been to deliberately hurt someone. But I have tried to bring reformation to a system, and that requires calling attention to the injustice.
I believe that pastors have made a decision to not speak up for women’s equality. I believe that they know that the decision they have made does not reflect the heart of Christ. The mistakes I have made do not denigrate over one-half of the entire world population, with no intention of rectifying the situation.
Yet they persist. Because once they have started down that path, to stop and make a u-turn would be too embarrassing and not good for their careers.
Yes, they owe women an apology. They own Christ an apology.
When I lay down my head at night, I know that I have spoken up for women. When they lay down their head at night, they know that they have not.
If you want a good night’s sleep, join me and other men and women as we speak out in the ways that we know how, for an end to the injustice against women in their church, and by their pastors.